Alleged murder case… Judge denies amendment to indictment in former Skye Bank Manager’s case

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By Ibrahim Kabbah Turay

In the alleged murder case involving the former Skye Bank Manager, Ikudolaje Bola Nicol, the presiding Judge, Justice Adran Fisher, has rejected the state prosecution’s amendment to the indictment.

The state sought to change the charge from murder to manslaughter.

On February 27, 2024, prosecutor Y. Sesay requested an amendment, arguing that the indictment was defective.

The defense, represented by lawyer Wright, opposed the application. Sesay cited sections 148(1) and (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32, 1965, stating that given the circumstances and evidence, a murder charge would render the indictment defective.

Sesay contended that amending to manslaughter would not cause injustice, and he expressed surprise at the defense’s objection.

The prosecution acknowledged the similarity between murder and manslaughter but argued that even with jury directions; the accused could still be convicted of manslaughter.

The defense insisted that the indictment was not defective, and any amendment proposed by the prosecution was a substitution rather than a correction.

Justice Fisher ruled that, after reviewing the indictment, he found no overt defects. He noted that when an indictment substantially complies with the law, the question of a defective indictment doesn’t arise.

The judge expressed concern that the prosecution was attempting to circumvent the Supreme Court’s orders for a judge and jury trial.

Justice Fisher emphasized the need for compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, considering the accused’s potential imprisonment.

He criticized the prosecution for not seeking this amendment earlier and stated that any trial proceeding without complying with the Supreme Court’s decision would be unfair. Consequently, the application to replace the murder charge with manslaughter was refused, and the matter was adjourned to March 12, 2024.

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