Lawyer Darboe and Co protesting before their arrest in Gambia 

Today 23rd May 2016 is another court appearance for the United Democratic Party (UDP) Leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and Co at High Court in Banjul. This is their first appearance after the former presiding judge Justice O. Ottaba declined hearing the case. When the case was called and the state counsel and that of the defence declared their presence, the trial judge then announced, “I wish to decline of the proceedings of this matter and I refer the case file to the Chief Justice for re-assignment,” the judge concluded. It is not clear whether the matter will proceed any further today, because, the Gambian Psychotic dictator Yahya Jammeh has fired his chief justice last week and  a judge has not yet to be appointed for the continuation of this trial.

It would be recalled that, Darboe and Co were bogusly charged with 7 counts for protesting on the 16th April, demanding the state to produce Solo Sandeng “Dead or Alive” after the arrest of Mr Sandeng on the 14th April and subsequent death in police custody later that day. The accused persons first arraigned on 20th April 2016 and they took their plea of not guilty on the same date.

However, the defence counsel filed for bail since the beginning of the trial, but, the former trial judge, Justice Ottaba refused them bail on the grounds that it ‘lacks merit’. Meanwhile, after they were refused bail, the accused persons through their counsel asked the court to stay its proceedings on counts 5 and 6, which are about the Public Order Act and refer the matter to the Supreme Court for determination. The trial judge was then expected to deliver a ruling on stay of proceedings on counts 5 and 6 last Monday 16th May, when he announced, he has declined to hear the case.

Meanwhile, the general public are hereby encouraged to come out in large numbers to show moral and psychological support to Darboe and Co as this fight against dictatorship in the Gambia is not only theirs but ours. We should not to be deter by the threats of the insane dictator Yahya Jammeh who threaten to bury protesters 9 feet deep. Because Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan Dictator also issued similar threats when Libyans stood up against him after 42 years in power. However, Gaddafi was the one who was savagely killed by his own people when he was found hiding is a hole.