By Bruce Asemota
Lawyer Badou Conteh has vehemently denied that his client, Sheriff Njie, a co-accused of Banta Keita has fled the country contrary to widespread radio and social media reports.
He said Njie is currently in the custody of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEAG).
Speaking to The Standard, Conteh said his client was legally discharged by the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Seedy Jorbateh on Wednesday, 7th April after a ruling premised on the defence counsel’s submission citing section 175 (c) of the Criminal Procedure Code and sections 4, 19 and 24 of the 1997 Constitution.
Lawyer Conteh further revealed that after his client was discharged by the court, and whilst he was standing outside the court premises, he was approached by plain-clothed officers who identified themselves as officers from the DLEAG. “When they were asked to produce their arrest warrants, they could not produce any warrant and as tension was rising, my client had to leave them and entered his friend’s car and drove away,” Lawyer Conteh said.
He said he was later called by some top officials of the DLEAG who informed him that his client was needed at their office. “I called my client to my chambers and drove him to the DLEAG office where he is currently detained,” Laywer Conteh said.
He said his client was discharged by the court but not acquitted.
It could be recalled that Sheriff Njie and Banta Keita are jointly charged with conspiracy to commit felony, aggravated drug trafficking and dealing in prohibited drugs for the purposes of drug trafficking after almost three tons of cocaine was found at the Banjul ports.