By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)
Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court has remanded twenty-three (23) young people on charges of disorderly conduct and common nuisance.
The 23 accused persons were arraigned before the court by the Police. The accused persons were Alpha Dampha, Janka Sanyang, BabucarrSecka, Arfang Badjie, EbrimaCamara, WaSaidyba, Alieu Khan, MalickNyang, Muhammed Jobe, Pierre Jatta, Papa Khan, EbrimaJallow, Musa Sallah, EbrimaCamara, Lamin Manka, Macho Ceesay, BabucarrJallow, YerroSaidy, AbdoulieDibba, Musa Saidykhan, Alfa Omar Jallow, Sheikh Tijan Faye and Muhammed Touray. The prosecution alleged that in August 2023 at SerreKunda and diverse places in the Kanifing Municipality, while in a public place conducted themselves in a manner that causes a breach of the peace. All of the accused persons pleaded not guilty to both offences.
The police prosecutor, Assitant Superintendent Olimatou Bobb made the application seeking the court to remand the accused persons and deny them bail. She submitted that they have previous criminal records.
In her submission, she stated that while bail is a constitutional right, but it is not an absolute right because it rests entirely on the discretion of the court. She emphasised that considering the nature of the case cognisance of the prevalent crime rate in the country, granting the accused persons bail would compromise the safety of the people of the community (country).
She said the Gambia Police Force embarked on an operation to maintain public order through “Operation Clean the Street” and were able to apprehend the accused persons during that operation.
She urged the court to deny them bail, emphasising the necessity of ensuring the safety and freedom of movement for the country.
Each of the accused persons made plea for the court to grant them bail, citing contributions they make in maintaining their families as breadwinners.
Alpha Demba said his family will suffer if he is not granted bail, adding that his family has been restless since his arrest.
JonkoSanneh said he is responsible for supporting his single mother and siblings, including paying his younger brother’s school fees. He revealed that he is responsible for the payments of monthly house rent of his family in Busumbala.
Babucarr Secka, a businessman, appealed to the court to grant him bail, asserting that he was arrested at his workplace.
Arfang Badjie, an electrician, said from his daily earnings, he supports his family including his parents and take care of his needs. He explained that he was arrested on his way home after finishing work at 5 pm.
EbrimaCamara accused the police of arresting him while on his way home from work.
BuwaSaidy said he was arrested while on his way to work, maintaining his innocence that he has not committed any crime.
Alieu Khan explained that he was apprehended on his way home from work. He stated that his income is crucial for supporting his family.
MalickNyang stated that he was found at the Serekunda car park and picked up by the police.
Muhammad Jobe, a carpenter, said he is his family’s breadwinner.
All the accused persons made similar remarks. After listening to arguments made by both the police prosecutor and the accused persons, the Principal Magistrate adjourned the case to 17 August 2023 for ruling.