Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Gambia Government Dragged to Court over Property Housing Anti-Crime Unit

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By Yankuba Jallow

The Global HOMM of Medical Mission wants court to grant an injunction to stop Gambia Government from taking possession of their property.

On the 2nd June 2020, the Gambia Government wrote to the Home of Medical Missions informing them that they have revoked their lease. In that letter, they were informed that the place will be used for the construction of presidential villas for the OIC summit to be held in The Gambia.

According to the group, they acquired the property housing the Anti-Crime Unit in Bijilo in December 2006 and were given deed on the 22nd January 2007.

They want the court to stop the Government from carrying on with its plan pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

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The hospital was unceremoniously closed down in 2010 by the Gambia Government. Global HOMM was unceremoniously expelled from The Gambia by former President Yahya Jammeh without explanation in 2010. The Medical Director, Dr. Byung Barnabas Lee was arrested and taken to the NIA (National Intelligent Agency) for three days for interrogation.

Global HOMM was on 14 February 2007 registered as a charitable company in The Gambia, Certificate Number: 53/2007. The NGO Affairs Agency certified that Global HOMM was registered, recognized and allowed to operate as an International NGO in The Gambia on the 11 September 2008 as A76 NGO.

Global HOMM claimed to have spent a million and half in the construction of the structure that the Anti-Crime Unit of the Gambia Police Force is using as office. After it was closed down, the land was abandoned for some time before Jammeh’s Green Boys occupied the place. When the current regime took over from Jammeh, the Green Boys were moved out and replaced with the Anti-Crime, who is permanently occupying the place.

In September 2019, a judgment was obtained from the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court in favour of the group in which writ of possession was issued. From September 2019 to date, they are struggling to take over the land.

In that case, the Gambia Police Force, Ministry of Interior and Director of Lands and Survey were the defendants before the Magistrate’s Court. The defendants through their Counsel admitted to the claims of Global HOMM and the court entered judgment in favour of the group. The court made orders that the group shall have possession of the property. Also, the court awarded cost in favour of the group and ordered the defendants to pay them D50,000 for general damages for trespass. The lower court ordered the defendant to pay the group D25,000 for the cost of the action.

The current case was adjourned to Monday 29 June at 12:30 for ruling.

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