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City of Banjul
Monday, September 25, 2023

Sureties deny liability for escaped lawyer


In their affidavit in reply of the application made by the prosecutor, Abdoulie Jah and Ebrima stated that the bond was limited to only the 27th of March to enable Ebrima Jah appear before the General Legal Council at the offices of the chief justice at 2:30pm.

In making a submission before high court judge Emmanuel Amadi that the agreement was breached, the lawyer for the two men, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, said: “My clients stated that the accused informed them that he was fined D200,000 and banned for two years by the General Legal council. On that very day, Mr Jah was to appear at the police station to answer to the charge of official corruption at 6pm latest. It is in their statement that Mr Jah complied with the terms of the bond and returned to the Major Crime Unit (of the police) and gave his statement.”

Mrs Sisay-Sabally further told the court that her clients stated that the words ‘thereafter’ did not appear on the bond at the time they signed. “They would not have signed if those words were there before seeking advice from their legal counsel,” she said. “These are additions. They are tampered with. It would not have been necessary for the bond to specify the time 1800 hours on the 27 March to answer to the charge if he was to appear indefinitely.”

Saleh Barkum, the director of public prosecution earlier told the court that the sureties should pay the bond if they cannot produce lawyer Jah. “We are informed that the accused has jumped bail and the respondents are in a better position to know the whereabouts of the accused because they were the sureties,” he said. The matter was adjourned at that point.

Mrs Sisay-Sabally is expected to continue her submission for opposition of the state’s application when the case resumes on July 8.

Mr Jah was arraigned on June 12 at the Special Criminal Division for attempting to bribe a high court judge to rule in favour of his client in a civil case. He is facing a single charge of official corruption. He is accused of offering Justice Awa Bah US$100,000 equivalent to D4,000,000 in a bid to influence her to decide the case in his favour in March 2014 while serving as counsel for the plaintiff in the suit of Multi-Steel Company against Omar Jasseh.  He has never appeared in court since he was charged.


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