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Friday, September 24, 2021

Court grants D40,000 compensation to illegally detained man, lambasts police

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By Aisha Tamba

The Kanifing High Court presided over by Justice AT Osei yesterday ordered the State to compensate one Sylvanus Johnson the sum of D40,000 for unlawful arrest and detention exceeding seventy-two hours.

According to Johnson, he was detained at the Police Headquarters without charge from the 4th to 19th April 2020. He added that he was not put before any court of law and neither was he charged with any offence. 

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Johnson considered this as a violation of his fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed under the 1997 constitution, and therefore it was wrongful, illegal and arbitrary.

Justice AT Osei granted the prayer of the applicant agreeing the applicant’s detention by the state for a period exceeding seventy-two hours is violation of the his right and liberties guaranteed. The judge ruled that the applicant be compensated with the sum of 40,000 dalasi for hardship and distress meted on him.

The judge also reminded the police that the country is governed by the constitution that guarantees personal liberties and the rights of the people. “There should not be any attempt on any day or occasion to deprive the people of the enjoyment of these rights and liberties or in any manner take them for granted. Such a course would be relentlessly, fearlessly and zealous resisted by the courts that are mandated by the constitution as the last hope of the people of the Gambia. The police are rather urged to lend their support and cooperation to the court which is the bastion of our democracy in its pursuit to the rule of law and justice delivery,” the judge concluded.

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