By Bruce Asemota
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul has ordered the Inspector General of Police to unconditionally release Wang Wei, a Chinese contractor from unlawful detention forthwith.
Justice Jaiteh made this order yesterday in a ruling he delivered premised on an application filed on behalf of Wang Wei by senior lawyer Kebba Sanyang.
The Chinese contractor was arrested on 14th October, 2023 after a failed commercial transaction with one Abdoulaye Ndiaye, a Senegalese businessman who is believed to have orchestrated his arrest and detention.
Wang Wei had since been detained at Kairaba police station and not arraigned or charged before any court in The Gambia or in Senegal.
Justice Jaiteh in his ruling disclosed that Wang Wei and Abdoulaye Ndiaye’s issue is a pure commercial transaction devoid of any criminal element.
“I cannot envisage how a man can be arrested and detained by the police beyond the constitutional limit without any charge and the police who are duty-bound to protect fundamental rights are violating the constitution with impunity. This is totally unacceptable in a democratic society,” Justice Jaiteh remarked.
He stated that the Inspector General of Police should not arrest and detain people at his whims, noting that it is wrong for the IGP or his officers to interfere in civil matters under the pretext of investigating crime and subsequently unlawfully detaining people without any charge being proffered.
Justice Jaiteh said the New Gambia prides itself on democratic tenets; liberty and law as twin concepts which are inseparable.
He further said the reason for the Chinese contractor’s detention is based purely on commercial transaction, noting that the IGP has no business or cause to arrest and detain him.
He revealed that if Abdoulaye Ndiaye is aggrieved by the contractual agreement he entered into with Mr Wei, he should institute a civil suit but not to use the Inspector General of Police as an instrument of impunity.
Justice Jaiteh also made an order restraining the Inspector General of Police from extraditing or handing over Wang Wei to Senegal or any foreign state in the absence of an express order of the court.
Meanwhile, Justice Jaiteh ordered that the IGP and the Minister of Justice be served with the court order immediately for compliance.