By Binta A Bah
Corporal Omar Njie, one of the five soldiers on trial for complicity in last December’s alleged coup plot, was freed by the Banjul High Court yesterday after Justice Basiru Mahoney upheld a no-case submission put up by defence lawyer Babucarr Badjie.
Njie was acquitted and discharged after the judge agreed that there was no evidence against him to continue prosecuting him.
His freedom came following his lawyer’s application that there was no evidence linking him to allegations of plotting a coup.
Justice Mahoney stated in his ruling: “It is evident that the minimal prosecution evidence concerning the 4th accused [Omar Njie] taken at its highest, is such that no reasonable court could properly convict on it and therefore the case against the 4th accused person should stop at this point. Put in another way, there is no prima facie case against the 4th accused person.”
Upon hearing this Corporal Njie’s eyes lit up and welled with tears of relief and joy.
However, it was not good news for two of his co-accused whose lawyers also filed a no-case-to answer submission on their behalf. Justice Mahoney said Sergeant Gibril Darboe and Corporal Ebrima Sannoh have cases to answer as witnesses gave evidence of them attending a meeting in Kafuta allegedly discussing how to overthrow the government.
“Evidence was given implicating both the second and third persons particularly in connection with their participation in the meeting in Kafuta. There is thus evidence implicating them in the offences charged which is tantamount to a prima facie case.”
They are expected to open their defence as the trial continues.