By Nelson Manneh
The criminal trial of Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay did not proceed at the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Police Prosecutor ASP A. Manga who appeared for the Inspector General of Police (IGP) at yesterday’s hearing of the case between Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay’s and the State at the Kanifing Magistrate Court, applied for an adjournment.
When the case was called before Magistrate P.M. Sarr of the Kanifing Magistrate Court, ASP A. Manga announced his appearance for the IGP, whilst Lawyer L.S. Camara represented the accused person. Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay appeared in person.
ASP A. Manga told the Court that they cannot proceed with the case because investigations are still ongoing and that the case might be joined to that of one Yankuba Touray, who faces trial at a sister Court in the same premises; that in this regard, they would like to prosecute the two accused persons within the same Court.
Lawyer L.S. Camara who appeared for Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay, reminded the Court that the accused person was brought before the Court on the 8th of March 2019, and the matter was adjourned to yesterday 14th of March 2019 for hearing; that their expectation was that the First Prosecution Witness (PW1) will be called to testify before the Court. Lawyer Camara said they will however give chance to the State; that if they fail to proceed with the matter, he will apply for the charge against the accused person to be struck out.
Lawyer L.S Camara reminded the Court that his client is an International Consultant and makes her living from this trade; that therefore, it will not be fair for her to be tied down.
Readers should recall that the former Speaker of the National Assembly and member of the APRC, voluntarily gave herself up to the Police upon her return from election duties.
She was then arraigned before the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court on Friday March 8th 2019, when she was granted Court bail after pleading not guilty to witness tampering.
Prosecutors alleged that the former speaker had intent to obstruct or interfere with a TRRC witness called Alagie Kanyi, through a mobile phone conversation, and told him “not mind the commission”; that the act suggest or amounts to interfering with the work of the Commission in the discharge of its functions.
Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay is the second person to be charged with witness tampering of the TRRC, a Commission set to look into rights violations and abuses of the previous regime of President Yahya Jammeh.
The matter was then adjourned to the 22nd of March 2019 at 10 am for hearing.