11 October 2018

Gambia: NIA 9 Case - Court Orders Accused Persons to Be Returned to Remand Wing

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court has ordered for the authorities at the Gambia Prison Services to return all the former senior intelligence chiefs of the NIA to the Remand Wing of Mile II Prisons.

This came about when Lawyer Christopher E. Mene, the lawyer for Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), told the court on Tuesday that, his client alongside other accused persons were moved from the Remand Wing and moved to dark cells at the solitary confinement at the Security Wing of Mile II Prisons.

The Court then summoned the Director General of Prisons to appear and explain the reasons for moving the accused persons to the Security Wing.

Appearing for the Director General of Prisons was Superintendent Momodou Lamin Ceesay who told the High Court that the director was indisposed.

Reacting to this, Justice Sillah-Camara told him that the summons was for the Director General to appear.

"The order was for the Director to appear and not you. You are not his counsel to represent or appear on his behalf," the court told Ceesay.

Ceesay indicated that a staff of the Prison Services had a funeral which the Director General attended and that was the reason why he was delegated to come and represent him before the court.

"I want him to appear personally to come to explain to the court the reasons why he moved the accused persons from the Remand Wing. I am not going to listen to you because he should have been here to explain. He could have delegated you to represent him at the funeral whilst he comes to the court. I am not convinced with your excuse so I am going to make my order now," the court told Ceesay.

The Court made an order that all the accused persons to be taken back to the Remand Wing and gave the Director General of Prisons another chance to appear.

"I am ordering with immediate effect that the accused persons be moved from the Security Wing and taken back to the Remand Wing. For the Director, I am giving him another chance of appearance. He should appear before the court on Tuesday 16 October, at 1 pm to explain to us why the accused persons were moved from the Remand Wing," Justice Sillah ordered.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General of NIA, Louis Gomez, the former Deputy Director General of NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng, the former Director of Operation, Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Mansireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

The nine are standing trial on numerous offences ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing serious bodily harm, murder and making false documents amongst others. However, they all denied any wrongdoing.

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