Something weird and unprecedented occurred in court on Monday. High Court Judge Justice Ottaba has dismissed two motions filed by the lawyer representing Sira Wally Ndow Njie and Edrissa Jobe, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. This followed a request made by Lawyer Mary Samba, who was holding brief for Lawyer Ida Drammeh, defense counsel for Ms. Sira Wally Ndow and Edrissa Jobe, respectively. The dismissed motions had earlier asked for the release of Ms. Ndow and Mr. Jobe “unconditionally or upon their entering into recognizance with or without sureties for their appearance before any court in which any charge pending against them to be heard.” The motions also asked the court for both Ndow and Jobe to be admitted to bail pending the hearing and determination of any such charge.
In yesterday’s sitting, Ms. Mary Samba informed the court that she has been instructed by Ms. Ida Drammeh, the defense counsel for the two accused persons for the said motions to be struck out of court. Lawyer Ida Drammeh, has abandoned her clients request for bail. No reason was given for the withdrawal of the bail applications. Presiding Judge Ottaba, acted on the request of the defense to dismiss the two motions.
There are other forces at play outside the court to secure the release of the two Banjulian born natives. It is rare for a lawyer to make such an application.
It should be noted that this is a case between Yahya Jammeh and his former enablers not The Gambian state against the duo per say. So, one has to exercise caution in this matter. You remember Ansumana Jammeh’s case? Settlement can happen upon JK’s request. JK doesn’t want his former enablers to challenge him in court.
While the matter was being heard in court, both Sira Wally Ndow Njie, and Edrissa Jobe were absent in court. Their Lawyer Ida Drammeh was also not in court. She was deputized by Ms. Mary Samba.
Ms. Sira Wally Ndow Njie, Gambia’s former Petroleum Minister, has been charged with “economic crime” together with Edrissa Jobe, the owner of Elton Company, and others. The accused persons first appeared before magistrate Omar Cham, of the Banjul magistrates’ court before the matter was referred to the High Court for further litigation. The lower court lacks jurisdiction over the matter. Hence, magistrate Cham, deemed it imperative to refer the case to the High Court for further adjudication.
It’s not clear if the recent withdrawal of the bail applications filed on behalf of Ms. Sira Wally and Edrissa Jobe, has to do with an ongoing move for Jammeh to pardon the duo. Sources said the defense’s move has raised eyebrows in some legal circles. It is unusual for a counsel to make such a request on behalf of her clients, our source intimated. Both Edi Jobe and Sira Wally used to be Jammeh’s close buddies. This case is likely to take an unprecedented U Turn, sources said.
Sira Wally and co are still detained at the mile two prison. The Gambia government is yet to formally release the indictments filed against the accused persons. The detainees have been held for more than seventy two hours without bail. The constitution says people accused of any given crime shouldn’t be detained for more than seventy two hours without been accorded the right to bail.
By Our Judicial Correspondent