May 20, 2008, 4:48 AM
Two senior prison officers, Babucarr Badjie and Bakary Jammeh, were recently arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates' Court charged with abuse of office, bringing of prohibited articles into the prison, and communicating with prisoners without permission.
The accused persons, who both denied the charges, were subsequently remanded in custody.
According to the particulars of the offence on count one, the accused persons, Babucarr Badjie and Bakary Jammeh, between 2010 and 2011 at Mile 2 Central Prison in the city of Banjul, being employed in the public service and by virtue of their status as officers of the Prisons Services respectively, abuse the authority of their office by giving mobile phones with SIM cards numbers 9094793 and 9045835 to one Alieu Bah, an inmate serving prison terms at Mile 2 Central Prison, to make calls to the State House which they knew could have a negative impact on the national security of The Gambia.
The alleged offence on count two read that the two accused persons between 2010 and 2011, at Mile 2 Central Prisons in the city of Banjul, being employed in the public service by virtue of their status as officers of Prisons Services respectively, brought in three (3) mobile phones mark Nokia with two SIM cards 9094793 and 9045835 to Alieu Bah, an inmate serving prisons terms at Mile 2 Central Prisons to make calls without lawful permission.
Count two stated that the two accused persons between 2010 and 2011, at Mile 2 Central Prison in the city of Banjul, being employed in the public services and by virtue of their status as officers of the Prisons Services respectively, allegedly gave three (3) mobiles phones mark Nokia with SIM cards number 9094793 and 9045835 to Alieu Bah, an inmate serving prisons terms at Mile 2 Central Prisons for the purpose of communication.
When the case resumed yesterday, the prosecuting officer, Superintendent Joof, told the court that the case was first mentioned on 26 January 2011, and adjourned to yesterday for continuation of hearing.
However, he added, the matter was still under investigation, which was not completed.
He pointed out that the prosecution was opposing bail for the accused persons on the grounds that they might interfere with the ongoing investigation.
Superintendent Joof told the court that these are security matters, and very complicated, adding that granting the accused persons bail would be a threat to the national security of the country.
In applying for bail on behalf of the accused persons, Defence counsel Ebrima Jah told the court that the defenec was not opposed to the adjournment, but the offence charged was a bailable one.
He said the accused persons were in custody since January 2011, and that the police had ample time to investigate the matter, noting that this case does not required much investigation.
Counsel Jah further adduced that holding the accused persons in custody tantamount to abuse of their constitutional rights, and that the accused persons have no intension to interfere with the investigation.
The accused persons had served their country with hard work and dedication, and they have enough sureties to stand for them if the court grants them bail.
Delivering his ruling, Magistrate Alargba said that if the accused persons are granted bail there is likelihood that they might interfere with the investigation.
He consequently ordered the accused persons to be remanded in custody until the next adjournment date, and further ordered the police to expedite their investigation within a week.
The magistrate also ordered that a copy of the order to be served to the Director of Prisons for the accused persons to appear in court.
The case was adjourned to 28 February 2011.