Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Magistrate tells lawyer she won’t entertain flimsy excuses for adjournment

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By Louise Jobe

Magistrate P. Sowe of the Brikama Magistrate’s Court has warned the Defence Counsel in the Farato land dealer’s case that she will not entertain flimsy excuses for adjournment.

Alhagie Jobe, a land dealer, is facing a single charge of assault causing grievous bodily harm. He is accused of assaulting one Momodou Kanteh, an employee of Manor Estate Company with the use of cutlass. The land dealer denied any wrong when the charge was read to him to take his plea.

When the case was called on Wednesday, 24th June 2020 for the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Momodou Kanteh, Defence Lawyer Ismaila Jobe sought for an adjournment. The reason put forward by the Defence Counsel was he couldn’t continue with the cross-examination of Kanteh because he does not understand the police statement of the witness.

Sub Inspector Kemo Y. Manneh objected to the application for adjournment by Lawyer Jobe as he submitted that the police statement of the witness was handed over to the Defence Counsel on the very day of the last adjournment date.

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Manneh urged the court to make order for the continuation of cross-examination, adding the witness is a very busy man.

Magistrate Sowe said adjournments are at the discretion of the court, but should be exercised judicially and judiciously.

“I concur with the prosecution that the ground for adjournment forwarded by counsel is not sufficient to grant an adjournment,” she held.

Magistrate Sowe told barrister Jobe that he had all the time needed to bring that to the attention of the prosecution, adding the reason put forward was flimsy.

Earlier, Counsel Jobe told the Court that an adjournment will accord the accused person fair hearing. On her part, Magistrate Sowe said fair hearing is not one-way traffic adding fair hearing is only fair if and when it is fair to both parties not only to the accused person but including the prosecution.

She granted the application for adjournment in the interest of substantial justice. However, she warned that the court won’t entertain flimsy excuses for adjournment anymore as she adjourned the matter to Thursday, 9th July 2020 at 11:30 am for the continuation of cross-examination.

Kanteh on the 15th June testified before the court that on the 1st June 2020, he went with his boss to a plot at their estate in Farato where the accused person found them. He said the accused person was claiming ownership of the plot.

He said while they were standing there, Jobe and his men began raining insults on them. He explained Jobe wanted to wound his boss on his head but he (the witness) came between them to protect his employer (boss).  He said he was wounded seriously on his shoulder and he was rushed to the Farato Police Station who escorted him to the Brikama Hospital where he got treatment.

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