By Rohey Jadama
The Gambia Court of Appeal presided over by Justices A.O Adogoke, president, Awa Bah and Edrissa Fafa M’bai has ordered and given 30 days to both Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and 18 others and the State to file their respective briefs of arguments.
Lawyer Darboe alongside Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Baboucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Juguna Suso, Momodou L.K Sanneh, Yaya Jammeh and Masaneh Lalo Jawla are appealing against their conviction by the High Court presided over by Justice Eunice O. Dada who sentenced them to three years imprisonment.
Lawyers Antouman A.B Gaye, Amie N.D Bensouda, Omar M.M Njie, Rachel Y. Mendy, Ms. Neneh Cham, Musa O.S Batchily, Yassin Seneghore, Abdoulie Sissokho, Combeh Gaye and Ms. Anna Njie announced their representation for the appellants, while Lawyers A. M Yusuf and A. Mendy appeared for the state.
Delivering the ruling on the reasons why Darboe and Co were granted bail on Monday 5 December,2016 , Justice Adogoke said section 12(a) of the Court of Appeal Act states that the court may grant bail to an appellant pending the hearing and determination of the appeal. She said that the section is silent on the mode of bail so it is at the discretion of the court whether or not to grant bail.
She said in doing so special or exceptional circumstances must be given by the appellants. She said counsel for the appellants submitted that the appellants constitute an integral part of the coalition. She said this is a compelling reason to grant bail.
Justice Adogoke said bail is granted to the appellants in the following conditions. That the appellants submit their international passports to the court, and each of them must produce one Gambian Surety. She said the 1st appellant Mr. Darboe who is a lawyer in this jurisdiction is granted self-bail and he is to enter into a recognizance.
For her part Justices Awa Bah said the submissions of the counsel for the appellants is convincing enough because it is in the public interest for the appellants to be granted bail, denial of which is a threat to national security. Justice M’bai also made similar remarks and held that granting bail to the appellants is to ensure peace and stability in the country.
After the ruling of the court Lawyer Gaye told the court that there is a pending appeal before the court. He further informed the court that the records are ready. He applied for 30 days to enable him file their brief of argument.
State counsel Yusuf said they will also like to apply for 30 days. This prompted Barrister Gaye to apply for two weeks for their reply on points of law.
The panel of three judges unanimously ordered parties to file their respective briefs within 30 days and 1 day was given to each to effect service. 14 days was given to the appellants to reply on points of law and 1 day for service.
The case was subsequently, adjourned till 6 March, 2017 for adoption of briefs.