Buba Sanyang, the former Director General of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), who is facing a two count charge before Principal Magistrate Hillary Abeke of the Banjul Magistrates' Court, yesterday, Thursday, 19 December, 2013 collapsed in the courtroom while the amended charge was being read out by the Court Clerk. As the Court Clerk was reading out the amended charge sheet on count two, the police orderly of the magistrate rushed towards the witness box together with others to help Mr. Sanyang, who appeared dizzy and was sweating, to sit on a chair. At this juncture, counsels for the accused person, Edward Singhateh, alongside Lamin S. Camara suggested that Mr. Sanyang should be rushed to hospital.
The accused was then taken out of the courtroom. The trial magistrate indicated that the accused person collapse in court and that he can only be brought to court when he recovers and is fit to stand trial.
The case was subsequently adjourned to 16 January, 2014 for mention. Prior to this incident, State Counsel Katusabe Tom told the court that he has previously applied for an adjournment for further instructions.
"Your Worship my instructions are to proceed with this matter on the consent of the Attorney General dated 17 December, 2013 in respect to the charge of 'Abuse of Office' filed on the 19 December 2013," said counsel. According to the state counsel, he was further instructed to amend the charges and add one more count and which amended charge, he said, was on the report dated and filed the 19 December 2013. He said in line with Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), he is seeking the indulgence of the court to permit the amendment and allow the matter to proceed.
"We have no objection, Your Worship," said defence counsel Camara. The application sought by the State was granted and a plea of not guilty was entered on behalf of the accused person. According to the particulars of offence on count one, the aforesaid person sometime in the month of October, 2013 at Immigration Headquarters within the Jurisdiction of the court, whilst being employed as the Director General of the Immigration Department acted in excess of the powers of his office and issued entry clearance to Ali Chacin, a Syrian national, and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without forwarding the same to the National Intelligence Agency office for further security screening thereby committed an offence.
The particulars of offence on count two alleged that Mr. Sanyang in the Month of October, 2013 at the Immigration Headquarters within the jurisdiction of the court while employed as the Director General of the Immigration Department issued entry clearance to Ali Chacin, a Syrian national and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without forwarding the same to the National Intelligence Agency office for further security screening thereby committed an offence.