He added that neither the dismissed former Imam of State House Abdoulie Fatty, nor the Supreme Islamic Council have the power to stipulate a day for the observance of the feast in The Gambia. Continuing his testimony before Omar Cham of Brikama Magistrates Court yesterday, he asserted: “I am not aware of any law in The Gambia that stipulates a day for the observance of Edul-fitr. Neither Imam Fatty nor the Supreme Islamic Council also have powers as well.
“I know the badge messenger of the chief of Foni Bondali. He was sent by the chief to convey a message to me from the chief. He told us that the chief said he heard that our village did not pray on the day as announced by the authorities which was on Monday. The badge messenger asked me to accompany him to the imam. We went to the imam to convey the message to him but the imam; Maaline Hydara referred us to Talibeh Hydara because he was not feeling well on that day.”
The embattled alkalo of Darsilami Sangajor village, Buyeh Touray is jointly charged with Caliph General Sheikh Muhideen Hydara for disobedience of lawful order for not observing the 2014 Koriteh prayer on the state-sanctioned day, charges they deny.
Asked by his counsel, barrister Lamin Mboge to tell the court the whereabouts and who is Imam Maaline Hydara, Mr Touray retorted: “He is dead and apart from being the imam of the village, he was also a marabout and prior to his death, Muhideen Hydara was the caliph general at that time. Upon conveying the message to the imam, he told us that he heard Imam Fatty saying on the radio that the people at provinces are excluded. The imam requested the mobile number of the chief from his badge messenger, Seedy Gibba but Mr Gibba said he did not have the mobile number of the chief. The imam wanted to inform the chief that he heard that the people at provinces were excluded and they were exceptional so the imam was eager to know whether our village was among or not.”
Mr Touray further told the court that after the chief badge messenger left their village, he never returned to inform them whether they were among the provincial villages who were allowed to observe the Koriteh prayer. He further stated that if they had not prayed that day they would not have been able to perform their religious rites.
“Who were you praying to on that day, Mr Touray?” his counsel, lawyer Lamin Mboge enquired. “We were praying to the Almighty Allah and no other than Allah. The imam is the one responsible for religious affairs. Observance of Edul-fitr is based on the sighting of the moon, we sighted the moon on Monday and we prayed on the following day,” Touray replied.
The case was adjourned at that point to today for continuation.]]>