By Landing Ceesay
The Lawyer representing Bubacarr (Bob) Keita, Lamin S. Camara has asked the court to throw out State’s Affidavit in Opposition.
Lawyer Camara said the affidavit in opposition did not state the possibility of how to conduct a DNA test within a reasonable time; and it did not demonstrate why, how and where the DNA should be conducted saying, there is absolutely no affidavit in opposition before this court.
“This affidavit purportedly is sworn in for and on behalf of Bubacarr Keita by one Mariama Bah who works as a legal clerk at Attorney General Chambers. She did not indicate anywhere in the affidavit where she got the authority to swear in for and on behalf of Bob Keita. The affidavit is ineffective and I respectfully urge this court to throw it out in its entirety. It should be struck out in its entirety,” L. S. Camara told the court.
Bob Keita Lawyer said it is their submission that the court has the jurisdiction and power to Stay the execution of the 7th July ruling pending the determination of the hearing. He said the compelling reasons are in an affidavit in support of the application.
“We respectfully enjoin my lord to look at paragraphs 23, 24, 25, 26, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45,” he said.
The Senior Criminal Lawyer said there is a valid appeal against the order of 7th July 2022 as referred to in paragraph 22 of the affidavit in support of the application.
L.S Camara said, the said appeal contains 6 grounds before the Court of Appeal of the Gambia; and all the grounds contain substantial questions of law.
Camara further told the Court that the DNA constitutes part of the prosecution evidence and it is very clear that the State (respondent) is investigating after one year and nine months.
“After 32 months, that’s the time the State knows that DNA is essential to the determination of this case. The police investigation was on the 11th of November 2019. This is good 32 months when the state knows that DNA is essential and they did not conduct it,” he said.
L. S Camara submitted that in the Criminal Justice System, everything should start with the investigation before the arrest, charge and remand.
“You don’t arrest, charge, remand and investigate,” he said.
He further said it is therefore their submission that the affidavit in support of the application, as well as the affidavit in reply, furnish the court with compelling reasons why the 7th of July order of DNA should be set aside.
“I respectfully pray that this honourable court grant prayers one and two of the motion (application) and set aside the 7th July ruling,” he said
L.S. told the court that it is in the interest of Justice having regard to the circumstances of the case and the application is not in any way meant to waste the court’s time. “But it is meant to facilitate the expeditious process of this case.”
“If anything is to delay and waste the court’s time is the so-called affidavit in opposition, which is sworn in without the authority of the person it is alleged to be representing. We respectfully enjoined my lord to grant prayers 1 and 2 in the motion,” Lawyer L. S Camara told the court.
Bob Keita, is currently facing single charge of rape after being accused of raping his ex-wife’s younger sister who was said to be a minor at the time and resulted to pregnancy.
The case has been going on at the High Court of the Gambia for more than 2 years now.
In May 2022, the State Prosecutors filed a Notice of Motion for the High Court to grant an order for a DNA test between Bob Keita (Accused Person) and the Child of his alleged victim.
On the 7 of July 2022, Justice Momodou S.M. Jallow gave an order for the DNA test to be conducted and the blood samples of Bob Keita, the child of his alleged victim and the alleged victim’s boyfriend be taken.
The State Prosecutor, Kimbeng Tah, told the Court that the child was in Coma at a private clinic in Dakar, Senegal.
On the 10 of Jul 2022, news emerged on social media that the child passed away on Friday 8 July, 2022.
On 13 of July, State Prosecutor Kimbeng Tah, confirmed the death of the child to the court; but informed the court that the blood samples of the child were taken before his demise in Dakar.
On the same day, despite his lawyer questioning the credibility and transparency of the blood samples allegedly taken from the child before his death, Justice Momodou S.M. Jallow ordered for Bob Keita to be transported to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) for his blood samples to be taken. And it was reported that his blood samples were taken together with his alleged victim’s boyfriend.
On the 18 of July 2022, Bob Keita’s Lawyer Lamin S. Camara filed a Notice of Motion for staying the execution of the order of the 7th of July 2022, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal to the court of the Appeal of the Gambia.
Lawyer L.S Camara wants the Court to make an order setting aside the ruling of the court of the 7th of July 2022 for want of compliance by the respondent.
The case is adjourned to Wednesday for the ruling on the motion and continuation.