Gambia: Court Cannot Order Counsel to Represent Drug-Related Convicts - Justice Wowo States

Justice Joseph Wowo, the president of the Gambia Court of Appeal has told one Amadou Faal, a drug-related convict, that the court cannot order counsel from the Legal Aid Agency of The Gambia to represent him in the pursuit of his criminal appeal case, because the offence committed was not a capital offence.

Justice Wowo made this clarification in the criminal appeal case involving one Amadou Faal and the state. The appellant, who was convicted of drug-related offences, had told the court that he did not get a lawyer to represent him.

Justice Wowo however indicated that the court is bounded by law, adding that the offence the appellant was convicted of is not a capital offence that could require a counsel from the Legal Aid Agency to represent him. He further indicated that the appellant's notice of appeal is fundamentally defective.

The Court of Appeal judge pointed out that it is when the appellant gets a lawyer that he could regularise the said notice of appeal, which he described as very defective. The matter was however adjourned to the 17th December 2012 for mention.

Similarly, the criminal appeal case involving one Sarjo Jarju and the state was also adjourned to the 17th December 2012 for the same reason; that his notice of appeal was defective. The said Sarjo Jarju was sentenced and convicted of drug-related offences.

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