By Bruce Asemota
The High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, has dismissed an appeal filed by one Alhagie Abubacarr Bah against a decision of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court which ordered him to compensate one Samba Jawo D1,190,000, the equivalent of USD16,000.00 allegedly received by him on false pretense.
The magistrates’ court, under Magistrate P Sowe, had convicted Bah for obtaining the sum of US$16.000 by false pretense over a gold deal and ordered him to compensate Samba Jawo or faced ten years imprisonment. Unhappy with the judgment, Bah turned to the High Court.
Justice Jaiteh said as an Appellate Court, his court is duty bound to evaluate the evidence and ascribe probative value and to only interfere with the magistrate court’s decision where decision is perverse and not in accordance with the law.
Jaiteh said from the evidence adduced, he firmly believed that the whole transaction was crowned with fraudulent intention, inducement and deprivation of property either directly or through another person.
The judge said it was an established fact that the gold which was the subject matter was never delivered but in reality, monies were received as narrated by testimonies of PW1, PW2 and other witnesses.
He revealed that he is in agreement with the concerns expressed in the judgment of the trial magistrate that these fraudulent acts must not be encouraged and entertained in our society and in this country.
He noted that the appeal lacks merit for the whole court to wholly interfere and allow judgment of the trial court to be set aside.
Justice Jaiteh however reduced the compensatory default order of ten years imprisonment, to two years in accordance with the law.
He dismissed the appeal and accordingly awarded a cost of D20.000 in favour of the respondent, Samba Jawo.