Jun 22, 2015, 10:53 AM
The accused persons on the amended charge sheet are Ousainou Darboe, Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Yaya Bah, Babucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Momodou Fatty, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Jukuna Suso, Momodou L.K. Sanneh, Yaya Jammeh and Masanneh Lalo Jawla.
They are indicted on seven counts of unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, riotously interfering with vehicles, holding a procession without a permit, and disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful and conspiracy.
When the case was called, DPP S.H. Barkun appeared for the state with the deputy DPP M.B. Abubacarr.
The defence team was led by Senior Counsel A.A.B. Gaye alongside A.N.D. Bensouda, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, B.S. Touray, L.S. Camara, O.M.M. Njie, M. Bachilly, S.M. Tambadou, Neneh Cham, Yasin Senghore, J.B. Sambou, C. Gaye, Dayoh Small-Dago, among others.
The trial judge then said: “I wish to decline of the proceedings of this matter and I refer the case file to the Chief Justice for re-assignment.”
It would be recalled that Darboe and Co were first arraigned on 20 April 2016 and they took their plea of not guilty on the same date.
The state amended the charge by adding a new name and a conspiracy charge on 28 April 2016, and the accused persons took their plea of not guilty again.
The defence counsel then filed a written bail application, which was dismissed on the grounds that it ‘lacks merit’.
After they were refused bail, the accused persons through their counsel asked the court to stay its proceedings on counts 5 and 6, which are about the Public Order Act and refer the matter to the Supreme Court for determination.
The Director of Public Prosecutions objected to this on the grounds that the court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, and that the defence did not object before the accused persons took their plea, and urged the court to refused the application and allow the state to proceed with the case.
The trial judge was then expected to deliver a ruling on stay of proceedings on counts 5 and 6 yesterday, when he announced that he has declined to hear the case.
The bill of indictment on count one stated that the accused persons on 16 April 2016, at Kairaba Avenue, with intent to breach the peace and provoke other persons to breach same, unlawfully assembled in a manner that causes fear in the neighbourhood and thereby committed an offence.
Count two stated that the accused persons on the same date and place assembled without a permit with intent to breach the peace and cause terror to the public and thereby committed an offence.
Count three stated that the accused persons on the same date and place published banners with statements calculated to lead to the destruction or damage to properties.
Count four stated that the accused persons on the same date and place without a permit assembled in a manner that prevented the movement of vehicles around Westfield.
Count five stated that the accused persons on the same date and place held a public procession without a permit from the IGP and thereby committed an offence.
Count six stated that the accused persons on the same date and place disobeyed the order of deputy Superintendent of Police Musa Sanyang and other police officers, to disperse from their unlawful assembly, thereby committed an offence.
Count seven stated that the accused person on the same date and place conspired to incite violence which is an offence to the laws of The Gambia.