Thirty-eight Bakau residents arraigned
Thirty-eight Bakau residents were on the 5th December, 2022, arraigned before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court and charged on seven counts of conspiracy to commit felony contrary to Section 368 of the Criminal Code, preventing or obstructing the making of proclamation contrary to Section 75 of the Criminal Code, rioters injuring buildings and machinery contrary to Section 77 of the Criminal Code, threatening violence contrary to Section 84 of the Criminal Code, common nuisance contrary to Section 160 of the Criminal Code, idle and disorderly contrary to Section 166 of the Criminal Code and rioting after proclamation contrary to Section 74 of the Criminal Code.
Prosecutors alleged that on the 1st December, 2022, at Bakau, in the Kanifing Municipality within the jurisdiction of the honourable court, the accused persons conspired among themselves to commit felony to wit rioting.
It was also alleged that they forcibly prevented or obstructed the making of the proclamation and continued to take part in the riot or assembly.
The indictment stated that they, with intent to intimidate, insult or annoy the Police Intervention Officers, threatened to kill them if they failed to produce the suspect under custody to be killed.
It was further alleged that without excuse or lawful authority caused injury, danger and annoyance, causing inconvenience to the public by taking part in an illegal demonstration which posed danger, destruction to the Bakau Police and other properties.
They were alleged to have conducted themselves in disorderly manner in a public place likely to cause a breach of the peace by engaging in a riot.
Prosecutors also alleged that they engaged in a riot and failed to disperse after a proclamation was made.
Amadou Faye, Momodou Jallow, Amadou Jallow, Muhammed Jallow, Salihena Conteh, Sory Camara, Lamin Samura, Mustapha Sanneh, Musa Dampha, Lamin Jawo, Samba Jallow, Pa Lamin Janneh, Alieu Sainey Sanyang, Pa Modou Jatta, Lamin Jammeh, Muhammed Faal, Lamin Saho, Momodou Gassama, Alpha Camara, Lamin Sillah, Mass Suso, Omar Camara, Momodou Salieu Jallow, Baba Sarr, Ousman Ceesay, Ebrima Daffeh, Ebrima Mboob, Alieu Jallow, Mam Ngorr Ceesay, Malick Njie, Andala Ndow, Pa Ali Jammeh and Muhammed Davies denied the allegations.
When the case was mentioned, Commissioner A. Sanneh told the court that he was representing the IGP along with ASP Badjie, ASP Touray and ASP Oley Bobb.
He stated that he was objecting to the granting of bail to the accused persons, although the offences they were charged with are not capital offences. “It is the discretion of the court to grant bail to the accused. The offences are serious. We have the belief that if the accused are granted bail, they will interfere with our witnesses. They are more likely to commit the same offence,” he argued.
He asserted that they may abscond if granted bail. He went on to say that they strongly opposed bail of the accused because some suspects are on the run and the police are searching for them. “I urge the court to adjourn the case for 14 days and remand the accused under custody,” he told the court.
Musa Dampha, who spoke on behalf of the accused, objected to the application made by the prosecution. “We have families. It will not be good for us to be kept under custody. I beg the court to grant us bail. We will not abscond if we are granted bail. We will not interfere with the investigation of the police,” he said.
Ebrima Daffeh also told the court that he is a shopkeeper and the value of the goods in the shop is D40,000. He urged the court to grant them bail. Other accused persons made similar applications to the court to grant them bail.
At this juncture, Lawyer Hadijatou Jallow entered the courtroom and announced that she was representing the accused persons. She then asked the lead prosecutor to avail her with the charge sheet. This was done and she briefly went through it. She told the court that she was going to reply to the objection made by the prosecution for the court not to grant the accused persons bail.
“Police investigation is not a reason to deny bail to the accused. Prior to charge any person suspected to have committed a crime, the police should do their investigation, arrest the accused and then bring him to court. Power to grant bail is discretional. The court has the discretion to grant bail,” she stated.
The presiding magistrate then adjourned the case to the 13th December, 2022, to rule whether the accused will be granted bail or not.
Since the accused persons were escorted to the court by the PIU officers, they were driven back by the PIU to their headquarters.
Source: The Point