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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Anti-Drug Agents Caged

See Below.... 

Briton murder trial moved to special criminal court 

Camara urges court to struck out ‘suspected homo trial’ 

The Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul on May 16, 2012, convicted and sentenced to prison four senior officials of the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA).

Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, former Executive Director NDEA, his deputy, Karamo Bojang, the Finance Director, Ousman Sanneh, and Seedou Bojang, were handed various prison terms by Justice Emmanuel Nkea. Marie Sanneh, was however, sentenced to a fine.

They had earlier pleaded not guilty to 30 charges, including conspiracy to commit felony; abuse of office; official corruption; stealing; aiding and abetting; and economic crimes. The offences were alleged to have been committed between January 2005 and April 2010.

On Wednesday, the Judge, Emmanuel Nkea expunged count 14 and 15, which he regarded as “superfluous and bloated”. However, he said in his judgement that there were copious and compelling evidence against the accused persons during the cause of the trial. 

Before the sentencing, the defence counsel Kebba Sanyang, pleaded to the court not to hand his clients a custodial sentence. He said they are family men and have served the country for a long time.

Having considered the circumstances surrounding the case, the ages of the convicts, the mitigating factor of the 4th convict (Marie Sanneh) who is the sole care giver to her four kids and a 70-year-old father, and having listened to the touching plea for leniency moved by the respective defence counsels, Judge Nkea said, these are “strong reasons for him to temper justice with mercy.”

Although various sections of the law impose a maximum imprisonment of 10 years for various offences committed, I found it fit and proper to sentence the convicts accordingly, he added.

He sentenced Ibrahim Bun Sanneh (1st convict) to two-years imprisonment on count eleven, two-years on count 19, two-years on count five, five-years on count 16, five-years on count 17, five-years on count 18, and five-years on count two.

He also sentenced Karamo Bojang ( 2nd convict) to eight-years imprisonment on count two, eight-years on count four, eight-years on count six, eight-years on count nine, eight-years on count 12, eight-years on 25 and eight-years on count 16.

Ousman Bojang (3rd convict) was handed a prison term of eight-years on count six and eight-years on count 22.

The 4th convict, Marie Sanneh, was sentenced to a fine of D100,000 on each of the three count she was found guilty; count three, count 21 and 28, in default to serve five years imprisonment on each counts. 
Seedou Bojang, the 5th convict was also sentenced to two-years on count 29 and 30, five-years on counts 16, 17, 18, and 19.

 Justice Emmanuel Nkea, presiding, said all sentences should run simultaneously. The prosecution has called 17 witnesses to prove their case in the two-year trial. Wednesday’s sentencing attracted hundreds of members of the public, including family members and relatives of the convicts.

Briton murder trial moved to special criminal court

Principal Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally, presiding, on 16th May, 2012 referred the trial of three Nigerians accused of killing Ian Stake, a British,  to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul.

Micheal Ifuna Churubiken, Ogbaeye Ugochukwu and Collin Chijioke were charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, murder and robbery with violence when they appeared at the Kanifing District Magistyrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The 1st accused person, Micheal Ifuna Churubiken has already pleaded not guilty to all four charges, but his co-accused, Ogbaeye Ugochukwu and Collin Chijioke choose not to take their plea because they are not represented by a defence counsel.

Particulars of offence on count one stated that Micheal Ifuna Churubiken, Ogbaeye Ugochukwu and Collin Chijioke on or about 13th May 2012 at Bakoteh Junction in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of the Gambia, jointly conspired among themselves to commit felony and murdering Ian Stakes a British national thereby committed an offence.

Count two states that Micheal Ifuna Churubiken, Ogbaeye Ugochukwu and Collin Chijioke on or about 13th May 2012 at Bakoteh Junction in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of the Gambia, jointly kidnapped or wrongfully confined Ian Stakes in his house with intent to cause danger to him.

Ccount three indicated that Micheal Ifuna Churubiken, Ogbaeye Ugochukwu and Collin Chijioke on or about 13th May 2012 at Bakoteh Junction in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of the Gambia, they murder or caused the death of Ian Stakes by stabbing him all over his body, thereby committed an offence.

And count four Micheal Ifuna Churubiken, Ogbaeye Ugochukwu and Collin Chijioke on or about 13th May 2012 at Bakoteh Junction in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of the Gambia, that they jointly robbed Ian Stakes of his mobile phone, mark and value unknown and immediately before taking the said mobile phone, they used violent action by stabbing him all over his body with knife, thereby committed an offence.

Camara urges court to strike out ‘suspected homo trial’  

The counsel for a group of young Gambians accused of indecent sexual behavior and belonging to a sexual minority, on Tuesday urged the Kanifing District Magistrates’ Court to throw-out the trial if the state cannot come up with accurate evidence to prove their case.

When the case was called on May 22, 2012, 1718 Kinteh, who is co-prosecuting the accused with 3560 Colley, applied for an adjournment, but Counsel Camara objected to his application on grounds that the case file was with the Anthony General Chambers for legal advice.

Contradictorily, Kinteh said when the AG Chambers was contacted; the office said they have return the case file back to the Police. However, he said: “As I am talking to the Court, we did not have access to the case file, so I hereby apply for an adjournment to have access to the file, and familiarise ourselves with the case.” 

The prosecution’s stance compelled the counsel of 12 of the 20 accused persons, lawyer Lamin S. Camara to urge the court to throw out the case, hence the State cannot come up with accurate evidence against his clients.

“I am speechless”, Camara told a full court gallery, arguing that there is no level grounded base for an adjournment. It is incumbent upon the State to come up with clear issues to grant the accused young men and women their fate, he added.

Camara admits that it is the right of the prosecution to apply for an adjournment, but bemoan the fact that this is the second time the case is being adjourned following applications by the prosecution.

“Justice delayed is justice denied”, he further argues. “It is a fundamental human and constitutional right of every citizen of this country to be given a free, fair, and moreover, a speedy trial,” he said. “It is the fundamental human right of the accused persons to know their fate and for their families to be free of fear and suspense.” 

18 young men and 2 young women are standing trial on two charges of “attempt to commit unnatural offence” and “Conspiracy”. They are Alieu Sarr, Kebba Ceesay, Abdoulie Bojang, Amadou Jallow, Ogika Amenechi, Amidou Nyang, Ousman Gomez, Sainey Fatty, Lamin Konateh, Lamin Sarr, Buba Banda, Ebrima Jallow, Lamin Saho, Abdoulie Cham, Lamin Jaiteh, Ousman Dibba, Abdoulie Saidy, Muhammad Manneh, Foity Jobe and Awa Touray. They have since taken a not-guilty plea and were granted bail at the beginning of the trial. 

Gambian police pressed charges to the accused persons last month following their arrest, they first appeared in court on April 23, 2012. On Tuesday, Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally, presiding, adjourned the case till June 14, 2012.

Source: The Voice Newspaper

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