By Baba Sillah
Dozens of drivers and apprentices, who were arrested in the wake of Monday’s taxi drivers’ sit-down strike, have been charged by a Magistrate Court in Kanifing.
They are accused of common nuisance for obstructing traffic and causing inconvenience to the public.
The accused persons include Gambians and Guineans.
According to the bill of indictment filed by Chief Inspector Badgie and Sub Inspector Alpha Badgie before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke of Kanifing, the incident occurred on August 21 at Tipper Garage and diverse places in the Kanifing Municipality.
The accused persons however denied any wrong doing and were each granted bail in the sum of D50, 000 with one Gambian surety, who must swear to an affidavit of means.
The case was adjourned to August 29 for full hearing after prosecutors raised no objection to the bail.
Prior to plea taking, counsels for the accused persons, barristers AA Njie and SK Jobe raised territorial jurisdiction of the matter on the grounds that it falls within the jurisdiction of Bundung Magistrates Court which has the mandate to hear and determine the case. However they withdrew their application in the interest of the accused persons for them to be granted bail.
The accused persons are: Muhammed Nyang, Lamin Kujabi, Omar Sarjo, Alagie Jawara, Amadou Barry, Bubacarr Barry, Amadou Jallow, Mustapha Sarr, Ousman Jallow, Modou Lamin Jarju, Momodou Salieu Jallow, Karamo Alieu Njie, Ebrima Jatta, Zakaria Badgie, Samba Njie, Maya Faal, Alieu Sanyang, Sulayman Bah, Sheikh Faal, Alagie Jallow, Amadou Barry, Ebrima Gaye, Juldo Ganno, Yusupha Badgie, Abdou Faal, Assan Touray, Allasan Bah, Tijan Mboob, Babucarr Jallow, Musa Jammeh, Lamin Baldeh, Sang Bass, Abdul Aziz Jallow, Baboucarr Sonko, Musa Jaiteh, Musa Corr, Abdoulie Jobe, Amadou Bah, Ansumana Gissa, Hijinke Danso, Malick Sarg, Ebrima Jammeh, Sainey Sanneh, Alagie Senara, Katim Touray, Alagi Njie, Alagi Malick Ceesay, Ebrima Kolley, Oliver Mingou and Modou Kolley.
In a separate development, union officials have expressed disappointment that their members, who were expected to be released unconditionally after an agreement has been reached between the authorities and the drivers to call of the strike, have been charged. “We are disappointed that our men have been charged instead of setting them free as we agreed with the security agents,” one senior unionist said. He called on the police to drop charges against their members.