Magistrate T. Bayo of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court convicted and sentenced one Salieu Nyang to a fine of D100,000 in default to serve four years imprisonment for being in possession of fake bank notes, and also to serve another four months mandatory sentence.
In her judgement, she summarised the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and the evidence of the convict. She stated that the convict was charged under Section 334 of the Criminal Code of The Gambia, which states that a person commits an offence if she or he without lawful authority or excuse, purchases or receives from any person, or has in his or her possession a forged bank note or currency note, whether filled up or in blank knowing it to be forged, commits a felony and is liable to 7 years imprisonment.
She added that the testimonies of PW1 to PW5, all stated that it was the convict who had in his possession the fake bank notes. She further said that this statement was confirmed by the convict at the opening of his defence. “Therefore before this court and pursuant to Section 144 of the Evidence Act, the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt. It was the accused person who had in possession the said fake bank notes,” she posited.
The presiding magistrate noted that pursuant to Section 24 ( 3 ) ( a ) of the Constitution of The Gambia 1997, it states that every person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. She asserted that this puts the burden on the prosecution, and in this case, the prosecution had proved its case, as the evidence of the prosecution witnesses corroborated and clearly connected the convict to the crime. At this juncture, she referred to Section 179 of the Evidence Act.
“The accused person admitted in his defence that the illegal act was done by him and that he already knew about the illegality of the act at the time of manning the fake bank notes,” she declared.