Gambia: Judge Threatens To Jail Journalists; As He Refuses To Grant Teranga FM MD’S Bail Application!


The trial judge presiding over the bail application of the Teranga FM Managing Director Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay, Justice Simeon  Ateh Abi has ruled that he has went through the court papers filed by Mr. Ceesay’s lawyer, but the judge said he is not convinced that the circumstances surrounding Ceesay’s detention has changed; hence he denied the radio anchor bail. The judge never entertained the defense’s submission that Ceesay’s health condition has deteriorated.

ABI 3“I carefully read the affidavit in support of the application and I do not support the change in circumstance as argued by the defence counsel. The application is hereby refused,” said Justice Abi in a terse court ruling on Monday.

“Apart from lapses of time, the applicant has said in paragraph 2 to 27 of the affidavit in support that his health has deteriorated so much so that he was admitted at the EFSTH and also put on medication,” Counsel Gaye-Coker argued in court.

Counsel Gaye-Coker also said they have exhibited to their affidavit in reply of the medications taken by the applicant issued by the Gambia Prison Services. They have also applied for the medical report from EFSTH also exhibited to the affidavit in reply, the court further heard.

“This is a very important fact and a very important change in circumstance. This factor was never an issue in the previous bail,” she told the court. But Justice Abi refused to entertain her arguments. He dismissed Ceesay’s bail application. 

ABI 1Meanwhile, Lawyer Gaye-Cooker has filed for a no to case to answer on behalf of her client. The state is expected to reply to her prayers in court in the form of an affidavit by Thursday, the court heard.

In another development, Justice Abi has threatened to deal with journalists, who are in the business of misquoting him. He paraded reporters before he delivered his ruling on Alhagie Ceesay’s bail application. The judge said there is an unnamed media house(s) who reported that he Justice Abi chooses not sit in court during the last adjourned date. The judge took offense of such reportage. He said it is not the media’s business to determine when he should sit or not sit in court.

The judge concluded by threatening to jail journalists, who misquote him. He noted that he doesn’t want to engage into a war with the press; hence he cautioned reporters present in court to exercise due diligence and responsibility in their reporting.

Alhagie Ceesay was subsequently remanded into custody. The trial resumes on February, 16, 2016, when the court is expected to hear Counsel Cooker’s submission of no case to answer.


Justice Abi and his family. 

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Justice Abi and his friends drinking beer.

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Madam Abi


Justice Abi

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