By Dawda Faye
State Counsel A.M. Yusuf on 2 April, 2019, told the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie that the state was taking over the case from the IGP involving Yankuba Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay, who were charged with conspiracy and interfering with witnesses.
Counsel Yusuf told the court that this was his first appearance, noting that as such, they would crave the indulgence of the court to adjourn the case for two weeks to study the case file to keep them abreast with the matter to be able to prosecute the case. He apologised for any inconvenience.
Defence Counsel Sissoho rose and stated that it was ASP Manga who was prosecuting the case, noting that having regarded the fact that this was a serious case, there should be a speedy trial. He argued that the application made by the state counsel for the case to be adjourned for two weeks was not reasonable. He submitted that they had to finish with the first prosecution witness, adding that the accused persons want to travel out of the jurisdiction.
Defence Counsel Lamin S. Camara stood up and told the court that they were vehemently opposing the application made by the state counsel to adjourn the case for two weeks, having regarded the fact that the court is a summary court. He argued that Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay voluntarily submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the court because she has confidence in the administration of justice. “She believes that she will be accorded a fair trial,” he told the court. He said that it was not reasonable to give two weeks’ adjournment.
He submitted that Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay has some consultation work to do, stating further that an adjournment would cause hardship on her.
In her ruling, Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie told the court that the state has taken over the case from the IGP, and that the first prosecution witness has already testified. She said that an adjournment was the discretion of the court, adding that adjourning the case for two weeks was not reasonable.
She told the court that the case would be adjourned for one week, and went on to say that the prosecution should bring their witness on the adjourned date. She subsequently adjourned the case to 10 April, 2019, for hearing.