Sub-Lieutenant Omar Colley, Corporal Bakary Njie and Corporal Barra Touray, all members of the Gambia Armed Forces were released. In another arm of the trail, the two civilians in the case – Mustapha Jabbi and Saikou Gassama – were also released.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Abdul Maita Yusuf alongside Senior Lawyers Patrick Gomez and Lamin Jarju appeared for the State.
The prosecution informed the court that they had filed a new bill of indictment against the accused persons and they applied for the court to strike out the transfer charge sheet by the police from the Banjul Magistrate’s Court.
Defence Lawyer Lamin S. Camara made an application for the court to discharge Corporal Bakary Njie and Corporal Barra Touray, since their names were not mentioned in the new bill of indictment. Lawyer Abdoulie Jarju also made similar application with respect to Second Lieutenant Omar M. Colley, whose name did not appear in the new indictment. Lawyer Jarju asked the court to order for his reinstatement.
DDPP Yusuf for the State said the soldiers whose names were not mentioned in the bill of indictment were not charged for any crime hence, their rights and privileges will not be affected.
Justice Basiru V.P. Mahoney struck out the transfer case from the magistrate’s court.
In a similar matter, regarding the same alleged coup plot, the court discharged two civilians who were arrested, charged at the magistrate’s court and detained in respect of the coup. The names of Mustapha Jabbi and Saikou Gassama were not in the bill of indictment before the court. The police charge sheet was struck out. Sub-Inspector Fabakary Jawara was mentioned in the new bill of indictment and he is therefore awaiting trial.
The names in the new indictment were (Lance Corporal) Sanna Fadera, (Sergeant) Gibril Darboe, (Corporal) Ebrima Sanno, (Corporal) Omar Njie, and (Sub-Inspector) Fabakary Jawara.
Corporal Omar Njie did not have a lawyer, as such the law requires him to secure the service of a lawyer on his own or the State would provide him one through the National Agency for Legal Aid (NALA). Njie told the court that he was appearing in court for the first time, adding that he had been in custody all this while. He informed the court that he would like to secure a lawyer of his choice if he was afforded the opportunity to talk to his family. He stated that he did not have the chance to talk to his family since the day of his arrest.
At this point, the Judge asked him whether his family members were in the court and he replied in the positive. He was allowed to have consultation with his family after which he informed the court that he would be able to secure the service of a lawyer in a week’s time.
The presiding judge told him he was giving him a week to secure a lawyer and if he fails, the case will proceed on the next adjourned date.
The case was adjourned till Thursday, 2 February 2023, for plea taking.