By Landing Ceesay
The High Court of the Gambia has ordered the State to file an indictment against accused Kumba Sinyan on or before 16th November 2022.
On the 19th of September, Kumba Sinyan, a businesswoman was arraigned before Principal Magistrate Jabang on a single charge of the “murder” of one Momodou Lamarana Jallow; contrary to 187, and punishable under Section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap: 10:01 Vol.III revised.
The 25-year-old business lady was arraigned before Principal Magistrate, Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court; but the case was transferred to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court, as the Magistrates’ Court lacks the powers to hear murder cases.
The transfer followed the Prosecution’s application for the case to be transferred to the Higher Court for want of jurisdiction and for the accused to be remanded until her appearance in the High Court.
When the matter was called last week for hearing, the State Counsel, Assis Saho sought adjournment saying, it’s a matter before the police and it’s from the Magistrates’ Court.
In today’s hearing, L. Jarju, Counsel for the State filed an application for the adjournment of the case, saying they received the case file from the Police less than 30 minutes, before the hearing of the case.
He told the court that they need to advise themselves on the matter before filing an indictment.
Counsel Jarju continued that given the circumstances, they are seeking an adjournment to enable them to do the needful, before the next adjournment.
In response to the State counsel’s application; representing the accused person, counsel Miss S. Twum objected to the adjournment application.
Counsel Twum told the Court that she was just briefed about the matter on Monday and that she hasn’t had the opportunity to go through the court records.
She however told the Court that it is her understanding that on the last adjourned date, Justice Jobarteh has urged the State to file an indictment today.
Counsel Twum argued that the matter is a “murder” case, saying “it is very serious and the accused was denied bail. So, it is important for the prosecution to move expeditiously for the hearing of this matter”.
The Counsel argued that the State had ample time to file an indictment, but they did not; and urged the Court to grant them (State) a deadline for an indictment to be filed and that if they fail to do, the accused (Kumba Sinyan) should be discharged until they put their house in order to proceed with the case.
Counsel Twum told the court that it is becoming a norm for the State to put accused persons behind bars, when they are not done with putting their house in order.
After hearing both parties, Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh, granted the State’s adjournment application and ordered them to file an indictment on, or before 16th November 2022; before adjourning the case to 16th November 2022 at 11:30.
Kumba Sinyan is accused of killing the 25-year-old Jallow by cutting his stomach with a razor blade at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau on 14th September 2022.
Details of the charge stated that the accused on, or about the 14th September 2022 at the Friendship Hotel in Bakau, in the Kanifing Municipality, in the Republic of the Gambia with malice aforethought, used a razor blade, and cut Momodou Lamarana Jallow, aged 25 years on his stomach causing his death, thereby committed an offence.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Gambia Police Force, Cadet Assistant Superintendent Binta Njie Jatta previously told Kerr Fatou that their investigation into the matter revealed that the suspect and the alleged victim were said to be in a relationship and that some “glitches” occurred in their relationship, which led to the suspected murder of the victim.