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HomeBreaking NewsGAMBIA: A FORMAL INDICTMENT AGAINST OUSAINOU BOJANG HAS NOT YET BEEN FILED...

GAMBIA: A FORMAL INDICTMENT AGAINST OUSAINOU BOJANG HAS NOT YET BEEN FILED BY THE STATE PROSECUTION

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The formal indictment against Ousainou Bojang, the individual accused of committing the double murder of two police officers at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights on September 12, 2023, has not been presented by the State (prosecution) at this time.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the State has not yet put forward a formal accusation against Amie Bojang, who is known to be the elder sister of Ousainou Bojang.

In the course of the legal proceedings presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of The Gambia, Counsel AM Yusuf, who serves as the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), formally introduced himself as the legal representative of the State in the current case. Additionally, Counsel A. Gibba was also in attendance.
The prosecution told the court that the present case has been transferred from the Magistrates Court, and at now, there is no formal bill of indictment against the defendants before the court.

In addition, the prosecution apprised the court that they were provided with the case file by the police a mere day before.

Therefore, we respectfully request the permission of this esteemed court to thoroughly examine the case file and submit a formal submission prior to the proceedings. We respectfully request that the court grant us an adjournment for this issue until the 19th of the current month. DPP Yusuf informed the court that at that point in time, we would have submitted accurate facts to the court and thereafter commenced a formal hearing of the matter.
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh sought clarification from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the State’s intentions to provide a formal accusation, known as a bill of indictment, by October 19, 2023.

The DPP provided confirmation of their plan to submit the document on the designated date.

Subsequently, Justice Jaiteh inquired the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) about their level of readiness for a comprehensive trial.

The prosecution provided assurance to the court that they will be adequately prepared for a formal trial by October 26, 2023.

Nevertheless, Lamin J. Darboe, representing Ousainou Bojang, argued before the court that the proposed date of October 26th is not convenient for his client. Instead, he proposed alternative dates of October 23rd and 24th, 2023.
In his answer, Justice Jaiteh, a respected authority in the field, conveyed his inclination towards allocating certain days of the week, namely Mondays and Tuesdays, for the exclusive adjudication of criminal cases, while keeping the other days for the disposition of civil affairs.
During the course of Amie Bojang’s legal representation, Counsel Lamin K. Mboge expressed concern over the State’s prolonged period of time in submitting an official accusation, sometimes referred to as an indictment. The speaker placed emphasis on the fact that the delay in question not only represented a violation, but also a substantial infringement of the core principles of this court.

Moreover, Counsel LK Mboge apprised the court of an originating summons that was submitted during the vacation time, with the purpose of requesting bail for Amie Bojang. The individual said that the requisite legal papers had been sent to the state and sought the court’s authorization to continue with the issuance of the summons.

In response, Justice Jaiteh told Counsel LK Mboge that it would be prudent to treat the summons as a miscellaneous matter and prioritize settling the core problem before attending to the summons.
I am interested in proposing the concept of implementing a continuous trial. In several nations, the duration of investigations tends to be protracted, as opposed to the judicial proceedings. The witnesses consistently arrive and provide testimony. However, it is not feasible for us to continuously serve as witnesses for an extended period of time. This is the reason why I am inclined to provide them the opportunity to submit an indictment,” said Honorable Justice Jaiteh.

In light of the aforementioned, Counsel LK Mboge made a formal request to Hon. Justice Jaiteh to make an order, given the state’s expressed intention to provide an information prior to October 19, 2023.

It is essential that we get timely service in order to adequately prepare ourselves. The timely filing of this information should not exceed a 48-hour period. Despite the fact that this occurrence occurred about a month ago, the state has yet to submit an information. The reasons for their skepticism about the act of submitting an information remain unclear. What actions has the state undertaken in response to this tragedy, as of the present time? Counsel LK Mboge informed the court that a thorough investigation has been conducted and all the necessary evidence has been obtained.

In response to the heightened concern articulated by Counsel LK Mboge pertaining to the submission of the bill of indictment, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe said that the state had made a promise to file the indictment on October 19th, and he implored them to honor this pledge.

Counsel Lamin J. Darboe expressed his intention for the state to be well prepared on October 19th, when he would go the court to retrieve the bill of indictment on behalf of his client.
In light of the aforementioned comments, the Honorable Justice Jaiteh made a formal request to the legal representatives of Ousainou Bojang and Amie Bojang, urging them to provide him the opportunity to render a verdict on the state’s plea for an extension to submit the bill of indictment.

Upon being informed, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) requested a postponement, citing the reason that the state law office had just received the file one day before. Consequently, they asked an extension to allow for the filing of a bill of indictment by the 19th of October. The counsels involved in the case did not raise any objections to the requested application. Instead, they requested that the state demonstrate its commitment to submitting the bill of indictment by the specified date of October 19, 2023.

Given the prevailing circumstances, the requested delay is thus approved. The state is required to submit the bill of indictment no later than October 20, 2023, and the registrar is responsible for ensuring that the defense counsel receives the material. Subsequently, the case has been postponed to the 24th of October 2023 at 12 noon to facilitate the process of plea taking.

The contextual framework around the case

On September 21st, 2023, Ousainou and Amie Bojang made their initial appearance before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court. They were charged in relation to the shooting incident that occurred at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights, which led to the unfortunate fatalities of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers and caused severe harm to another individual.

The shooting event happened on the 12th of September in the year 2023.

The individuals in question are facing many accusations, namely two counts of murder as outlined in Section 187 of the Criminal Code. Additionally, they are being charged with engaging in acts of terrorism, which is in violation of Section 3(1)(c) of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Lastly, they are being charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder, as stipulated in Section 202 of the Criminal Code.
The murder trial was subsequently moved from the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court of the Gambia, under the jurisdiction of Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang.

The matter was brought before Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of the Gambia on October 12th, 2023.

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