By Amadou Jadama
Principal Magistrate Muhammed Krubally of the Brusubi court has granted bail to one Yankuba Sidibeh, who was arraigned for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl in Tujereng.
The prosecution alleged that Mr Sidibeh unlawfully had canal knowledge with the underage girl.
However, when the charges of rape were read and translated to him in Wolof by the court interpreter, Mr Sidibeh denied any culpability.
At this juncture, police prosecutor Sub-Inspector Jaiteh applied for an adjournment to send the case file to the AG’s Chambers for observation by the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Unit.
“In light of the same, we will object to the bail of the accused on the basis that similar fact offences should be denied bail.”
Prosecution further submitted that the investigations into the alleged offences are ongoing and if the accused is granted bail, he will tamper with the investigations.
However, in his ruling, the trial magistrate Krubally said: “I have heard the prosecution’s application that this matter be adjourned to sound the legal opinion of the AG’s Chambers. Also, the prosecution objected to the granting of bail to the accused on the grounds that he may tamper with the investigations in light of the incomplete nature of the investigation. In view of these, I am definitely conscious that the specific offence with which the accused is charged is bailable. I also observe that the penalty attracted by section 4 of Sexual Offences Act 2013 does not attract life imprisonment. Also, the specific offence with which the accused is charged gives this jurisdiction to hear and entertain same. So, by virtue of this jurisdiction this court has over the said offence, the prosecution cannot just by mere application rob the court of the said jurisdiction in any way and by any stretch of imagination,” Magistrate Krubally said.
The trial magistrate further reminded the prosecution that the charges against the accused are mere allegations and yet to be proven against him. Therefore, he has right to bail and of course bail being at the discretion of the court.
“I hereby exercise my statutory, judicial and judicious discretion to admit the accused Yankuba Sidibeh to bail in the sum of D50,000 on each count,” he said.
Magistrate Krubally further ordered the accused to provide two responsible Gambian sureties on each count and that the sureties must provide their valid contact numbers and addresses, valid original ID card or passports to the office of the registrar, and the sureties must depose to the affidavit that they will ensure the appearances of the accused in subsequent court proceedings at particular dates and times. He further ordered that the sureties must depose in the affidavit that in the event the accused absconds the jurisdiction or fails to appear, they as sureties will forfeit the bail bond to the court.
The case was adjourned to 3rd October 2022 for hearing at 11am.