By Edrissa Jallow
Justice B. A Bakre of the Banjul Annex High Court on Wednesday 02nd November 2022 discharged the Inspector General of The Gambia Police Force, Abdoulie Sanyang as parties agreed to resolve the matter outside court.
A publication by Standard Newspaper dated 21st March 2022, reports that a German national, Bernd George Diedrich filed “a mandamus at the high court” for Justice Bakre to force the IGP and the Attorney General to “provide the requisite police escort to execute a judgment that was ruled in his favour against the late Alkalo in Bijilo”.
The report further highlights that Mr Diedrich who is the applicant “won a civil suit against Yankuba Jatta regarding a land situated in Bijilo, which he acquired in 1991. The then judge Amadi had ordered for the eviction of Jatta from the said property.”
It could be recalled on Monday 20th June 2022, Mr Diedrich’s lawyer, Sheriff Kumba Jobe sought leave to “move the Ex-parte motion”.
Justice Bakre granted the leave and ordered to “bring contempt proceedings against the IGP for his wilful and continued refusal to obey the order of this court made on the 11th April 2022 compelling to provide security to the Sheriff of The Gambia as statutorily provided”.
Justice Bakre further ordered the IGP in the same order to “physically appear before this court on the next adjourned date (today 2nd November 2022) to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of this court order.”
In response to the mandamus filed, the Legal Clerk at the MoJ, Mariama Bah swore on 19th August 2022, noting that no evidence could be shown that the IGP “was written to and failed to execute the order” of the court.
Legal Clerk says she “verily believe” that “the Police have made several attempt trying to evict the occupants as per the judgement of this court sometime in 2017 and the resistance that the police were met with was so great that they were left with no other option than to stay action”.
She continues that another “attempt was further made in 2020 to enforce the judgement of this court and that attempt almost resulted in bloodshed”.
In this regard, the IGP appears before justice Bakre’s court to obey the court order. The IGP’s lawyer, Binga Dinshiya of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) informed the court that, there is a negotiation ongoing on the land issue which he says is the delay in resolving the case up to date.
Counsel Dinshiya who is currently the director of Civil Litigation at the MoJ also informed the court that there is no way the case will be resolved without engaging the occupants of the land and the applicant, Mr Diedrich in a dialogue.
Now both the applicant and the respondent agree to resolve the matter outside the courts. However, Justice Bakre ordered the state to report back to the court on 30th January 2023 and further informed the state to do all it can to resolve the issue.
After the agreement, the IGP was then released and the case adjourns to the end of January 2023.