16 May 2017

Gambia: Defence to File No-Case Submission in Prison Warders' Case

Lawyer P. Gomez, defence attorney of Ebrima B. Njie and Edrissa Manga, two prison warders battling allegation charges of aiding a prisoner to escape and negligence of official duties is expected to file a no-case to answer submission on behalf his clients before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie at the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

When the case was called for Ebrima Bah, a police officer attached at the Police Headquarters in Banjul to continue his testimony in the case, state prosecutor; B. Jaiteh applied for an adjournment on the grounds that Mr. Bah last his father so he could not be in court.

But attorney Gomez objected to the state prosecutor's application, saying that the matter has suffered series of adjournments on the side of the state. He said the witness; Mr. Bah was summoned to appear in court on 13th May, 2017, which he said the state failed to proceed because they were not ready.

Mr. Njie and Manga are alleged to have negligently permitted Abdoulie Ceesay, former managing director of Teranga FM radio to escape from their lawful custody while on duty on 19th April, 2016, at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul.

They are also alleged to have willfully neglected to perform their duty to wit, keep custody of Abdoulie Ceesay while on duty on 19th April, 2016, at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul.

Attorney Gomez submitted that the lives of his clients were at stake and the fundamental principle of the law is violated, which he argued is against the dictate of natural justice and principle and the unreasonable delay of the whole trial.

He submitted that Mr. Bah is a prosecution witness and the case has been severally adjourned because he had not been coming to court. He urged the court to foreclose the prosecution's case and allow defence to open their case.

But responding to Attorney Gomez's submission, state Prosecutor Jaiteh cited sections of the constitution, that he said gives the court the discretion to grant adjournment.

In her ruling, Magistrate Janneh-Njie granted one week to the defence to file their written no-case to answer submission and two weeks for the prosecution to respond to the submission and an addition three days for the defence to reply on points of law.

The case is adjourned to 8th June.

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