2015 IN BRIEF
High Profile Cases
We have been publishing a summary of the stories that we published in 2015. So far we have covered disappearance without trace and detention without trial (whether the detainee has been released or not). We now summarise Foroyaa stories on high profile cases in 2015. Some of the cases have been concluded or withdrawn but others are still on; some of the convicts are still in prison while others have been pardoned.
Lt. Col. Solo Bojang Subjected To Court Martial
Foroyaa was been informed that Lieutenant Colonel Solo Bojang, a former commander of the State Guards stationed at President Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai and also the former farm manager of Kanilai Family Farm (KFF), was dragged to a court martial on Monday, 3rd August, 2015 to answer to charge(s) preferred against him.
He has been jailed for one year in prison by the court martial at the Fajara Barracks annex in Bakau on 27 August 2015, according to a family source.
The source said Bojang was escorted out of the room immediately after the passing of the sentence and the family was not allowed to talk to him as he was taken back to prison.
The charges are not known to the public and the media was not allowed to cover the proceedings.
The erstwhile senior military officer was earlier arraigned before the Brikama Magistrates’ Court on 12 May 2014 and charged with three counts of ‘Abuse of office’, ‘Conspiracy’, ‘Theft’ and ‘False information’. He was acquitted and discharged on all but one charge i.e. the False Information and of which he was convicted and fined D50, 000. The family told this medium that the fine was immediately paid.
However, he was rearrested while leaving the Brikama court room by the operatives of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) who accompanied him to the court.
Lt. Col. Bojang, according to his family, was detained at the NIA detention centre in Tanji, Kombo South before being transferred to Mile 2 prison.
Court Acquits and Discharges Caliph
Sheikh Muhideen Hydara and Buyeh Touray, the Caliph General and former Alkalo of Darsilameh Sangajor in Foni respectively, were acquitted and discharged on the two counts preferred against them by the Brikama Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 27 May, 2015.
Delivering the verdict on the trial that lasted for more than nine months in a crowded courtroom, Magistrate Ebrima Jaiteh said “no reasonable tribunal can secure conviction.”
Maka Alkalo fined D6000 for using disputed land
The Alkalo of Maka Village was fined a total sum of D6000 for two offences related to land in his village by the Lower Nuimi District Tribunal in Essau on Thursday 11 June 2015.
He was fined D5000 for using Maka village land and obstructing livestock from using it as pathway and another D1000 for pulling down 2 pillars that were erected by the VDC. The complainants claim that the land was designated as pathway for livestock but the defendant Alkalo claim that the land is his property. He also denied that he pulled down two of the erected pillars. The findings of the tribunal is that he pulled down the pillars and the land was designated as pathway for livestock. The Alkalo expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision of the tribunal and the manner the case was conducted and indicated his intention to appeal.
Veronic Carayol ordered to pay a fine or risk jail
Veronic Carayol, the erstwhile Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement at The Gambia Revenue Authority was ordered to pay a fine amounting to D90,000 on the charges she was found guilty by the court or risk going to jail.
Ms Carayol was relieved of her position since last September, 2014 as the deputy commissioner of enforcement at The Gambia Revenue Authority and had since been on trial on false information, abuse of office, unlawful publication and corrupt practice, charges she denied.
It would be recalled that Ms Carayol was earlier arraigned on September 23, 2014 before the said court charged with the above charges and was granted bail in the sum of a million dalasis with two Gambian sureties.
Court Dismisses Amadou Sanneh’s Appeal
The Gambia Court of Appeal, comprising a panel of 3 judges headed by Justice Edrissa Fafa Mbai, has unanimously dismissed the appeal case of Mr. Amadou Sanneh, the National Treasurer of the United Democratic Party (UDP), on 30 July, 2015.
When the case was called, Justice Mbai said the appeal of Mr. Sanneh is unanimously dismissed and the reasons will be given later on the 15th October, 2015.
Mr. Sanneh is challenging the conviction of Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High to serve five years for sedition related charges and five years for conspiracy both of which are to run concurrently.
He was sentenced on the 18 December 2013 in a trial which lasted for three months.