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In Musa Suso Case, Defence Application Refused

Mar 23, 2009, 5:07 AM | Article By: Modou Sanyang

Magistrate Kayode sitting at the Banjul Magistrates' Court on Friday 20th March 2009, refused defence counsel Lamin Jobarteh's application for him (Magistrate Kayode) to withdraw from the Musa Suso case.

The accused, Musa Suso, is standing trial on four count charges of giving false information to a public officer.

In his ruling, Magistrate Kayode stated that the ruling was in respect of the defence counsel application before the court urging that this court should recuse itself from further hearing of the case. He said the defence counsel application was premised on four grounds.

He added that ground one of the defence counsel Jobarteh's application was that the applicant has obtained a leave for prohibition against his court from the high court to cease from further proceedings in the case.

He said ground one further added that since the court has commenced hearing despite the said leave of prohibition, the defence has no confidence that there would be a fair and impartial hearing of the case.

He said ground two was that defence is not in a position to prepare a defence because the defence lacks documents that are in the possession of the prosecution.

He adduced that ground three of the defence counsel application was that the case has proceeded without notice to the defence. Ground four of the defence counsel application was that despite the defence counsel's requesting for an adjournment, the court proceeded with the matter, and defence therefore has apprehension of fear and lack of confidence and also concludes that the court is biased.

Magistrate Kayode further ruled that what the high court granted was leave to apply for an order of prohibition.

 He noted that the high court  did not at anytime grant the application, an order of prohibition neither did the high court order that the leave to apply for an order of prohibition operated as a stay of proceedings.

He said the application has gone to the high court with specific prayers that the said leave should operate as a stay of proceedings. This prayer, he added was however not granted by the high court. " I therefore conclude that ground one of the application for rescusal was very misconceived as the applicant never obtained any of prohibition against this court," he stated. He said the court made a ruling on the documents but the said ruling was never appealed against by the defence counsel. He said that when the prosecution urged the court to proceed with the matter, the accused was present and that the court allowed the prosecution to proceed with the case as the defence would not be prejudiced based on the fact that the defence has the right to recall prosecution witnesses.

" I have sat on this case of IGP Vs Musa Suso like an impeccable and flawless piece of blank white paper, he indicated. " I have also penetrated and explored in innermost recesses of my consent as judicial officer mindful of my oath to dispense justice without fear or favour and I see no bias in the adjudication of this case so far," he added. " I therefore came to the conclusion that when the defence counsel submitted that there was fear and apprehension, such fear was misplaced, misconceived and not supported by fact and law in this case," he concluded.

The case has been adjourned to 27th March 2009.