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In Modou Manga's Trial, Case File Sent to AGs Chambers

Jul 6, 2009, 5:34 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Following the order by Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbake of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court for the release of Modou Manga, who has been incarcerated at Mile 2 Prisons after fulfilling bail conditions, Cadet Inspector Mballow on the 2nd July, 2009, informed the court that the case file had been sent to the Attorney General's Chambers for legal advice.

The accused, Modou Manga, was not brought to court on the 2nd July, 2009, the adjourned date, and his legal counsel, Lawyer Edu Gomez, was not present either.

Presiding over the case, Magistrate Mbake told the court that the IGP has written to the court a letter dated 22nd June, 2009 in which he requested for the court to adjourn all cases involving Lawyer Gomez, counsel for the accused, for 21 days with effect from the 22nd June, 2009, on the grounds that the said counsel has been selected to work temporarily on a government task force.

However, he continued, the prosecutor, Cadet Inspector Mballow, had informed the court that he was still awaiting to hear from his superior officer who had already sent the case file to the Attorney General's Chambers for legal advice.

Magistrate Mbake went on to say that since the defence counsel has been granted permission by the court to proceed with his assignment at the Police Reform Committee, then it would be only proper to wait until the defence counsel is back in court.

It could be recalled that the accused, Modou Manga, was first arraigned before former Magistrate Buba Jawo and charged with stealing 1952 bags of rice of 30kg equivalent to D585,600, being the property of Kanilai Group International, a charge he denied. He was granted bail in the sum of D600, 000 on the 14th May, 2008, with a Gambian surety in like amount.

He fulfilled the bail conditions but was however taken directly to Mile 2 Prisons.

The defence counsel, Lawyer Gomez, in strong terms told the court that the detention of his client Modou Manga, was wrongful and in contravention of the constitution of The Gambia. He applied for his release.

As a result, Magistrate Mbake issued the following order:

The defence counsel has called the court's attention to the fact that his client, Modou Manga, is still under detention, even though he has fulfilled the bail condition granted to him by His worship Jawo, who was the first Magistrate to handle this case.

Despite the fact that the accused has met the bail conditions, he was re-arrested by the police and taken to Mile 2 Central Prisons.

When Magistrate Jawo left the said case to Her Worship Jahateh, she made an order for the accused, Modou Manga, to be released from detention but her court order had been disobeyed by the prosecution.

This prosecutor is handling the case in contempt of court. In short, all orders given by the court were disobeyed, hence the continued detention of the accused.

Upon Worship Jahateh's departure, the case was reassigned to me. After perusing through the case file, I am obliged to concur with my colleagues that the accused, Modou Manga be released from detention once he has met the bail conditions.

When the court order is carried out, the trial could conventionally be continued.