Magistrate Remands 10 Defendants in Manduar Forest Saga

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By Louise Jobe

Principal Magistrate Anna O. Mendy of Brikama Magistrate’s Court has remanded the Chairperson of the Manduar Village Community Development and nine (9) others. They were detained by personnel of the Brikama Madina Police Post on Sunday, 7 April and arraigned before the court on Monday, 8 April on allegations of encroaching into the forest. 

The accused persons are 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 six (6) are from Manduar.

Assistant Superintendent Buteh Sawaneh appeared for the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The ten (10) accused persons were without a lawyer.

They were charged with two criminal offences. Count one was disobedience of lawful orders contrary to section 116 of the Criminal Code while 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.

Police prosecutor ASP Sawaneh asked the court not to grant them bail because of their safety and to maintain peace in the area. He expressed fear that if they are released on bail, the problem may escalate.

Principal Magistrate Anna O. Mendy granted the police request and detained the accused persons. She ordered that they should be detained at Mile 2. The case was adjourned to 18th April 2024.

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