Taxi Driver Acquitted, Discharged on Drug Charge

Taxi Driver Acquitted, Discharged on Drug Charge

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A Taxi driver who was being tried on a charge of being in possession of prohibited drug has been acquitted and discharged by Magistrate Blessed of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, yesterday.

Ismaila Joof was arraigned before the court, accused of been in possession of prohibited drugs contrary to the laws of the Gambia. He denied maintained an innocence plea since the beginning of the trial.

During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses to testify in support of their case while the Joof testified without calling any witnesses.

The evidence of the prosecution witnesses revealed that the suspected cannabis, weighing 108mg was found in Joof’s possession but Joof in his defence maintained that he is a driver and a responsible man with a family who has never been involved in drug cases. He said the alleged suspected cannabis was recovered from his friend’s house where he went to watch a football game.

Going through the records, the presiding magistrate said the prosecution failed to provide the analyst after a sermon was issued for him to appear before the court. She added said Joof has denied knowing anything about the analytical report and the cautionary and voluntary statements.

Magistrate Blessed maintained that the court has on several occasions cautioned the prosecution to be diligent in the case, saying if the presence of the analyst was secured, the doubts of the court would have been cleared too. She said where there is doubt, it falls in favor of the accused person.

The presiding magistrate further said that there is no weighing report that was provide to the court and that the analytical report shows that the substance was submitted for analysis 20 days after recovery which, she said is in violation of the laws that stated that substances recovered should be sent for analysis within 24hours.

She said the court cannot determine proof of weighing and how the prosecution came about with the weighing as stated on the charged sheet. “The cautionary statement has no date and the court will not speculate as to whether the statement was obtained or not.”

Magistrate Blessed told the court that there is no consistency in the evidence laid by the prosecution and accordingly acquitted and dicsharged Joof.

She ruled that the substance recovered shall be forfeited to the state. by Meita Touray

 

A Taxi driver who was being tried on a charge of being in possession of prohibited drug has been acquitted and discharged by Magistrate Blessed of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, yesterday.

Ismaila Joof was arraigned before the court, accused of been in possession of prohibited drugs contrary to the laws of the Gambia. He denied maintained an innocence plea since the beginning of the trial.

During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses to testify in support of their case while the Joof testified without calling any witnesses.

The evidence of the prosecution witnesses revealed that the suspected cannabis, weighing 108mg was found in Joof’s possession but Joof in his defence maintained that he is a driver and a responsible man with a family who has never been involved in drug cases. He said the alleged suspected cannabis was recovered from his friend’s house where he went to watch a football game.

Going through the records, the presiding magistrate said the prosecution failed to provide the analyst after a sermon was issued for him to appear before the court. She added said Joof has denied knowing anything about the analytical report and the cautionary and voluntary statements.

Magistrate Blessed maintained that the court has on several occasions cautioned the prosecution to be diligent in the case, saying if the presence of the analyst was secured, the doubts of the court would have been cleared too. She said where there is doubt, it falls in favor of the accused person.

The presiding magistrate further said that there is no weighing report that was provide to the court and that the analytical report shows that the substance was submitted for analysis 20 days after recovery which, she said is in violation of the laws that stated that substances recovered should be sent for analysis within 24hours.

She said the court cannot determine proof of weighing and how the prosecution came about with the weighing as stated on the charged sheet. “The cautionary statement has no date and the court will not speculate as to whether the statement was obtained or not.”

Magistrate Blessed told the court that there is no consistency in the evidence laid by the prosecution and accordingly acquitted and dicsharged Joof.

She ruled that the substance recovered shall be forfeited to the state.

by Meita Touray