Magistrate Sillah of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on the 11th December, 2018, received an indictment bill from Prosecutor Sergeant 2717 Jallow, who represented the Inspector General of Police, alleging that a murder suspect had offended the law.
Prosecutors alleged that Ousman Dem on or about the 17th of November, 2018, at Kololi, in the Kanifing Municipality of the Republic of The Gambia, murdered one Sulayman Bojang. Sergeant 2717 Jallow rose and told the court that he had an application to make. He stated that the charge before the Honorable Court was that of murder, punishable with life imprisonment or death, falling under capital offences. He said he was aware of the provision of section 5(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code which gives the court powers to preside over any offence except capital offences.
He submitted that pursuant to Legal Notice No.3 of 2009 establishing the Special Criminal Division of the High Court to deal exclusively with capital offences made under section 143(1) of the 1997 constitution , the subordinate court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case, as envisaged under section 5(1) (9) of the CPC “Since the offence with which the accused is charged is unbailable, I am applying under section 99(1) of the CPC to transfer the case to the High Court pursuant to section 62 of the CPC, and the accused be remanded in custody under section 208(A) of the CPC, pending arraignment before the Special Criminal Division,” he told the court. The case was subsequently transferred to the Special Criminal Division in Banjul, while the accused, Ousman Dem, was remanded in custody.