Kumba Sinyan during one of the court appearances.
By Landing Ceesay
State Counsel M. Sanyang has filed a preliminary objection requesting the court to dismiss Kumba Sinyan’s summon on notice, which seeks Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh’s recusal from the case.
Kumba Sinyan a young entrepreneur is charged with murder contrary to section 187 of Criminal Code Cap: 10:01 Revised Laws of the Gambia 2009.
Prosecutors alleged that the suspect on or about the 14th of September 2022 at The Friendship Hostel in Bakau, with malice aforethought, caused the death of one Lamarana Jallow by cutting his stomach with an object and thereby committed an offense punishable with death under section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.
On the 11th of May 2023, Kumba Sinyan filed a summon on notice for the presiding Judge Justice Jobarteh to recuse herself from the case.
In an affidavit sworn in by Kumba Sinyan, she alleged that Justice Jobarteh’s “attitude” has been “bad” towards her since the beginning of the case.
Kumba Sinyan claimed that Justice Jobarteh’s facial expressions and gestures have been intimidating towards her and her lawyer. Additionally, she alleged that Justice Jobarteh frequently interrupted her lawyer, particularly during cross-examination.
In response to Kumba Sinyan’s summon on notice, State Counsel M. Sanyang has filed a preliminary objection requesting the court to dismiss the notice. Counsel M. Sanyang contended that the application is “incompetent” and that the court lacks jurisdiction to consider it.
“The honourable court lacks the necessary jurisdiction to entertain the summons on notice dated the 11th of May 2023 as it is incompetent and it is an abuse of process having regards to the status of the law.
“Take further notice that the grounds of the objection are as follows: That the summons on notices dated 11th of May 2023 filed by the accused / appellant is noncompliance with the Rules of the court and therefore renders the said summons on notice incompetent and abuse of process and as such the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it; That it ought to strike out for want of jurisdiction and abuse of court process,” Counsel M. Sanyang argued.
Counsel S. Twum, representing the accused person Kumba Sinyan, raised an objection to the application filed by the state counsel.
However, Justice Jobarteh overruled the objection and instructed the state counsel to submit her brief of arguments regarding the application.
The State Counsel M. Sanyang notified the court that she would require a period of 5 days to submit her brief of argument.
Likewise, the Defense Counsel informed the court that she would need 5 days to prepare her response to the brief of argument that would be filed by the State Counsel.
Justice Jobarteh then adjourned the case to the 5th of June 2023 for continuation.