After she was charged last Thursday for allegedly obstructing and assaulting a drug law enforcement officer, Member of National Assembly Ya Kumba Jaiteh has appeared this Monday at the Kanifing magistrate court. The case was adjourned for hearing on 26th October following a request made by the prosecution.
Ya kumba Jaiteh appeared at the Kanifing magistrate escorted by supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP), her family and other well-wishers. Equally present was a team of lawyers for her defense. One of these lawyers is Yankuba Darboe, also a member of the UDP.
To the reporters asking lawyer Yankuba Darboe to explain what happened before the court’s adjournment, he said “This is the first time there is hearing, it is the first time we are given the opportunity to see the prosecution’s documents and the particulars of their charge. Because it’s the first hearing, the prosecution sought adjournment in other to prepare their witness. The court granted that adjournment till the 26th to hear from their first witness and hopefully we will be able to cross examine that witness on what has actually happened on that date“, Yankuba Darboe explained.
Before the hearing this Monday, the public relations officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Ousman Saidy Bah has explained that the case involving Ya Kumba Jaiteh and an officer of his agency “doesn’t fall under our jurisdiction. So the police will ascertain whether there was assault or not.”
Meanwhile, Ya Kumba has always dismissed the police allegations she described as false. “I was at the police station to bail my brother. One Drug Squad officer told me that I was needed because I was charge for assaulting a police officer. They accused me of stoning a police officer and that wasn’t true. It is completely false“.
All along last week, Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s case was a hot topic in radio and tv talk shows as well as in the Gambian online media plateforms. On the “Guiss-guiss” talk show hosted by Ansu Jack on the Fatu Network, one of the panelists, Aziz Dabakh Colley said “It’s not like I was told, but am a witness to what happened. The way and manner in which those drug squad behaved that day was very unprofessional, they were very arrogant” he said. “It’s as if they have anger in them. When they were assaulting his brother, Kumba wasn’t there. She just heard the shouting and she came out. What I couldn’t understand is when you handcuff someone who accepts to be arrested, it doesn’t make sense to beat or use pepper spray on him” Aziz Dabakh told the “Guiss-Guiss” show.
Following the adjournment to October 26th of the case, Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s lawyer Yankuba Darboe said “This is about Justice. What we are seeking is that Justice prevails in this is one particular because we have allegations made against a sitting member of parliament after the police officers or Drug Enforcement agents have the brazenness or the audacity to jump into a sitting member of parliament’s house and do what they did. That would be cleared during the course of the trial of what actually transpired. They’ve made a case we’ll have to make our defense and then people will hear the other side. I believe that it wouldn’t get to that because we are hoping that this is a classic “no case to answer“, lawyer Yankuba Darboe said.