Principal Magistrate Omar Cham of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court last Thursday ordered Sainabou Ngum, the Executive Director of Masanneh Ceesay Fish and Vegetable Enterprise to commence her defence in the ongoing criminal trial involving the Inspector General of Police against her.
Mrs Ngum is standing trial on a single count charge of wilfully disobeying the inspection procedure of exportation and failing to acquire health certificate from the Food Safety and Quality Authority for two containers of fish destined for Holland and China.
Delivering the ruling, the presiding magistrate said he had read the no-case to answer submission address made by Sainabou’s defence lawyer Moses B Johnson Richards, praying for the court to discharge his client pursuant to Section 166 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
He said the address also maintained that the prosecution had failed to prove prima facie (based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved otherwise) case against his client.
Magistrate Cham said he (Cham) had equally read the reply filed by the police prosecutor urging the court to order for Sainabou to open her defence. “A prima facie case does not mean proof beyond all reasonable doubt,” the magistrate said.
The case is adjourned to 5th September, 2016 for the accused person to open her defence.
by Aji Fatou Lemon