By Aisha Tamba
The proprietor of Gam Housing Estate, Lamin Mboge was on Tuesday arraigned before the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court for allegedly defrauding 84 people and obtaining money by false pretense.
The matter is before the Master of the High Court Sheriff Tabally. Mboge, who has been sued by a total of 84 people, denied the charges.
His counsel, Moses B Johnson Richards pleaded with the court to grant his client bail, arguing that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in accordance with the principles of a fair trial.
The lawyer urged the court to respect the fundamental rights of his client provided under section 95 of the constitution, adding that remanding the accused is like denying his fundamental rights.
“A man is not judged by his past or previous deeds and Lamin Mboge is a respectable member of the society who has established a very reputable real estate business in the country and the court cannot fail to take into consideration the fact that all these charges filed against him are from contractual relationships and not criminal in nature,” the defense lawyer argued. He also assured the court that his client is not going to run away or interfere with witnesses.
However, the police prosecutor Commissioner Sanneh objected to the bail plea on the grounds that the application for the magistrate to recuse himself from the case is still pending.
He argued that there are a series of bench warrants against the accused, pending in the Brusubi and Kanifing courts and if the accused person is granted bail, they will struggle to get him.
The prosecuting police officer further argued that the number of charges the accused person is facing currently is 84 and counting. “The cases are coming and could even amount up to 114 counts, involving some D10 million. We have evidence that while this accused person is facing these charges, he is still receiving money from other people and he is about to flee,” the policeman alleged.
The matter was adjourned to Friday 29th at 10am for ruling on the ball application.