Hydara, who is standing trial alongside Buyeh Touray, the alkalo of the said village, made this revelation as he continued to give his evidence on a charge of disobedience to lawful order for not observing the past Muslims feast of Koriteh on the state-sanctioned day, a charge they pleaded not guilty of.
“I was arrested by the police immediately after performing the feast prayer and I was taken to Bwiam police station and later we proceeded to Sibanor where I spent two nights at the station before they took me to Yundum and Banjul. But the reason behind my arrest was not known to me at none of the said stations. I was also taken to the Supreme Islamic Council where I met Imam Abdoulie Fatty. He told me that he was the one who arrested me and not the president because I failed to pray on the day as announced on the radio,” Caliph Hydara told the court when the trial resumed yesterday.
When the trial resumed yesterday before magistrate Omar Cham, the police prosecutor Sergeant E Sarr announced his appearance for the Inspector General of Police, while lawyers Antouman Gaye and Lamin Mboge pronounced their representation for the accused.
Lawyer Mboge who led the defence reminded the court that they had an application to make before the court. Mboge applied that they intended to file a witness summons for certain documents to be produced for the purpose of their defence which included the written and recorded announcement on the radio regarding the performance of the last Koriteh Prayer.
Mboge appealed to the court to endorse the application as it would enable them to sum up the number of witnesses they intended to call so as to enable the accused persons to prove their innocence. His application was put into consideration and he is expected to file it when the case resumes today.
“Is there anything in the Islamic religion which says you should pray Koriteh on a particular day?” lawyer Mboge said.
Caliph Hydara responded: “No it is not stated in the Quran but the Quran contains everything whether you know it or not but because the world is too wide and has different geographical backgrounds but only the learned and men of understanding know about that.”
He added: “There is no different order from the commandment of Allah in the Quran and Sunnah regarding the performance of Koriteh prayer. The prophet only prayed to Allah and all of us should pray to the same Allah alone.”
The matter was adjourned until 1st April for continuation of defence.]]>