By Yankuba Jallow
Lawyer Ibrahim Jallow, attorney for Sheikh Omar Jeng, the former Director of Operations at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has told the Banjul High Court presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara that his client is hospitalized at the EFSTH since Friday.
“I visited my client, the third accused person, Sheikh Omar Jeng this morning (yesterday morning) and I also had a conversation with the Doctor in charge of him at the Edward Francis Smalls Teaching Hospital (EFSTH). He is suffering from pain and this happened during the period of this vacation,” he submitted.
Lawyer Jallow indicated that Jallow as well as the other accused persons were moved from the Remand Wing of Mile II and taken to places best known to the prison authorities.
“As a result of his confinement, my client has sustained serious injuries both internally and externally. We will wait for the medical report in order to present it to the court.
Sergeant Alfusainey Gibba from the Prisons Services told the Court that the accused person, Sheikh Omar Jeng is sick. He added that Sheikh Omar and others were moved from the Remand Wing because there was an incident that happened on the 3 September, 2018, were prisoners at the Remand Wing of Mile II kidnapped officers of the Prison Services and used the keys and opened doors for other prisoners to come out.
“As a result of this, we believed there was little bit of conspiracy and we moved them. We separated them and took some of the prisoners to the Security Wing at Mile II,” he explained.
He added that none of the prisoners was beaten.
On his part, Lawyer Christopher E. Mene for Yankuba Badjie, the first accused person, whilst addressing the court about the issue said: my client has instructed me that without any order from this court that he was taken from the Remand Wing and taken to the Security Wing.
“The Court order was that my client should be kept at the Remand Wing but he is currently kept at solitary confinement of the Security Wing since 4 September. He was put in cell alone for 22 hours,” he submitted.
Lawyer Mene argued that no person has the right to subject his client to such treatments because he (the client) has the right to be presumed innocent.
“He is not told what he has done and the law does not allow any person to be punished without any conviction by the court. My client is being punished in advance without conviction,” he submitted.
Lawyers S. Fatty for the 4th, 7th and 8th accused persons and Patrick Gomez for the 2nd accused person made similar comments.
Lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye for the State in his submission told the Court that accused persons were ordered to be kept under prison custody; each and every place (wing) in that Prison can be regarded as part of the prison.
“I submit with all due respect to my learned Counsels that the authorities in charge of the prisons are in control of the people there, whether you are in Remand or Security or any other wing. I am not questioning what have been submitted by the learned counsels for the defence but the court should summon the Director of Prison Services to come and explain why they were kept in those cells,” he concluded.
The Court made an order for the Director of Prisons Services to come today and explain to the court why the accused persons are kept in confinements.
The matter is coming today at 1 pm.