Caliph’s Trial Awaits Judgment

Dasilameh Caliph General/Standard Photo
Dasilameh Caliph General/Standard Photo

The Brikama Magistrates’ Court will make a ruling on May 27 on the ongoing conspiracy and disobedience to lawful order case involving Darsilami Sangajor caliph, Muhideen Hydara and the village chieftain, Buyeh Touray.

This was declared yesterday by Magistrate Ebrima Jaiteh following the adoption of the written address by counsels for the accused while prosecution decided it was relying on the evidence given by its witnesses only.

While addressing the court when the case was mentioned, the chief prosecutor, Inspector Camara did not address the court, adding that he chose to rely on the testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

He said: “Your worship, we choose not to address the court anymore rather we rely on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses.”

Sheikh Sheriff Muhideen Hydara, the caliph general of Darsilami Sangajor and the village chieftain (alkalo) Buyeh Touray are facing trial on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and disobedience to lawful order. The two community leaders have been alleged to have flouted a presidential injunction regarding the 2014 Muslims’ feast of Eidul-fitr. They are said to have conspired and failed to observe prayers on the day sanctioned by the state. They however denied the charges.

Messrs Hydara and Touray were arrested by the police after performing their prayers on July 29 instead of July 28 2014. They were placed under police custody for two days but later granted bail on August 1 in a sum of D100, 000 each.

In bid to establish the essential elements of the offence as charged, the prosecution presented a host of witnesses and exhibits before declaring the closure of its case. The prosecution also intended to call the Governor of West Coast Region to testify in the case but later withdrew the application. The defence team also during the legal battle raised constitutional issues such as contending that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. They said that the matter should have been referred to the constitutional court for determination. They submitted that any attempt by the court to proceed with the matter would be tantamount to a ‘miscarriage of justice’ and a ‘travesty’ to the fundamental and constitutional rights of the accused persons. This prompted the defence team to file a motion on a stay-of-proceedings at the high court in Brikama but was dismissed.



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