By Amadou Jadama
Magistrate Peter Adoh Che of Brikama on Thursday sentenced Ensa Jammeh to a mandatory jail term of ten years with a fine of D1 million in default to serve two years in prison.
He was found guilty on a single count of possessing 12kg and 140kg of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking.
Delivering the judgment in a packed courtroom, Magistrate Che said the accused testified and called one witness in his defence and tendered no exhibits. The prosecution on the other hand led evidence through five exhibits and tendered a nylon bag containing bundles of cannabis, police statements and an analytical report.
After summarising the evidence, the magistrate noted: “I have looked at the charge before this court, gone through the evidence of the respective witnesses and exhibits and it is my considered opinion that only one main issue stands out for determination, which is whether prosecution has proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”
The magistrate said the effect of drugs in our communities is a growing concern as many Gambian youths are diagnosed with drugs induced psychosis and therefore a need to eradicate illegal drugs in our communities. He said Jammeh was earlier convicted for a similar offence before being pardoned by President Adama Barrow.
He said Jammeh’s plea of mitigation was ” a lame afterthought” which he “[took] with a pinch of salt” and that the prosecution had “effectively established possession”. He declared: “The prosecution has accordingly discharged the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt as expected therefore, the accused Ensa Jammeh is guilty as charged. I hereby sentence you to a fine of D1 million in default to serve a jail term of two years. And in addition, to a term of imprisonment of 10 years.”
Mr Jammeh has the option of appeal.