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In Femi Peters' trial

Mar 22, 2010, 11:15 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Court rules in favour of defence

Principal Magistrae Kayode of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court rule in favour of the defence, following the submission made by Lawyer Ousainou Darboe in defence of his client, Femi Peters, for the court to put off judgment, which was scheduled to be delivered on Friday.

The ruling was made despite the objections of the prosecutor, Inspector Fadera, who wanted the court to disregard the submission made by the defence counsel.

When the case resumed on 19th March 2010, Lawyer Darboe rose to inform the court that he had filed for the arrest of the judgment.

The prosecuting officer, Inspector Fadera, told the court that he was not served with the motion for a "summon of notice." Subsequently, Lawyer Darboe made a copy of the motion available, and served the police prosecutor.

Magistrate Kayode then rose to say that he was standing down the case for ten minutes to allow the prosecutor to go through the motion. He later came back to the courtroom.

Lawyer Darboe then rose again to submit that he had filed the "summon of notice" to arrest the judgment in the interest of substantial justice for both parties and for the integrity of the court.

"The accused was put into a tight corner and that's whether he opens his case or to go to jail," he told the court.

He further argued that "the accused had to take a decision not to open his case, because of the situation he was put in."

"The accused has the right to address the court on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses," he further submitted.

"Substantial justice demands that the court should arrest the judgment," he argued, and then urged the court to uphold his submission.

Prosecuting officer Inspector Fadera objected to the submission made by the defence counsel to arrest the judgment. He cited page 7 of the Criminal Procedure Code to support his argument.

He submitted that the judgment could only be arrested, if the court has no jurisdiction. He further argued that "assuming that the arrest of the judgment was applicable, it was only applicable at the Supreme Court."

He stated further in his submission that the accused when asked to enter his defence said he has "rested his case."

This, he said, meant that the accused had nothing to tell the court. He then urged the court to disregard the submission of the defence counsel for the arrest of the judgment.

He indicated that the accused had rested his case and had forfeited his right, noting that after the prosecution had close its case, the accused was entitled to open his case.

In his ruling, Magistrate Kayode ruled that "the submission made by the defence counsel for the arrest of the judgment was upheld."

At this point, Lawyer Darboe informed the court that he needed five hours to address the court on constitutional matters.

The case was therefore adjourned to 26th March 2010 for the defence counsel to address the court.