In a judgment delivered last Wednesday, Magistrate Malafy Jarju of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court cautioned and discharged one Ebou Conteh who was standing trial before him on a charge of drug possession.
The magistrate also warned Mr Conteh to distance himself from any trouble and disruption of the law until the year 2020.
Mr. Conteh was charged with being in possession of 2kg and 640g of cannabis sativa for the purpose of trafficking at Arrankon Village. He had accepted the charge in his first appearance in court.
Sub Inspector M. Demba, the prosecuting officer, read the facts of the case and said that, Mr. Conteh collapsed in a vehicle while travelling to Jarra Soma. He said he was having a red and black bag at the time.
According to Demba, when he regained consciousness, he was arrested by police officers with the bags alleged to be containing cannabis.
Prosecutor Demba then applied to tender the cannabis, cautionary and voluntary statements, weigh certificate and analytical report which were accepted by the accused without any objection. These statements were all admitted and marked as exhibits.
Mr. Demba pleaded with the court to consider not imposing a custodial sentence on him, claiming that, he is sick and has no job and equally his family does not have the financial muscle to cure him.
Magistrate Jarju said, having looked at the totality of the offence committed and the fact that the convict pleaded guilty and did not waste the court’s time, it is an obligation for the court to make considerations.
He said, the arresting officers also told the court that Mr. Conteh had collapsed and was helped. “Having no job does not mean you should engage in selling drugs. There are lot of jobs in this country that someone can do to make a living which other nationalities are doing,” Jarju emphasized.
He stressed that, sending Mr. Conteh to mile two might worsen his medical condition and the state had to take care of him, saying if everyone is taken to prison then who will be here to work? “We want every Gambian to be productive.”
“I will let you go home but from today 12th April, 2017 to the same date in the year 2020, if you get involved in any disruption of the law, you will be brought to this court whether I will be here or not and open the file and send you to Mile 2 for 10 years,” Magistrate Jarju said.
He warned Conteh to find new friends and not to even go closer to where cannabis smokers will be gathering because if he is mistakenly arrested he will served his jail term.
Source: daily observer