Mr Darboe (left) and his supporters in the dock (Photo credit: Freedom Newspaper)
Mr Darboe (left) and his supporters in the dock (Photo credit: Freedom Newspaper)

(JollofNews) – A Gambian judge presiding over the high-profile case involving members of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) Monday announced that he is stepping aside from case.

Justice Ottaba did not give any reason (s) for withdrawing from the case but said he is sending it back to the chief justice for reassignment.

Mr Darboe was arrested and charged last month together with over a dozen of his supporters after they took to the street to seek justice for their colleagues who were arrested two days earlier and tortured by security officers resulting in the alleged death of one of the detainees.

Him and his supporters are currently held at the remand wing of the Mile Two prisons on the outskirt of Banjul after they were denied bail by Justice Ottaba on the grounds that they posed a threat to the country’s security and are likely to jump bail due to the severity of the punishment.

But last weekend, the judge shocked the nation when he told a US-based radio host, Fatou Camara, that he was not comfortable with the case.

He said he was embarrassed at the decision of the Jammeh regime to arrest and charge the leader of the UDP, Ousainou Darboe, who is also a senior member of the Gambian bar.

The judge said although the matter is already in court, he would like the Inter-Party Committee to intervene and help resolve the case because “we are all brothers and sisters”

The Inter-Party Committee, which comprises of representatives of all political parties in the country was set up to promote peaceful political party activities and the holding of free, fair and genuine elections.