Ms Dicko who was passing off as a ‘jinni’ woman and Abdou Bah, a “marabout” were on August 12 arraigned at the Kanifing Magistrate Court on three counts of conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by false pretence and pretending to exercise witchcraft or pretend to tell fortune. Both pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of D3 million each.
However, when the case resumed yesterday, Ms Dicko’s counsel informed the court that her client wished to change her plea and admit the charges preferred against her.
“I had a brief chat with my client and went through her statements but we came to a conclusion that she wants to change the plea from not guilty to guilty,” Lawyer Badou Conteh said before the charges were read to her.
After she pleaded guilty, police prosecutor, ASP Mballow, furnished the court with the facts of the case.
ASP Mballow said Ms Dicko and Mr Bah who maintained he is innocent were arrested in August 5 after the complainant Mr Touray informed the police he was defrauded. “She was interrogated by the police and she narrated that sometimes in June, she was called by Abdou Bah for her to play the role of a ‘jinni’ to obtain money from Ebrima Touray. She was taken to a bush between Brikama and Gunjur. She was dressed in clothing and fixed long hair together with Muhammed Bah (now at large). She sat on a mat and waited for Ebrima Touray who later arrived at the scene. She was later given a reward of D34,500. The second episode took place at a beach called Poco Loco and she was supposed to be formally presented to Ebrima Touray as his wife by her ‘Jinni’ family,” ASP Mballow said. He added that Ms Dicko however returned the money Mr Bah gave her to the police after her arrest. Both the money and her cautionary statements were admitted as exhibits.
Her lawyer, Badou Conteh on the other hand told the court that peer pressure influenced her client to commit the act. “She is very remorseful and she is really traumatised. She has regretted this shameful act and she has already been punished because she was granted bail but she is still in remand and that place is very hard. She has already spent two weeks at Mile 2 and I urge the court not to impose a custodial sentence. She has only benefitted D34,500 out of the D1,559,642 and the complainant has nothing to loss. I want you to temper justice with mercy and allow her a second chance in her life,” the lawyer pleaded.
Sentencing Ms Dicko, Magistrate Tabally said: “Taking into consideration that she is a first time offender and she has also saved the court’s valuable time, I sentence her to a fine of D10,000 or in default spend six months in prison on count one. On count two, she sentence to a fine of D5,000 or to spend three months in prision.”
Lawyer Badou Conteh applied for a bail for her pending the settlement of the fine within two weeks. She was consequently granted bail in the sum of D25,000.
Meanwhile the trial of the first accused, Mr Bah will resume on September 8 for hearing.]]>