By Aisha Tamba
The principal magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of Kanifing court granted a stay of proceedings in a case involving Gambia Action Party leader Musa Yali Batchilly vs the state.
The GAP leader is standing trial under two counts of obtaining money by false pretence and fraud, charges he vehemently denied.
The ruling by the presiding magistrate came after the accused person filed a motion at the high court against the ruling of the court delivered on April 6th 2021.
Batchilly wants an order from the high court to arrest the judgment of the court to be delivered soon. He also wants a stay of proceedings in the matter pending the high court ruling.
However, delivering her ruling on the two requests principal magistrate Janneh Njie stated: “On the face of the motion, this application is brought pursuant to section 245 of the criminal procedure code. Looking at the provisions of the said section, I believe it has to do with the first prayer i.e for an order arresting the judgment of the court. I have looked at section 245 of CPC which deals with ‘motion is arrest of judgment’ and to my mind, it is not applicable to the circumstances that gave rise to this application. Thus, prayer one (1) is not supported by section 245 of the CPC and the same is hereby dismissed for lacking merit.”
On the second request, prayer (2) which seeks for the court to stay its proceedings pending the determination of the appeal, she ruled: “What is certain however, is that if this court proceeds with this matter and delivers judgment, it will surely render the appeal nugatory. It is on this premise that I am minded to grant the application for stay of proceedings pending the outcome of the appeal. Accordingly, proceedings in this case are hereby stayed pending the determination of the appeal filed at the High Court, against the ruling of this court delivered on the 6th of April 2021.”