Ibrahim JS Sanneh, a former independent candidate who contested against Yankuba Darboe for the Brikama Area Council chairmanship election, has advised the state to drop sedition charges brought against Chairman Yankuba Darboe, questioning the timing of the case, describing it as a “red flag for peace and stability.”
On 31 August, Yankuba Darboe was set to begin his defense before magistrate M L Thomas, but his defense lawyer, Lamin S. Camara, requested to adjourn the case. The sedition charges were brought against him by the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Justice, and the Minister of Justice for his alleged foul language against the judiciary sometime in 2021.
Commenting on the case, Sanneh said that the matter’s timing is wrong and may threaten peace, knowing that over 77 thousand people voted in Yankuba Darboe to serve as the Chairman of the Brikama Area Council.
“Considering the timing currently, to proceed with such a case at the court will be a red flag for our peace and stability. Yankuba Darboe before and Yankuba Darboe now are not the same. He is no longer an ordinary person as he is the Chairman of the biggest region in our country, and over 77,000 people voted to put him in that office. So to proceed with such a case will be met with a reaction of his electorates, which might not end well,” he said.
Sanneh further advised the state to drop the charges to give peace a chance.
“I advise the state to consider dropping this case immediately and allow peace to rain. As the peace and stability of our is at stake, most specifically our West Coast Region,” he observed.
Sanneh, however, said that every citizen, including Yankuba Darboe, must respect the county’s laws regardless of their status. Despite that, he pointed out that the country’s interest should come first in every decision, especially when peace is at stake.
The charges brought against the Chairman of the Brikama Area Council, Yankuba Darboe, include sedition and contempt of court. The prosecution claims that on 10 February 2021, Mr. Darboe made a derogatory statement against the president of the Gambia, Adama Barlow, and the judiciary.
On 31 August, Yankuba Darboe was set to begin his defense before magistrate M L Thomas, but his defense lawyer, Lamin S. Camara, requested the case’s adjournment.
The court then granted his request. The case returns to the Banjul magistrate court on 7 September 2023.