By Nelson Manneh
Rongo’s civil suit in which he is claiming 30 million dalasis has been set for pretrial by the Banjul High Court.
Two of the defendants, the Police and the DLEAG were late to file their statements of defence and the Court, presided over by Justice Nabou Wadda-Ceesay on Thursday, 20th June 2019 struck out both statements, saying both of them failed file their statements on time. At the Proceedings in November 2018, the court directed all the ten defendants in this suit to file their statements of defence within 30 days. Eight of the ten defendants had already filed their statements of defence before the proceedings of 20th June 2019.
When the case was called and representation announced counsel representing the police and Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Madam AA Ceesay, urged the court to proceed with the pretrial but the plaintiff’s counsel, Lawyer Borry S. Touray objected to the application because these two defendants have failed to file their statements of defence on time. Relying on various citations of the law he urged the court to strike out the two statements of defence. Counsel for the two defendants, AA Ceesay could not offer any legal argument in opposition to the submissions of the plaintiff and the judge ruled that the statements of these two defendants be struck out.
In a civil suit the plaintiff (the one who has brought the case to court) files a statement of claim while the defendant files a statement of defence and the evidence adduced will be confined to these statements. The plaintiff, ‘Rongo’ is a musician and a native of Banjulunding in Kombo North district, while the defendants are Momodou Lungs Jarju the Alkalo of Banjulunding, Imam Yahya Bah, Malang Njie, Modou Badjie, Landing Korteh, Lamin Nafulou Jarju, Jarbel Ceesay, Foday Barry, Inspector General of Police and Director General of Drug Law Enforcement Agency Gambia (DLEAG). The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh defendants, are residents of Banjulunding. The eighth defendant, Foday Barry was a senior officer of DLEAG.
The plaintiff claims 10 million dalasis for his unlawful arrest and detention by the defendants and their agents.
On the second claim, he claims 10 million dalasis as damage for his malicious prosecution for various offences, when the defendants and their agents knew or ought to have known, that he ought not to have been so charged.
On his third ground of claim, ‘Rongo’ claims 10 million dalasi as damages, for loss of earnings occasioned by his unlawful arrest, detention and malicious prosecution.
The other claims include the cost of action in the sum of D200,000 and 25% from the date of accrual from November 1st, 2012, to date of payment.
The matter was adjourned to the 25th of June 2019 at 1:00 am for pretrial.