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Nurses should be sent to Mile 2, says prosecutor

Sep 29, 2014, 11:07 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

ASP Mballow, who has taken over the case involving Awa Beyai, Awa Sanneh and Ndey Ceesay, nurses at the Serrekunda Health Centre charged with neglecting their official duty and abuse of office, on 25 September 2014 told the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court that Awa Beyai and Awa Sanneh should be sent to Mile 2 (prison).

This pronouncement followed the no-case submission made by Lawyer Lamin Camara on behalf of Awa Beyai and Awa Sanneh.

In his no-case submission, Lawyer Lamin Camara told the court that the prosecution had failed to establish prima facie a case against Awa Beyai and Awa Sanneh, and that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses was discredited; that no reasonable court could rely on such evidence to convict the accused persons.

ASP Mballow the police prosecutor did not agree.

Flanked by members of his team, ASP Mballow argued before Magistrate Tabally that Awa Beyai and Awa Sanneh should be called to enter their defence.

He added that the prosecution presented the essential elements of the offence charged, that is, the accused persons on 17 November 2013 at Serrekunda Health Centre, while employed as nurses, neglected their official duties by failing to attend to a pregnant woman.

The law is very clear as regards the function of the accused persons, the prosecutor went on, adding that they have a duty, as specified under the Nurses and Midwifery Act.

It was the duty of the accused persons not to tell a pregnant woman to go away, and not attend to her.

The complainant, Isatou Sambou, said she met the accused persons who, having seen from her antenatal card that it was a priority case, told her to go to Serrekunda Hospital on her own.

ASP Mballow further stated that a few minutes later, Isatou Sambou delivered in the street and was escorted back into the health centre by some women.

According to the statements of the accused persons, Isatou Sambou was sick and was not attended to, adding that their statements corroborated the evidence of the prosecution witnesses.

“There was a non-performance by Awa Beyai and Awa Sanneh who neglected Isatou Sambou. The health centre is equipped with an ambulance, and it could have been used to transport Isatou Sambou to Serrekunda Hospital,” ASP Mballow further argued.

The prosecution has presented prima facie a case that the accused persons neglected, and did not perform their duties by exhausting all the remedies to attend to Isatou Sambou.

“There were facilities that could have been used by the accused persons to help Isatou Sambou, but they failed to do so. It is Isatou’s right to enjoy these facilities,” he submitted.

No prosecution evidence had been discredited, and the accused persons should now be asked to enter their defence, ASP Mballow continued.

The prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt, and Awa Beyai and Awa Sanneh should be sent to Mile 2 prison, he added.

As regards another accused person, Ndey Ceesay, whose name was never mentioned by the prosecution witnesses, the prosecutor said he would leave that to the discretion of the court.

Defence lawyer Lamin Camara in response also cited the Nurses and Midwifery Act, and asked whether any of the accused persons was in charge of the labour ward.

The case was adjourned to 9 October 2014, for ruling.