Gambia: The State Vs. Ousainou Darboe And 19 Others


Monday the 13th day of June 2016 at 12 noon

Court Registrar Called the case.

All accused persons are present.



No appearance is entered for the accused persons.

DPP – the matter is slated for hearing, subject to your convenience we are ready. May I call Mr. Sanyang.

At the last sitting there was an issue – I am trying to see whether we could regularize the situation in the last sitting. It did not come to my mind about the interpreter, some of the accused persons are illiterate. My application is that the testimony of PW1 be read to the accused persons and interpreted to the accused. That is my humble application.


Pursuant to section 123 of CPC, the application to read the record and interpret the testimony of PW1 is granted.

PW1 – Mr. Musa Sanyang – enters the witness box.

The languages for interpretation are Mandinka, Fula and Wolof.

Court – directs clerk to enquire from the accused person as to who among the accused persons can speak either Mandinka, Fula or Wolof.

None of the accuse persons responds.

Court – the learned DPP what we have here is a Mandinka and Fula interpreter, none of them can speak Wolof.

DPP – they have gone to search for someone who can speak Wolof, if the man is here we can proceed.

Court – so we can have a stand down for the Wolof interpreter.

Court Resumes from Stand down (approximately after 20 minutes).

Court – Yes learned DPP.

DPP – We have got an interpreter who understand seventeen different languages, he is here.

Court – Interpreter, what is your name.

Interpreter – my name is Doudou Manneh. I will interprete in Mandinka and Wolof.

Court – Who will do for Fula?

DPP – This Lady here, my Lord.

Court – Doudou Manneh will interpret in Mandinka and Wolof.

DPP – My Lord the testimony of PW1 be read over to the various accused persons and then be interpreted in Mandinka, Wolof and Fula languages.

Court reads the testimony of PW1:- The testimony of PW1 is read in English language and then interpreted in Mandinka, Wolof and Fula Language.

Court – “This is Musa Sanyang, he lives at Farato, he is a Police officer attached to the PIU headquarters in Kanifing. His designation is officer commanding Police Intervention Unit. The role of the PIU are many. One of them is to prevent disorder and to conduct patrol duties and to guide public officers. Their duty is also to escort accused persons to court. The officer was asked if he recognized the accused persons, he answered that, he recognized them. That, he particularly recognized the 1st accused person – Ousainou Darboe. He was asked if he knows why the accused are brought to court, he answered that he knows. He was asked if he can remember what happened on the 16th April, 2016, he answered in the affirmative. That they got intelligence report that there were people at Kairaba Avenue and that the people were preparing to make a protest march. That a riot team of police officers was deployed to Kairaba police station. That he was among the team who were deployed. The team was to monitor the situation at Kairaba. That they proceeded to kairaba police station on standby. That they got information that the people have moved on the road towards Westfield. That he and the team of Police officers followed the accused persons along Kairaba Avenue along the Comium Headquarters. That at that stage the road was blocked. They had to take another road which took them about 200 meters to get ahead of them. All the police officers then queued and formed a unit with their shields. As the accused where coming, they were asked, if they have permit to protest. That PW1 asked them using Public addressing system – loudspeaker. The accused persons failed to produce any permit. PW1 used loudspeaker for the proclamations. The proclamations are: “In the name of the President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, I ask you to disperse and go for your lawful businesses ….any person who refuses to disperse, they will be made to disperse by force.” That the protesters continued to protest. That the protesters started to throw stones at them. That they responded and used minimum force to disperse the protesters using tear gas. That after using tear gas some of the protesters ran away. Despite the fact that some of the protesters ran away, we were able to make some arrest. That the accused persons were the ones arrested. That the peace and order was at stake that is why they were arrested. That, people were running, shop keepers were closing their shops. That people whose shops have glass doors and car glasses were broken. That, it was the result of stones thrown by the protesters. That, during the protests some of the Police Officers sustained injuries and their guard shields were broken. That after arresting the accused person, they were taken to Kanifing Police Station. PW1 was asked, how the protesters were marching. He says that they were in line formed with their hands tied together. He was asked, how many were the protesters? He said they were many. That was all the evidence that PW1 gave.”

Court – Having gone through the process – the question is whether the accused persons want to asked any question or they want to wait for their lawyers.

NO response from the accused persons.

Court Registrar called accused person’s names one after the other.

Ousainou Darboe – I have stated my position on the 9th and I wish to reiterate that these proceedings are conducted in a way to accelerate my pre-determined conviction. The interpretation of Section 123 of the Criminal Procedure Code is such that my rights and the rights of my fellow accused persons are persistently denied.

Court – Judge interfered – this is not the time to make argument. Do you have questions?

Ousainou Darboe – I have been asked to …

Court Registrar – continues to call next accused person name:

  1. Jammeh – No Response
  2. Peters – No Response
  3. Dibba – No response
  4. Jatta – No Response
  5. Bah – No Response
  6. Camara – No Response
  7. Colley – No Response
  8. Ceesay – No Response
  9. Kinteh – No Response
  10. Manneh – No Response
  11. Kuyateh – No Response
  12. Darboe – No Response
  13. Njie – No Response
  14. Suso – No Response
  15. Jammeh – No Response
  16. Jawla – No Response

Court – Learned DPP the responses of the accused persons has been noted. The 2 to 20 accused persons have been put in the records to be silent.

DPP – We apply for the witness to be discharged.

Court – PW1 is hereby discharged.

DPP – May I call Ebrima Camara – PW2.

DPP asked questions:

Q – What is your name?

Ans – My name is Ebrima Camara

Q –  Where do u live?

Ans – I live at Talinding.

Q – What is your status?

Ans – Police officer

Q – What is your rank?

Ans – Chief Inspector

Q – Where are you attached /

Ans – Am attached at the PIU headquarters at Kanifing.

Q – Where were u attached as at the 16th April 2016.

Ans – At PIU headquarters, Kanifing.

Q – Do you know Musa Sanyang – PW1?

Ans – Yes I know Musa Sanyang.

Q – Who is Musa Sanyang?

Ans – Musa Sanyang is superintendent of Police at the PIU Kanifing.

Q – Do you know the accused persons?

Ans – I recognize some of them.

Q – Reflect your mind to the 16th April 2016 as to what happened with the accused persons.

Ans – On Saturday the 16th April 2016, within the hours of 11 and 12 noon, we were briefed to patrol along the Kairaba Avenue. The Police officers were led by Musa Sanyang. On our way to Kairaba Avenue, we saw a group of people. We proceeded to Kairaba station. We were there when our leader (Musa Sanyang) asked us to climb the vehicle because there were people who were protesting we got information that they have start moving on foot toward Westfield.

Q – What happened?

Ans – We went to were the protesters were marching. When we arrived there, many shops were closed and there was traffic blockage. We managed to find our way to the front of the demonstrators. After few meters we came down from the truck and formed a lineup. The team leader – Musa Sanyang requested for the permit, of which they did not produce. He later made the proclamation. In that chaotic situation, the demonstrators proceed to protest.  Stones started coming from the crowd. The commander gave order for us to use teargas. The stones that were thrown caused injuries and damages. Some of the protesters were able to escape and others arrested because they have their hand tied together. When we arrested them they were taken to PIU kanifing, where further police actions were taken.

DPP – My lord that’s all for this witness.

Court – We can adjourn from here because we have other matters pending.

DPP – Alright, my lord.

Court – so which date can we come back?

DPP – Preferably, Thursday on the 16th June 2016.

Court – Case adjourned to the 16th June 2016 at 12 noon for continuation of hearing.

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