By Yankuba Jallow
Accused Persons in the NIA 9 case have asked Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara to recuse herself from their case since they have lost confidence in her.
Sheikh Omar Jeng said: “We have lost confidence in you. Sheikh Omar Jeng told the Judge. We want you to recuse yourself from our case.”
They stood throughout the case in protest as they insisted that the Judge should recuse herself from the case.
Sheikh Omar Jeng alias Sir Jeng, who spoke on behalf of all the accused persons told the Judge that they have lost confidence in her and they want her to recuse herself from the case.
According to Sir Jeng, the reasons are based on the comments she made after they succeeded in three different cases at the Gambia Court of Appeal. The Defence succeeded in overturning three of her rulings at the Court of Appeal. Justice Kumba Sillah’s reaction to the rulings of the Court of Appeal was seen by the Defence as something not expected of a judge.
Lawyers for the Defence each stood up and made an application for their clients to be heard directly on the subject matter. However, the lead prosecutor Antouman A.B. Gaye objected to the application, saying the accused persons should speak through their counsels. In her ruling, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara held that they cannot speak to her directly in the presence of their counsels, who already announced their representation in the case.
After the ruling, the accused persons informed the Judge that they were not pleased with her ruling. Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara told them “You have lawyers and they know what to do.”
She adjourned the case to 19th April 2021 for the continuation of hearing.
This is a four year case involving former Director General of NIA Yankuba Badjie, Sheikh Omar Jeng, a former deputy director of operations, Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.
They were arrested and detained days after President Barrow was sworn-in as the President at the Independence Stadium. The prosecution has called 33 witnesses, who all testified in the case and closed their case. The case is now at defence stage. Two of the accused persons -Sheikh Omar Jeng and Baboucar Sallah- have testified in the case. Tamba Masireh is the one currently giving evidence.