23 January 2013

Gambia: Lawyer O.D. Mbye's Appeal Dismissed

The Special Criminal Court at the High Court in Banjul Monday dismissed the appeal filed by Lawyer Omar Dodou Mbye on the grounds that the appeal lacked merit.

Lawyer Mbye was convicted and sentenced by the Kanifing Magistrates' Court to pay a fine of D25,000 in default to serve 12 months in prison with hard labour, after finding him liable for obtaining money by false pretence from one Amie Dukureh on 7 June 2012.

The court further made a restitution order against him in the sum of D475,000 in default to serve another three years in prison with hard labour.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Emmanuel Nkea said: "Being dissatisfied with the said judgment, Mr Mbye filed two grounds of appeal, seeking the court to quash both the conviction and the sentence of the lower court and in its place to enter a verdict of acquittal and discharge."

"I am satisfied that the conduct of Lawyer Mbye when he received the money from his client, Amie Dukureh, amounted to a false assertion. There was false representation from him," he said.

According to him, he had found out that there was nothing on the record to warrant him to disturb the findings of the trial magistrate.

"I uphold his conviction and dismiss this aspect of the grounds of appeal as frivolous. I must say straight away that the trial court was lenient in a fine of D25,000 in default to serve12 months in prison," he stated.

Justice Nkea finally dismissed the appeal and ordered the Honourable Sheriff of The Gambia to verify strict compliance with the decision of the court below, and to furnish the court with a copy of his verification notes within 48 hours upon receipt of the order.

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