Friday, September 22

Magistrate angry at defendant who sent people to bribe him

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Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on the 19th July, 2022, was angry at a defendant whom he said sent people to bribe him. He posited that the defendant also asked people to call him on the phone to influence him to decide the case in his favour. He made these remarks in a civil case he was presiding over.

“I rejected the things you gave people to give me. Don’t do that again. Don’t do that again. If you do that again it will not be good for you. I will do justice in this case. I will go by the law. I fear God. I will not hurt the plaintiff to satisfy you. I am not those magistrates,” he addressed the defendant.

The defendant’s witness was expected to testify on his behalf. The presiding magistrate asked the defendant whether his witness was available. “The witness was here but left because the case was scheduled for 9 a.m. but did not proceed,” the defendant told the court.

The magistrate did not agree with him. “We have never sat at 9 a.m. We always start sitting at 9.30 a.m. You lied to the court. Your case was scheduled for 10 a.m. and not 9 a.m. It is the clerk who gives out dates,” the magistrate said.

Magistrate Jabang then asked the clerk to check her diary to see whether the case was scheduled for 9 a.m. The clerk went through her diary and confirmed that the case was scheduled for 10 a.m. and not 9 a.m.

There was a motion before the court filed by the defendant so that he will not pay a sum of D3000 which was awarded to the plaintiff by the court as cost. The magistrate asked the defendant to move his motion. The defendant then told the court that he was opposing cost of D3000 which was awarded to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff was asked to respond to the motion filed by the defendant. He told the court that he deserved the cost awarded to him by the court because the case suffered some setbacks at the instance of the defendant.

The magistrate agreed with him and ruled that the case could not proceed because the witness of the defendant decided not to wait and left, causing another delay. He awarded another D1000 to the plaintiff.