22 January 2013

Gambia: Justice Wowo Granted Bail

Justice Joseph Wowo, president of the Gambia Court of Appeal, was yesterday granted bail by Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

The bail condition was for D100,000 with one Gambian surety who must provide the means of bail.

Justice Wowo was on Friday arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates' Court and charged with giving false information to a public officer.

He was subsequently remanded in court custody at the State Central Prisons Mile 2.

According to the particulars of offence, Justice Wowo on 3 December 2012 in Banjul, wrote a letter to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) informing them that Mrs. Amie Bensouda conducted herself in a manner that was undermining the administration of the Gambian judiciary, by asking for pending cases data, information he knew to be false at the time.

Delivering his ruling, Justice Nkea stated a notice of motion was filed on 18 January 2013, by the appellant through his counsel seeking bail, pending the hearing and the determination of the charge pressed against him at the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

He added that the appellant's arguments were that the offence with which the accused person was charged with was bailable, and was a misdemeanor, further contending that the state had not filed any opposing affidavit, and the state was not opposing.

The judge added that the DPP informed the court that the state was not opposing the bail application of the appellant, stating that having read through the affidavit in support of the application for bail, he agreed that the offence with which the applicant was charged with was a misdemeanor with a minimum punishment of D500, or six-month imprisonment or both.

Justice Nkea added that he held the view that the issue of bail, pending the trial for non-capital offence cases by a person who had not been tried and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction, was general.

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