By Landing Ceesay
The lawyer representing Sainabou Mbye and 2 others, Mrs. Sagar Cecilia Thomas has insisted that her clients are not accused of ‘any crime.’
Ex-wife of remanded Bob Keita Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye and Kibili Dambelly, are charged with manslaughter contrary to section 186 of Criminal Code Cap: 10.01 Vol.III, Laws of the Gambia 2009.
The particulars of the offence stated that Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye and Kibili Dambelly, on or about the 3rd day of July 2022, at Kanifing and diverse places in the Republic of the Gambia, by unlawful act or omission, amounting to culpable negligence, left one Muhammad Mbye, a two-year-old boy resident of Brusubi inside a car which caused his death, thereby committed an offence.
In the Friday hearing of the case before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court, Mrs. Sagar said the charges against the trio have expired, since the case is before the High Court, not the Magistrates Court.
Defence Counsel Sagar said the prosecution filed no indictment against her clients and that they are not accused of ‘any crime.’
Defence Counsel: “I am appearing for the applicants.”
Justice Jaiteh: “No, just say the accused persons. We have two processes here.”
Defence Counsel: “I would not agree with that. We do not have any accused persons standing before this court.”
Justice Jaiteh: “It’s okay. We have a transferred file, and you have (defence) made an application. You understand, that’s why we are dealing with first, the transferred file.”
Defence Counsel: “My lord, if I would be allowed to speak.”
Justice Jaiteh: “It’s okay. Let us not waste our time on this. We have to proceed.”
Defence Counsel: “My lord, in the first instance, I will like to raise an objection to the calling of this case, which ‘the IGP Vs the accused persons’ as alleged. Because they are not accused persons and there is no case for the IGP here as you can see. It is the State that has appeared, and as my lord has said, it has been transferred to the High Court.”
The defence counsel continued that the jurisdiction of the High Court has been invoked under section 175 of the Criminal Procedure Code and therefore, there are no charges that are subsisting from the Magistrates Court.
She stated that the remand order that the Magistrate issued has expired already, and they are here before the High Court.
“As far as we are aware, we didn’t receive any indictment and charges against the accused persons. So therefore, I maintain my objection for the announcement of this case as ‘the IGP Vs the accused persons’,” she told the court.
“So, what are you suggesting?”Justice Jaiteh asked the defence counsel.
“I am suggesting that they (the accused) are simple applicants before this court. Because of the fact that, there are no charges against them . We cannot call them ‘accused persons’. They are not accused of any crime and that’s why we are filling an application and it is illegal to call them ‘accused persons’,” Defence Counsel replied to Justice Jaiteh’s question.
The defence told the court that she doesn’t think Justice Jaiteh has the power to remand Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye and Kibili Dambelly any longer in Mile 2 prison.
We would bring the State and Justice Jaiteh’s responses to the defence’s submission in our subsequent publications.