#Article (Archive)

High Court dismisses sureties bail application

Aug 13, 2012, 10:21 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Edrissa Fafa Mba’i recently dismissed the bail application filed by the applicants, Khadijatou Ceesay and Fatou Kah, sureties to the defendant one, Alfina Tamba.

According to Justice Mba’i, the conduct of the applicants and the conduct of Kotu Police Station, when taken together and the sudden disappearance of the defendant possibly out of the jurisdiction, leave only one conclusion that the applicants connived with the Kotu Police Station and it was tantamount to throwing a spanner in the wheels of justice.

The plaintiff’s claim against the defendant, the sum of one million, dalasi could not still be heard, because of the role played by the applicants and the Kotu police to have the defendant release from custody, the judge said.

He stated that for all these reasons, the application lacks merit, and it was an abuse of the judicial process, and the application was accordingly dismissed.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Mba’i stated that the applicant’s counsel filed a motion supported by a 19-paragraph affidavit, and attached to the affidavit was exhibit KS1, which was the bail bond.

He further adduced that there was a 10-Paragraph affidavit in opposition, adding that the counsel for the applicant urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the applicants to grant them bail, because they have been detained and there was no way they could comply with the order of the court to produce the defendant.

Justice Mba’i further added that counsel for the applicants argued that the bail bond revealed that the applicants have signed for nothing, as part of the bail bond was blank and the column the officer in charge ought to sign was also left blank.

He said counsel further argued that the implication of bailing someone was not explained to the applicants and he, therefore, urged the court to grant bail to the applicants, which does not mean setting them free, but only to give them pre-trial liberty and for them to be able to produce the defendant.

Sill in his ruling, Justice Mba’i stated that on the other hand counsel for the plaintiff also reminded the court that the suit was not criminal, but a civil case in which the applicants had stood as sureties for the defendant and, therefore, in the event that the defendant could not be found the applicants were her sureties and they automatically stepped into her shoes.

The judge said counsel for the plaintiff further contended that it was trite law that courts must not allow technicalities to defeat the course of justice.

 The plaintiff counsel argued that on 5 July 2012, the  defendant was put into the custody of the sureties, they were required to produce her the following day, but rather than producing the defendant they produced themselves, the judge stated.

He said counsel for the plaintiff further argued that it was clear that between  5 and 6 July 2012, when the sureties were required to produce the defendant, they failed to do so, arguing that there was nothing before the court, as fact, to establish that the defendant was still within the jurisdiction.

He said counsel for the plaintiff also urged the court to refuse the application, because to release the applicants would only frustrate the case, and there was a great possibility that the applicants would also disappear without trace like the defendant.

The judge subsequently dismissed the applicants’ bail application.