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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Court orders NAATIP to return deported child, passports

By Bruce Asemota

Justice Ebrima Baa Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul has ordered the National Agency Against Trafficking in Person (NAATIP) to comply with the Brikama court order to return the international passports of Pastor Edith Ibeneme and his wife Pastor Andy Emerald.

The court also ordered the release of their son called Prince Dominion David Anthony Ibeneme.

The couple had filed an appeal after NAATIP failed to comply with the order of the Brikama court to return the child and their passports. 

The couple were charged with trafficking Prince Dominion David Omon Ibeneme at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court and their international passports seized by NAATIP which also allegedly deported the baby to Nigeria.

The Brikama court discharged the couple and ordered that the baby and the passports of the plaintiffs be returned to them. But NAATIP apparently failed to comply with the court order prompting the couple to file a case at the appeals court.

In his ruling yesterday, Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the State does not have right to arbitrarily arrest people and bundle them as cargo and deport them without adherence to the due process of the law.

The judge further disclosed that the High Court has inherent obligation to intervene when fundamental rights and freedoms of people are threatened by an organ of the State obliged to protect and uphold those fundamental rights.

Justice Jaiteh stated that if a party is aggrieved by an order of court, the only avenue open to that party is to appeal against the order but not to flout or disobey the said order.

He emphasised that disobeying a court order is contemptuous and therefore NAATIP is under  obligation to comply with the order of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court dated 17th July, 2018.

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