It was also staying the hearing and determination of the charges preferred against the accused pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the High Court.
The motion was supported by a thirty-one-paragraph affidavit which the counsel for the applicant, L.S Camara, relied on and said the “vast purpose of the affidavit from paragraph 1-31 seeks the recusal of the presiding magistrate” from taking any further step in the matter because the ruling of the 17 August 2023 had over-reached the issue before the court for further determination.
It would be recalled that magistrate M.L Thomasi directed lawyer Yankuba Darboe to commence his defence in the sedition and contempt of court charges brought against him by the Inspector General of Police on March 9 2021.
“The ruling of the 17 August has inadvertently over reached the issue that was before the court in a number of the cases, such that he said the impression that is convened to the reasonable man as well as the legal implication of the ruling is that any defense to be mounted by the applicant in this court would be merely academic and an utter exercise in futility,” counsel for the defence stated.
The ruling simply means that whatever the applicant is going to say in his defence, the prosecution has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt and the applicant is going to be convicted.
Counsel L.S Camara further stated that before a court could make a determination of guilt of the accused person, the authority ought to give the accused person reasonable time to prepare his defence and he should be accorded with every reasonable facility and must be heard if he/she chooses to be heard because that is the bedrock of the criminal justice of this country and “that is when the court makes a determination beyond reasonable doubt”.
Appearing on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, commissioner Sanneh agreed to move the motion on notice and asked the court to judicially and judiciously use its discretion to determine the motion in which the court adopted the submission of the motion of notice and adjourned the matter until 25 September 2023.