Magistrate Fines British National D25,000 for Assaulting 2 Custom Officers

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By Louise Jobe 

Ademeyi Olumuyina Awosanya, a British national, was on Thursday, 4 April convicted and sentenced on two criminal charges at the Brikama Magistrate’s Court

Awosanya allegedly hit two custom officers stationed at the Banjul International Airport on the 17th of March 2024 while they were on duties.

The accused person was charged with Prohibition of conduct conducive to the breach of the peace contrary to section 9 of the Public Order Act and Common Assault contrary to section 227 of the Criminal Code.

The prosecution alleged that Ademeyi Olumuyina Awosanya on the 17th of March 2024, at Banjul International Airport behaved in a disorderly manner using abusive and insulting words at the Airport which was likely to cause the breach of the peace. On the second charge, the prosecution alleged that the Accused Person on the same day and place unlawfully assaulted custom officers Abdou Dambelley and Jaiteh Kandeh by hitting them on their hands.

Sub-Inspector Ebou Ceesay appeared for the Inspector General of Police while the accused person appeared without a lawyer.

The charges were read to him in English and he pleaded guilty to both two counts.

Sub-Inspector Ceesay narrated the facts to the court. He said on the 17th of March 2024, the accused person arrived at the Banjul International Airport with his luggage. He added that Abdou Dambelley, a customs officer, was on duty and he used the measuring machines to measure the accused person’s luggage in a box. He explained that Mr. Awosanya’s box could not fit in the machine, so the customs officer had to bring it down because it could not fit. 

“The accused did not like that and hit the hand of the officer on duty and called him mother fucker,” the police prosecutor said.

Prosecutor Ceesay said the matter was reported to Inspector Buya Njie of the Airport Police Station.The accused was later invited to the Airport Police Station and his statement was taken from him. He added that the Accused Person was further cautioned and charges were preferred against him. 

Ademeyi Olumuyina Awosanya in his statement before the court said: “I was wrestled to the ground by Dambelly, and my jewelry was ripped off. He held my neck forcefully. I was not expecting to be treated that way.”

The Accused person however accepted the charges and pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

“I was on board the Aircraft for about 7 to 8 hours, and I was so tired. It was a misunderstanding between us, but nothing was held against them. It was never intended, but it was unfortunate. Besides, this is my first time in the Gambia on a holiday. I apologise to everyone, especially the police officers involved,” he said.

Magistrate F. Darboe Jagurage convicted and sentenced him accordingly. On the first court, she asked him to pay a fine of Twenty Thousand Dalasi (D20,000) in default to serve a 3-year jail term and on the second count, she fined him Five Thousand Dalasi (D5,000) in default to serve a 2-year imprisonment term.