By Yankuba Jallow
The General Court-Martial yesterday 4TH April 2018, held that General Oumpa Mendy and General Ansumana Jammeh, are still serving members of the Gambia Armed Forces.
The Court overruled the objection made by the Commissioned Officer defending the duo that his clients are no longer members of the Gambia Armed Forces and should therefore not be tried by a Court Martial.
When the case was called, Captain Suwaibou Jammeh announced his appearance for the duo.
Captain Jammeh in the previous sitting made an objection, that the accused persons should not take their plea because they are no more serving members of the Gambia Armed Forces; that GAF has regulations that ought to be abided by and that the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter. Captain Jammeh said the men he is defending are no more serving members of GAF because their uniforms were taken away from them and their salaries ceased when they left the country. He argued that if they took a plea, they are subjecting themselves to the jurisdiction of the Court and cited some authorities from the GAF Act and Regulations.
The Court overruled the objection basing its ruling on certain provisions of the GAF Act, such as Section 94 and 34. The Court held that there was no proof to show that the accused persons are not serving members of GAF; that administrative issues cannot oust the jurisdiction of the Court-Martial and relate the issue of salary as purely administrative.
The Court posed the question why the duo is not in uniform. Captain Jammeh replied that as far as the GAF Regulation is concerned, irrespective of the charges, the persons appearing in court should have appeared in uniform but the problem was the Army had seized their uniforms from them. He said the two accused persons were arrested and detained by the Army.
Upon hearing this, the President of the Court-Martial gave an order for the accused persons to be in uniform on the next adjourned date.
The case was adjourned to the 25th and 26th April, 2018 at 9am for them to object to the composition of the Court-Martial and for them to take their plea.