By Mamadou Dem
Lawyers for businessman, Yusupha Bojang, yesterday, 26 April, urged the lower court in Banjul presided over by Magistrate Omar Jabang to acquit and discharge their client following the failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against him.
Sheriff Tambadou and Loubna Farage are also seeking for the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dalasi and sixteen million and five thousand Francs CFA to be returned to the accused person.
Prior to the prosecution’s declaration of the closure of case and the defence’s application for acquittal, Lamin Sanneh, a Police officer attached to the Fraud Squad Unit of the Gambia Police Force residing at Farato, testified as the sixth and final witness of the prosecution (PW6).
In his evidence in-chief, the witness told the court that on the 7th January, 2016 they received a case file together with the accused person and a cash amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dalasi and sixteen million and five thousand FCFA from a team of officers from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) through their Deputy Crime Management Coordinator (CMC).
“I was called with some of our men in other units within the Gambia Police Force (GPF) to investigate the directives that was brought by the NIA officers to our deputy CMC. During the course of our investigations, the accused or the suspect was cautioned and charged and witness statements were also obtained from the witnesses concerned,” testified the witness.
Mr. Sanneh further told the court that upon completing their investigations, a report was written.
Under cross examination, PW6 told the court that he does not know the exchange rates for both CFA Franc and Euros to the dalasi.
At this juncture, the defence attorneys for Mr. Saidy submitted that from the evidence of PW6 a prima facie case has not been made against the accused person. “I therefore urged your worship to acquit the accused person,” said Lawyer Tambadou.
He argued that none of the witnesses talked about the sum stated in the particulars of offence of the charge sheet, adding that no iron box containing dollars was mentioned in this case. He said PW3 testified that the accused paid some money in his office but he doesn’t know the reasons of paying the money.
“We therefore urged your worship to order a discharge and acquittal on the accused person as per section 166 of the Criminal Procedure Code and for the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dalasi and sixteen million and five thousand CFA be returned to the accused person,” submitted Lawyer Tambadou.
Police prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Almameh Manga argued that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the accused person. He said they are relying on section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) for the accused person to be ordered to enter his defence
“We finally submit that a prima facie case has been made out and the accused person should be ordered to enter his defence pursuant to section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” said the police prosecutor.
At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to Thursday 28th for ruling.