Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court
By Landing Ceesay
Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, presiding over the High Court of the Gambia, has delivered a stern warning of potential life imprisonment to three young men facing allegations of violent robbery.
Mustapha Sonko, Ebrima Drammeh, and Ebrima Barry stand accused of robbery with violence, a charge in violation of section 273 subsection 2 of the Criminal Code Volume 3, revised laws of the Gambia.
According to the prosecution’s case, on April 14, 2023, the accused individuals, in Sukuta, West Coast Region, forcibly robbed Ebrima Bah, making off with a mobile phone identified as INNIX INZIN, valued at D4,000 (Four Thousand Dalasis), D2,000 (Two Thousand Dalasis) in cash, and a pair of shoes worth D900 (Nine Hundred Dalasis).
In a previous development, on July 17, 2023, Honorable Justice Jaiteh granted each of the accused individuals bail set at D15,000.00 and ordered the State to file an indictment against them by the end of October 2023. Justice Jaiteh emphasized that the bail bond would be returned to the accused persons if the State failed to meet this deadline.
However, when the case resumed on October 31, 2023, no indictment had been filed by the State, and state counsel was conspicuously absent. Notwithstanding the absence of the indictment and the state counsels, Honorable Justice Jaiteh maintained his position, refusing to acquit and discharge the accused persons.
“The state law office is not serious, and the Police are not serious, that’s why they still did not file anything against you. If they don’t file anything, I will leave you to go. But the law of Karma will catch you again and if you come back I will send you to prison. Why would you see someone going with his mobile phone, and money, and attack that person?
“Since the case came from the Magistrate’s Court, the state law office is not serious, they have not been coming to court and they are not doing anything. I would have left you people, but there is a victim here. We cannot accept robbery and violence in this country. If you are found guilty, I will give you the maximum sentence, and you will be in prison for the rest of your life,” Hon. Justice Jaiteh told the accused persons.
Honorable Justice Jaiteh emphasized that, even though the state’s commitment to the case appeared lacking, he remained determined not to dismiss the case from court.
Justice Jaiteh declared his intention to grant the state more time and extend the bail of the accused individuals.
Justice Jaiteh made a solemn promise that he would incarcerate the accused individuals if they were to engage in similar criminal activities once more.
“You see people with their phones, do you know how much they bought them? You see people with their money, do you know how they get it? You think you can commit a crime and come to Justice Jaiteh and buy your freedom, you must be joking. Because you are playing with fire. Because I will send you to prison for the rest of your life.
“Now, people are even afraid to go out because of people like you. If you don’t behave well, you will be dealt with seriously. Even though the state is not serious about this case, I am not going to throw this case out. Because if I do, you can go back to Sukuta and attack people again. You should have been focused on your education by going to school but instead, you are robbing people,” Hon. Justice Jaiteh stated.