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City of Banjul
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Caliph Hydara’s trial adjourned as lawyers clash

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When the matter resumed yesterday before Justice Ikpala, lawyer Antouman Gaye announced his appearance for the accused while A Jallow pronounced his representation for the state. Mr Gaye informed the court that the first appellant, Sheik Muhideen Hydara was absent due to sickness and he had the medical certificate before the court to confirm that. 

Sheikh Muhideen and the alkalo of Darsilameh Sangnajor, Buyeh Touray, are being tried on charges of disobedience to a lawful order and conspiracy to commit felony, charges they denied. 

Before moving his motion on summon of notice, the lead counsel informed the judge that they had two pending motions before the court – a summons of notice and an appeal – and that they were ready to move their motion. 

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Gaye submitted that his first motion, a summon of notice, was dated 17 September 2014 and filed on the same day for the stay of proceeding of this case at the lower court pending the outcome of the appeal. He said he has not received an affidavit in deposition from the state.

Lawyer Gaye submitted: “The affidavit is supported by 14 paragraphs sworn to by one Mariama Bah a legal assistant at Maribantang Chambers and we rely on all the prayers contained in the affidavit. Our prayers in the affidavit are regarding the stay of proceeding at the lower court pending the determination of the case before this court. We submit that when this matter came up at the magistrate court there were lot of constitutional issues which were raised up but the presiding magistrate failed to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for the determination of the case and proceed with the matter.”

Counsel argued that when the issue of interpretation of law arises in any circumstances, the matter should be referred to the constitutional court for determination and the court shall halt the proceedings pending the outcome of the matter.

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In order to convince the court to grant his application, counsel read out all the paragraphs in his motion noting that the lower court in Brikama lacks the jurisdiction and authority to try the case but the court failed to do so and decided to proceed with the case. 

He referred the court to the charge sheet which he read out to the court but noted that the charge sheet and the exhibit were not before the court rather they were incorporated in the petition.

Lawyer Gaye finally referred the court to section 25 (c) of the Constitution which he read out to the court and urged the judge to grant his application and ordered for the stay of proceedings at the lower court pending the outcome of the matter before this court.

Responding to the defence’s submission, the state counsel, A Jallow asked the court to throw out the application on the grounds that the defence did not disclose any substantial evidence in law for the court to refer the matter to Supreme Court for interpretation. 

He noted that the issue of bringing this matter before the court regarding a stay of proceedings was just to delay the proceedings at the lower court as jurisdiction was not an issue at the lower court.  The case was adjourned at that point to December 3 for ruling. 


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