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Teranga FM MD charged with seditious intention

Aug 5, 2015, 10:42 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, managing director of Teranga FM, was yesterday arraigned and charged with seditious intention at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before principal magistrate Momodou S. Jallow.

The prosecutors accused Ceesay that, on 16 July 2015 in Banjul and diverse places, he distributed pictures of President Yahya Jammeh to one Zainab Koneh and Fatou A. Drammeh, through his Africell mobile SIM card, which showed a gun pointed at the President, with the intention to raise discontent, hatred or disaffection among the inhabitants of The Gambia, and thereby committed an offence.

He denied the charge.

In applying for bail, his defence counsel, Kombeh Gaye-Coker, told the court that the offence is bailable.

“It’s also important to know that the accused person was first arrested on 2 July 2015, in connection with the allegation, which forms a charge before the court.”

From 2 July 2015, he was detained for 11 days at the NIA headquarters in Banjul, and released on 13 July 2015.

The accused person was rearrested on 17 July 2015, on Koriteh day, when people were enjoying their Koriteh feast, and since then he had been in custody at the NIA headquarters in Banjul, counsel added.

Ceesay has been in detention for more than the 72 hours allowed by the constitution, after which be must be brought before a court or released, counsel continued, adding that since all the arrests were related to the same offence, it was her submission that the state had enough time to carry out the investigation or anything they would like to know about the accused person.

The accused person is a Gambian citizen; a very young man of 25 years of old; and a responsible citizen of the society as the managing director of Teranga FM, counsel further told the court.

He had occupied the position of managing director for one year seven months, and he is married with a 2-year-old son, she further stated.

The accused person is staying with his grandmother, who is very old, and if he had any wish to jump bail he would have done so when he was first released on 13 July 2015 from the NIA headquarters in Banjul.

Counsel, therefore, urged the court to grant him bail with reasonable terms and conditions.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Manga, objected to bail for the accused person.

How long the accused person had been in detention at the NIA headquarters in Banjul was not known by the prosecution, because there is no records to show the accused person had been in detention all along, since the matter only came to their office yesterday morning, Manga told the court.

Moreover, the investigation into the matter was far from over, and if the accused person was granted bail he would tamper with the investigation or the prosecution’s witnesses, he went on.

The prosecution believed that if the accused person was granted bail, he would flee the jurisdiction of the country, he added.

He, therefore, urged the court to deny bail to the accused person.

Hearing continues today for ruling on the bail application.