Baitullah Junior Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to 5 Charges

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By Mariama Marong 

Omar Kujabi, alias Baitullah Junior, a well known social media commentator facing sedition and four (4) other criminal charges has on Monday, 13 March denied culpability by taking plea of not guilty.

Baitullah Junior is facing two charges of sedition, threatening violence, publication of false news, and internet related offenses.

Baitullah Junior is a resident of Kafuta and an arch support of former President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. The Quranic teacher is famous for his expressions over the social media criticizing the regime.

State Counsel N. Koita have provided the court with a written consent from Attorney General for the treason trial to commence in line with the provision of the law. Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe is representing Baitullah Junior.

Baitullah Junior acclaimed this name from one Omar Sanneh, alias Baitullah. Baitullah Omar Sanneh is on exile after he was arrested and prosecuted at the Brikama Magistrate’s Court for his expressions over the social media. He jumped bail hence living in Senegal. Both Baitullah’s are widely followed in the Gambia for their daily publications via WhatsApp.

 
Baitullah Junior was a member of the Gambia Armed Forces and after his discharged, he became a marabout. He was posted at the Farafenni Barracks as a cadet officer. He attended several training on weapons and mines in England from 2008 to 2010. After he was verbally dismissed from military service for lack of proper documents, Baitullah Junuior devoted his life in pursuit of Quranic knowledge and was also engaged in politicking for former President Yahya Jammeh.

According to the prosecution, Omar is a strong supporter of Former President Yahya Jammeh and he released WhatsApp audios around October 2022 after the death of the 69 children from AKI. In the first audio, the prosecution alleged that he was calling for people to come and to massively protest against the government if they fail to tackle the death of 69 children. Also, the prosecution alleged that Baitullah Junior threatened that President Barrow must step down to pave way for former President Jammeh to come back and assume office.


In his second audio, the prosecution alleged that he asked President Barrow to vacate office and went further to threaten police officers.
 

In his third and final audio, the prosecution alleged that Omar realized his mistake and apologized to President Barrow and his servicemen and to all Gambians.  He also vowed not to engage in any political dealings, but while at a naming ceremony in Sotokoi village on the 7th November 2022, he was arrested by the Anti-Crime Unit of the Gambia Police Force.

According to the particulars of the offences, the prosecution alleged that Omar Kujabi sometimes in September and October 2022, at Kafula Village and diverse places in West Coast Region of with seditions intention made several WhatsApp audios calling on the people to go out to the streets and march to the State House in order to unlawfully remove the government of President Adama Barrow.


Also, the prosecution alleged that Omar Kujabi sometimes September and October 2022 at Kafuta Village made WhatsApp audio calling for the unlawful removal of President Adama Barrow and which statement was meant to bring into hatred, contempt and to excite disaffection against the person of the President Adama Barrow. 

The prosecution alleged that Baitullah Junior also with intent to intimidate and annoy threatened to assault officers of the Police Intervention Unit who were send to arrest.

Furthermore, the prosecution alleged that Baitullah Junior did publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public and the release of WhatsApp audios calling for unlawful takeover of the government President Adama Barrow and the state.

The prosecution alleged that Baitullah Junior used WhatsApp audio, an internet platform to threaten to assault officers of the Police Intervention Unit for providing security to President Adama Barrow. The State wants to bring five witnesses in the case – Ebou Sowe, Ansumana Kujabi, Abdoulie Kujabi, Binta Bojang and Musa Jallow. Baitullah Junior said three of the listed witnesses the prosecution wants to call are his family members. He mentioned that Binta Bojang is his mother.

On hearing this, Justice Jaiteh asked Baitullah Junior whether he meant to say Binta Bojang is his aunt but the accused person (Baitullah Junior) is his mother

Justice Jaiteh asked the accused person whether said witness on list Binta Bojang is his Aunty or biological mother but Baitullah Junior answered saying ‘she is my biological mother.’

The matter was adjourned to 14 March 2023 for hearing. Baitullah Junior was on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 granted bail by the court.