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HomeGambia NewsGAMBIA: SUKUTA JABANG TRAFFIC LIGHT MURDER TRIAL: SECOND ACCUSED FILES BAIL APPLICATION

GAMBIA: SUKUTA JABANG TRAFFIC LIGHT MURDER TRIAL: SECOND ACCUSED FILES BAIL APPLICATION

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In the Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights murder trial before the High Court of the Gambia, Amie Bojang, the second accused, has requested bail until the case’s hearing and resolution.

Bojang faces charges under Section 202 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 10:01, Vol. III, Laws of the Gambia, for being an accessory after the fact to murder. She is charged with helping Ousainou Bojang, the first accused, avoid penalty for a supposed infraction at the Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights.

Counsel Lamin K. Mboge submitted Bojang’s bail application, which was bolstered by a 15-paragraph statement from Mariama Bah, a legal assistant at Mari Bantang Chambers. The motion calls into doubt Bojang’s eligibility for bail while the primary trial is ongoing.

Mboge said, “We contend that Amie Bojang, the applicant, is entitled to bail awaiting the main suit’s hearing and decision. My Lord, the Applicant’s right to liberty, like that of every other Gambian, is guaranteed under Section 19 of the Republic of the Gambia’s 1997 Constitution. Thus, everyone has the right to personal security and liberty, according to Section 19(1) of the Constitution. Nobody is allowed to be arbitrarily detained or arrested. No one may be deprived of their freedom unless the circumstances and the processes prescribed by law are met. This establishes bail as a basic right.

Attorney L.K. Mboge said that Amie Bojang’s main justification for being detained until the trial’s completion is to guarantee her attendance in court for the case’s eventual settlement.

Counsel L.K. Mboge stressed the discretionary aspect of granting bail under Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code, citing the precedent of Dokubo Asari v. FRN (2007) Vol. 152 LRCN 166 @125 ratio 10 and the High Court’s position in Ousman Badjie V. the State.

He made the point that the Court should wisely use its discretion and give Amie Bojang bail until the main matter is heard and resolved.

Amie Bojang has the presumption of innocence, according to Attorney L.K. Mboge, who cited Section 24(3)(a) of the 1997 Constitution, which states that an accused person is innocent unless and until proved guilty.

Furthermore, Amie Bojang’s status as an asthmatic patient with hypertension has been medically established, as noted by Counsel L.K. Mboge in the accompanying affidavit.

“My Lord, Ami Bojang, the applicant, is a mother of seven (seven) children and is unable to escape and abandon her children. She is deeply connected to the neighborhood via her family, and she has no desire to leave the area before the trial is over. While on bond, the applicant is not allowed to interact with any of the witnesses and is not permitted to tamper with the investigation, which is now complete.

“My Lord, in the event that bail is granted, the applicant (Amie Bojang) also has sureties who are prepared and able to adhere to reasonable requirements set out by the court. Counsel L.K. Mboge said that “the very fact that people are willing to volunteer to act as sureties is a demonstration that the Applicant has their full trust and confidence.”

The State Prosecutor filed a counter-affidavit in response to Amie Bojang’s bail request, pleading with the court to deny the motion. According to the prosecution, Section 19(1) of the Constitution clearly permits the loss of a person’s liberty when done so in compliance with established legal processes.

Furthermore, the prosecution argues that Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly states that an individual charged with a crime that carries a death or jail sentence is not eligible for bail.

“The applicant, Amy Bojang, is accused with accessory after the fact to murder, a crime carrying a life sentence in prison, under S. 202 of the Criminal Code. Consequently, the Prosecution argued, “It is evident from the combined effect of Section 19(1) of the Constitution, 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and 202 of the Criminal Code that the applicant is not entitled to bail. As a result, the Honorable Court is enjoined to hold the same and deny the application.

The case was postponed to November 20, 2023, at 10 am by Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of the Gambia for a decision on the motion.

Context of the Case

When Ousainou and Amie Bojang first appeared in front of Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on September 21, 2023, they were charged with crimes pertaining to the shooting incident at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights, which on September 12, 2023, claimed the lives of two PIU officers and seriously injured another.

At first, the accused was facing four accusations from the police: two counts of murder, one count of terrorism, and one count of accessory after the fact to murder. The murder trial was then moved to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court of The Gambia by Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang.

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

Six charges and one charge were filed by the State on October 19, 2023, against Ousainou Bojang, the main suspect in the killings of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, and his older sister, Amie Bojang.

Ousainou and Amie Bojang filed not guilty pleas to the charges on October 24, 2023. The state then introduced its first prosecution witness.

The case has been postponed to November 7, 2023, so that the hearing may continue and the first prosecution witness can be cross-examined.

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