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Legal tussle in Femi Peters' trial

Dec 9, 2009, 11:47 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Principal Magistrate Joseph Ikpala of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court yesterday, 8th December 2009 adjourned the Femi Peters' case for ruling, following the Defence Counsel's announcement that he had filed processes at the High Court for a stay of proceeding and the reply by the prosecution.

The Defence Counsel, Ousainou Darboe, told the court that he had appealed at the High Court against the ruling made by Magistrate Ikpala on 23rd November 2009 for stay of proceedings which was refused, and that his application related to certain constitutional issues. He argued that the proceedings should be stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal.

"At this stage, the proceedings ought to be stayed until the appeal is heard," he told the court.

In reply, the Prosecuting Officer, Inspector Fadera, told the court that the prosecution was mindful of the application for a stay of proceedings by the Defence, and noted that on the face of the motion filed at the High Court by the Defence was defective and that there was no date as to when the motion would be moved. He argued that the date of filing the motion is 4th November 2009, and was received on the 4th December 2009 by the High Court. He reminded the court that the ruling against the application made by the Defence for a stay of proceedings was on 23rd November 2009, noting that the motion had been prepared before the ruling.

At this juncture, he referred the court to Criminal Appeal No. 2/2008 of The Gambia Court of Appeal of State Vs Carnegie Mineral and Andrew Charles Northfield, which was delivered on 17th July 2008, and referred the court to page 5 of that ruling.  He further argued that the reasons advanced by the Defence Counsel talked about rights, referring the court to Section 133 of the Constitution.

He posited that granting the application for a stay of proceedings would prolong the case and noted that the appeal at the High Court has nothing to do with the proceeding of the case.

He finally urged the court to rule in favour of the prosecution.