After three months in going back and forth in the courts and took two different foreign mercenary judges, today, Wednesday 20th July is judgement day in the case involving the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and 19 other defendants in the Gambia according to sources. The deliberation of judgement is scheduled to begin at 4pm GMT.
Meanwhile, it would be recalled that the charges were brought against Mr Darboe and Co after Mr Solo Sanding, the former Youth leader of UDP and a group of youths staged a rare protest in mid-April 2016 in the Gambia to demand electoral reforms which led to the arrest of the protestors and the subsequent death in police custody of Solo Sandeng. As a result, the UDP party executives led by Lawyer Ousainou Darboe also took to the streets to demand the release of Solo and Co “Dead or Alive” and they too got arrested on the 16th April 2016 and later charged.
In court on Tuesday, Lawyer Darboe reminded the presiding judge, Justice Dada of their continual refusal not to legitimise the sham court process and let the judge continue to do what she likes.
“We (the defendants) have told you time and time that the trial is a farce and a miscarriage of justice. And we reiterate that, we will not help you legitimise this sham process. I urge you to conclude to the verdict right now. We’re committed to the cause of Justice and political freedom in the Gambia,” Mr Darboe urged the Judged.
The Justice Dada then said, she will adjourn the case until tomorrow. Mr Darboe again interrupted by telling her, “Please give your verdict today, now so that people can know how wrong this whole process is. There is no need for adjournment since you were unfair from the beginning to now.”
Mr Darboe and Co are charged with seven counts, Unlawful Assembly; Riot; Incitement of Violence; Riotously Interfering with traffic; Holding a procession without a license; Disobeying an ORDER to disperse from an unlawful procession; and Conspiracy. The conspiracy charge was later brought in and the political analyst said, that was for the State to press for tougher sentencing as the all the other charges carry lesser sentence.
Meanwhile, according to Fatu Network (FN), the authorities in the Gambia are planning to shut down access to social media and VoIP services such as Viber and WhatsApps later today. The telecoms companies have been notified of the plan. According to FN, the minister of Information Sheriff Bojang is the architect of this latest move in order to curb the flow of information from Yahya Jammeh’s cruelty against Gambians to the outer world and Gambia online media.