UDP’s Leader Says Sabally’s Detention is Unlawful


By Yankuba Jallow

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the party leader of the United Democratic (UDP) said the detention of Momodou Sabally is against the Constitution of The Gambia.

“What is happening is just an abuse of judicial process. What is happening is that the Judiciary {and} the police are conniving with Adama Barrow, because they know the local government is coming {and} they are losing ground, to intimidate people,” he said.

He said the arrest and detention is one way of intimidating the people.

“We refuse to be intimidated,” Darboe said.

The opposition leader said he is preview to some documents that the State filed ex-parte to deprive Sabally his fundamental right. Darboe explained that when a person’s right is to be deprived, he or she has the right to be heard before the court.

“It cannot be brought by ex-parte (without hearing Sabally),” Darboe said.

He said the Government is using the Judiciary to suppress Gambians.

“We are now seeing the Barrow administration using the Judiciary to suppress political opponents…They used the Judiciary….. in this heinous act,” he said.

Darboe said the 1997 Constitution dictates the Judiciary to enforce fundamental rights and freedoms.

“The Constitution charges the Judiciary to enforce the fundamental human rights. It does not dictate to them (the Judiciary) that they must conspire with anybody to deprive that person his fundamental rights,” Darboe said.

He said the Government wants to silence politician Sabally because he is outspoken about issues.

Darboe said the Constitution provides for 72 hours (3 days) constitutionality for detention, which the High Court is obliged to enforce.

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has described the arrest and detention as a ‘scheme and ploy’ which was planned many months ago by the Barrow government to arrest the former Secretary General and Head of Civil Service in the Gambia.

He played the audio of Momodou Sabally which is transcribed as follows:

“Katu I be menna, misinformation, disinformation, ka muru ka patio too tinyata, nbe wo le ke la,n be bankoo taa la Adama Barrow bulu le ani janing karatee fanyoo, ani janing local government elections, katu I be menna wo le mu misinformation, disinformation,ka muru ka patio too tinya patio meng nye a long ko baraka patio le mu, duwaa patio Le mu, n be wo le ke la”.

He interpreted the statement to mean “we will lock down the country.” He asked whether this statement tantamount to treason.

“Sabally did not say we will take over the Government. He said we will take over the country. He said “Banko” which means country,” Darboe said.

Darboe stated that Sabally’s arrest and detention is a scheme and a ploy that was planned several months ago. He cited conversations in NPP forums that they will silence Momodou Sabally, Ebrima Dibba and one other so that they can go ahead with their politics.

“That evil scheme that they conspired is what has now been hatched. And unfortunately the judiciary is used in this unholy act. I want to say that the judge who did this is not an ignorant person. She knows the law but she deliberately decided to detain Sabally,” Darboe said.

Darboe said the Judge did so to satisfy President Adama Barrow and his cohort. The lawyer said the TRRC report indicated that the Judiciary was used by the past regime to suppress political opponents, adding that the current regime is using the same method.

“Barrow’s gradual ascendancy to dictatorship is being aided by the police and by the Judiciary,” Darboe said.

He called on the National Human Rights Commission to join his party in their struggle to end impunity in the Gambia.