By Amadou Jadama
A magistrate at the Brikama court has sentenced three additional imams to fines of two thousand dalasis each in default to serve one month in prison, for leading eid-ul-fitr congregational prayers last week.
The imams are Ebrima Manjang, 78, of Brikama Gidda Baba-Njie; Eliman Bah, 65, of Brikama Wellingara; and Ebrima Sori Bah, 67, of Farato.
Police prosecutors Sub-Inspector Bobo Jarju and Inspector Kemo Manneh said the imams were found leading eid communal prayers in their various places thereby disobeying government’s social-distancing guidelines and flouting the emergency powers regulations.
They were charged with violating closures and restrictions of “non-essential public places”.
When the charges were read to them, the three imams who were unrepresented, pleaded guilty.
Before the sentencing was passed, they pleaded for mercy and promised not to flout the regulations again.
Magistrate SB Joof noted that the imams did not waste the court’s time and were first time offenders. He told the imams that the offences they were charged with are “serious” and the closures were meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, which is an incurable pandemic.
This brings to six, the number of imams convicted in relation to the Emergency Powers Regulation.