By Modou S. Joof
Daily Observer editor Alagie Jobe is no longer answerable to the charge of “making document without authority” after police prosecutors decided to expunge it from the charge sheet on Tuesday.
On April 2, 2013, Kanifing Court Magistrate Hilary Abeke, presiding, upheld his March 26 ruling on denial of bail.
Jobe’s lawyer Ebrima Jah had requested for the court to discharge the accused prior to the adoption of the amended charge sheet, but Magistrate Abeke ruled that the earlier decision on decline of bail still stands.
Mr Jobe is now facing five charges of “making an act of seditious intent”, “seditious publication”, “possession of seditious publication”, “giving false information to a public officer”, and “forgery”.
Jobe’s co-accused Mr Bittaye, whose lawyer Seega Gaye was absent, still faces a charge of “unlawful inquiries relating to possibility of forgery”.
Both denied the charges brought against them by the police in Banjul, The Gambian capital, on March 12.
In a charge sheet, the police accuse Mr Jobe of publishing in a purported Daily Observer newspaper of 19th December 2012 a false story that “Major Lamin Touray is on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and code by refusing to take orders in execution of some people”.
Front Page International (FPI) is privy to information in the amended charge sheet and observed that an earlier claim by the police that Mr Jobe’s alleged actions were (intent to bring hatred and to excite disaffection against the person of the President of The Gambia and the Government of The Gambia) has been removed.
Superintendent Sainey Joof, prosecuting, told the lower court on Tuesday that he came with “new charges” but FPI observed that the charges are more or less the same, only that one of six charges against Mr Jobe’s was dropped.