By Rohey Jadama
The Gambia Court of Appeal, comprising a panel of 3 judges and headed by Justice Edrissa Fafa M’bai, yesterday, 30 May, 2016 ordered both the prosecution and defence to file written briefs for adoption in the bail appeal of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and 19 others and subsequently adjourned the matter to 23 June.
The other appellants are Kemeseng Jammeh, femi Peters lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Yahya Bah, Baboucarr Camara Fakebba Colley,Ismaila Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Ismaila Ceesay, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Juguna Suso, Momodou L.K. Sanneh, Yaya Jammeh and Masaneh Lalo Jawla.
However, Fatoumatta Jawara, Nogoi Njie and Fatou Camara were also brought to court but their names were not called.
When the case was called, Lawyer Antouman Gaye, Amie Bensouda, Lawyer Njie, Borry S. Touray and Combeh Gaye Coker announced their representation for the appellants, while the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Hadi Saleh Barkun appeared for the state respondent.
At this stage, Lawyer Gaye, the lead defence lawyer, told the court that he wished to call upon lawyer Bensouda to address the court.
Addressing the court, Barrister Bensouda craved the indulgence of the court for the appellants to be seated during the proceedings which was granted by the court.
“The application before you is by way of motion seeking a consolidation of 20 appeals seeking for interlocutory orders in which the appeal, although several issues arise from the same charges and ruling and because they arise from the same ruling, we are seeking to consolidate all the 20 in order to expedite the appeal,” submitted Lawyer Bensouda.
She further told the court that she has consulted the DPP and has no objection to the consolidation of the appeal. “I pray that same be granted as conferred on Rule 35 of the rules of this court and make actions and orders as necessary,” she said.
Responding to the application, the DPP told the court that he does not intend to oppose the application for the consolidation.
“In light of the application and the fact that the State is not opposing, the application is hereby granted and the Registrar of the court is ordered to consolidate the records,” ruled Justice M’bai.
The court gave 3 days to the defence team to file their briefs, 7 days to the DPP to respond to the appellant’s briefs and 1 day was also given to the defence to reply on points of law.
The case was adjourned to 23 June, 2016 for adoption of briefs.
The appellants are challenging the ruling of Justice Ottaba of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul high court, who denied them bail on the 5 May, 2016.
It could be recalled that the appellants are facing 7 counts of ‘Unlawful assembly’, ‘Riots’, ‘Incitement of Violence ‘, ‘Riotously interfering with vehicles’, ‘Holding a possession without a permit’, ‘Disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession’ and ‘Conspiracy to commit felony’ and to which they all pleaded not guilty.