Monday, December 4

Formal Indictment Still Pending for Ousainou Bojang and His Sister in State Case

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Ousainou Bojang, alleged shooter

By Landing Ceesay 

The State (prosecution) has not yet submitted an official indictment against Ousainou Bojang, the alleged perpetrator of the double homicide of two police officers at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights on September 12, 2023.

Additionally, the State has not yet presented a formal indictment against Amie Bojang, who happens to be Ousainou Bojang’s older sister.

During the proceedings before the Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Gambia’s High Court, Counsel AM Yusuf, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), identified himself as the State’s legal representative in the case, with Counsel A. Gibba also present.

The DPP informed the court that this case is a transfer from the Magistrates Court, and there is no official bill of indictment against the accused individuals currently before the court.

Furthermore, the DPP informed the court that they received the case file from the police only one day prior.

“As such, we will be craving the indulgent of this honorable court to allow us to study the case file and file formal information before this honorable court. We will be seeking for the court to allow us or rather adjourn this matter to the 19th of this month. By then, we would have filed proper information before this court and proceed with proper hearing of the case,” DPP Yusuf told the court. 

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, addressing the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), inquired about the State’s plans to submit a bill of indictment by October 19, 2023.

The DPP responded by confirming their intention to file it on the specified date.

Following this, Justice Jaiteh pressed the DPP for information regarding their preparedness for a full trial.

The DPP assured the court that they would be prepared for a proper trial by October 26, 2023.

However, Lamin J. Darboe, appearing for Ousainou Bojang told the court that the 26th of October is not favorable to him and suggested the 23rd and 24th of October 2023. 

In response, the Honorable Justice Jaiteh expressed his preference for handling criminal cases exclusively on Mondays and Tuesdays, while reserving the other days for civil matters.

During Amie Bojang’s representation, Counsel Lamin K. Mboge voiced concern about the State’s delay in filing an indictment. He emphasized that this delay not only constituted a violation but a significant breach of this court’s fundamental principles.

Furthermore, Counsel LK Mboge informed the court of an originating summons filed during the vacation period, seeking bail for Amie Bojang. He stated that the necessary legal documents had been served on the state and requested the court’s permission to proceed with the summons.

However, in response, Honorable Justice Jaiteh advised Counsel LK Mboge that the summons should be considered a miscellaneous issue and that they should address the primary matter before addressing the summons.

“I want to introduce continued trial. In other countries, what takes long is investigation, not the court process. The witnesses always come and testify. But we cannot come and be hearing witnesses for years. That’s why I want to give them to file an indictment,” Hon. Justice Jaiteh said. 

In response, Counsel LK Mboge requested Hon. Justice Jaiteh issue an order, as the state had stated its intention to submit an information prior to October 19, 2023.

“We need to be served on time so that we can be prepared. This is an information that should not take the state 48 hours to file this information. Since this incident happened almost a month ago, still the state cannot file an information. I don’t know why they are skeptical about filing an information still. What is the state doing since this incident occurred, up to date. They have investigated and have all the evidence with them,” Counsel LK Mboge told the court.  

Addressing the concern raised by Counsel LK Mboge regarding the submission of the bill of indictment, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe stated that the state had committed to filing the indictment on October 19th, and he urged them to uphold that commitment. 

Counsel Lamin J. Darboe emphasized his desire for the state to be fully prepared on October 19th, when he would visit the court to collect the bill of indictment on behalf of his client.

In response to these remarks, Hon. Justice Jaiteh requested that the lawyers representing Ousainou Bojang and Amie Bojang allow him to issue a ruling on the state’s request for an extension to file the bill of indictment.

“Having heard, the DPP sought for an adjournment on the ground that the state law office received the file a day ago, and as such, they sought for an adjournment in order to file bill of indictment before the 19th of October. The respective counsels did not object to the application sought, but rather asked that the state be committed to the filing of the bill of indictment on or before the 19th of October 2023. 

“Under the circumstances, the adjournment sought is hereby granted. The state is directed to file the bill of indictment on or before the 20th of October 2023 and the registrar is to ensure the information is served on the defense counsel. Meanwhile, the case is adjourned to the 24th of October 2023 at 12 noon for plea taking.  

The background of the case 

On September 21st, 2023, Ousainou and Amie Bojang appeared before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court for the first time on charges stemming from the shooting incident at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights that resulted in the tragic deaths of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers and severe injury to another.

The shooting incident occurred on September 12th, 2023.

The police have brought four charges against them, including two murder charges contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code, prohibition of acts of terrorism contrary to Section 3(1)(c) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and accessory after the fact to murder contrary to Section 202 of the Criminal Code.  

The Principal Magistrate of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, Omar Jabang, then transferred the murder trial to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court of the Gambia. 

On October 12th, 2023, the case was mentioned before Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of the Gambia.