Court Releases 10 Youth in Manduar Forest Case on Bail

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By Louise Jobe

Principal Magistrate Anna O. Mendy of Brikama Magistrate’s Court has on Tuesday granted bail to the Chairperson of the Manduar Village Community Development and nine (9) others.

She had earlier remanded them on the last adjourned date, which was on the 8th of April. She sent them to Mile 2 where they were detained.

The accused persons were Babucarr Sowe, ⁠Lamin Makalo, Musa M. Jallow, Habib Bojang, Samba Jaiteh, Pa Malick Jobe, Ousman Sowe, ⁠Alhagie Bah, ⁠Muhammad Sanneh and Sambujang Conteh. Four (4) of the accused persons are from Marakissa while the remaining six (6) are from Manduar.

Stare Counsel E.R. Dungan appeared for the Inspector General of Police (IGP) while Lawyer Solomon A.C. Jatta representing Senior Lawyer Bory S. Touray appeared for the ten (10) accused persons.

State Counsel Dungan in her submission informed the court that the Attorney General’s Chambers have taken over the case.

Lawyer Jatta told the Court that they have filled a motion on the 15th of April 2024 requesting bail for the ten accused persons. He submitted that the charges were all bailable, adding that the accused persons would not abscond if granted bail. The application for bail was not opposed by the State.

Magistrate Mendy granted the application for bail. She ordered each of them to provide two (2) Gambian sureties, who would swear to an affidavit of means to pay Two Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D200,000). She further asked all of the accused persons to surrender their relevant documents including their travelling documents.  

They were charged with two criminal offences. Count one was disobedience of lawful orders contrary to section 116 of the Criminal Code and count two was prohibition of conduct conducive to the breach of the peace contrary to section 14 of the Public Order Act.

On count 1, the police alleged that the 10 accused persons on the 6th of April 2024 at Manduar Village, Kombo Central District, West Coast Region deliberately disobeyed the order of West Coast Police Commissioner, Kalilu Njie, who passed an order for maintenance of peace by restraining individuals from interfering in the conflict area of the land situated at Manduar Village. 

On count 2, the prosecution alleged that the 10 accused persons while in a public place used insulting and abusive language against each other which resulted to commotion.

The case was adjourned to Thursday, 18th of April 2024 for hearing.