By Mama A. Touray
Tamsir B Jallow, defense lawyer for an accused has urged the court to compensate his client the sum of D1 million arguing that he is a minor at the time he was arrested for allegedly committing an offense and it is a violation of his rights as a minor.
The defense lawyer made this submission on Tuesday at the Magistrate Court presided over by Justice Isatou Janneh.
In his submission, after being served an affidavit, Counsel Tamsir said the applicant is still remanded at Mile Two Central Prison and that is a violation of the children’s Act. From that looking at the state refusing to observe the order of the high court, he said it violates his (accused) constitutional rights.
Counsel Jallow urged the court to look at that “and that as at the time of committing the offense the applicant was a minor and his birth certificate tendered as exhibit in the affidavit was not denied by the state.”
The submission continued: “Putting all these into consideration and the time of his remand amid adults, refusal to file his case at the lower court, one thing is obvious the state has violated the rights of the applicant and we urge the court to award one million dalasi of compensation to the applicant.”
State counsel F Mballow in her response said in their affidavit they raised the affidavit sworn by Suwano Sonko Mendy stating that he was informed by the counsel and not the applicant.
She said the affidavit in support states that the applicant was a minor at the time of the offense and that if you look at the birth certificate you will realize that the applicant turns eighteen years old on August 2018 and this was before the bill of information was served.
The applicant she said was an adult at the time the information was served and that the applicant was granted bail so if he had fulfilled the bail condition he would not have been in remand by now.
Jallow further argued that 2271 of the children’s act is not an administrative matter as it stipulates that the High court has the power to ream the matter to the children’s court and that children are subjected to the juvenile justice system and the interest of the child supersedes.
He said on the issue of compensating the court has the power to grant compensation referring the court to Nenneh Freda Gomez vs the State case where the High Court ruled for her to be compensated for the violation of her rights.
The matter was however adjourned to 25th April 2023 for continuation.
The count of his offense stated robbery with violence, the particular indicated that the accused (name withheld) on or about 10the day of July 2022 at Talinding violently robbed one Zakaria Jallow while armed with a small cutlass and took away his physical cash of D300.