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UDP 11 appeal case proceeds

Nov 29, 2016, 11:14 AM | Article By: Bruce Asemota

The criminal appeal case involving 11 jailed supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP) against the state proceeded yesterday, before The Gambia Court of Appeal presided over by Justice A.O. Adegoke, Justice Awa Bah and Justice Edrissa Mb’ai.

The appellants are Lamin Sonko, Modou Touray, Lamin Marong, Lasana Beyai, Alhagie Fatty, Nogot Njie, Fatoumatta Jawara, Fatou Camara, Kafu Bayo, Ebrima Jabang and Modou Ngum.

They were jailed for three years by the Mansakonko High Court after they were convicted for unlawful assembly, holding a procession without a permit, riot, among others.

The appellants are challenging the high court decision, thus filed their appeal individually before the appellate court.

During the court sitting yesterday, lawyer A.N.D Bensouda, the lead counsel for the appellants, informed the court that a motion for consolidation of the appellants appeal was filed.

The court observed that the 3rd appellant, Lamin Marong, was absent as he was said to have been ill and was receiving medical attention, and could not make it to the court.

DPP S.H. Barkum submitted that his concern was whether the motion for the consolidation of the appellants appeal could be moved in the absence of the 3rd appellant.

Lead counsel A.N.D. Bensouda replied that the absence of the 3rd appellant was a matter beyond the appellant’s control, and she then enjoined the court to proceed to consolidate the appellants’ appeal.

DPP S.H. Barkum told the court that, on 14 November 2016, the matter was adjourned as a result of the absence of the appellants in court.

Lawyer Bensouda submitted that the circumstances are different from that of the 14 November 2016, as all the appellants were absent in court.

In her ruling, Justice A.O. Adegoke said the court was of the view that the matter be consolidated and heard, noting that the 3rd appellant is duly represented by counsel.

She then urged the appellants’ counsel to go ahead and move the motion to consolidate the appellants’ appeal.

Lawyer A.N.D. Bensouda then applied and moved the motion to consolidate the appellants’ appeal.

Meanwhile, the application seeking to consolidate the individual appellants’ appeal was granted by the court, and each appeal shall maintain the case number during the pendency of the hearing.

Justice A.O. Adegoke ruled that in view of the fact that the compilation of the record is in progress, the matter be adjourned until 12 December 2016 for proof of service and ordering of briefs.