By Mam Sait Ceesay
The Supreme Court of The Gambia has dismissed the motion filed by the Social Security and Housing Finance Cooperation seeking an injunction against Mr. Mam Sait Njie not to proceed with referral of the suit to arbitration, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
In her ruling, the Lead Judge N Salla – Wadda refused SSHFC’s application and also awarded Mam Sait Njie with a cost of twenty – five thousand dalasi (D25, 000).
The judge cited the Supreme Court decision in MADIKIRREH Vs ALHAJIE LANSANA SILLAH (Civil Appeal of 2014) as well as the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA Vs SYSTEMS APPLICATION PRODUCTS NIGERIA LTD (2005) where it was held that “an injunction whether prohibitory or mandatory would normally not be granted to restrain a right which a defendant is entitled to exercise.”
According to the judge, the SSHFC has requested for the injunction in anticipation that Mr. Mam Sait Njie may refer this matter to arbitration as per the ruling of the High Court of 8th March 2020 which decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in its judgement of 8th June 2021. Therefore, the injunction if granted will have the effect of staying the judgement of the Supreme Court to which the SSHFC has already conceded it cannot validly make an application for.
The Supreme Court held that the SSHFC has not established a legal right that is being or has been threatened and therefore, the likelihood that Mam Sait Njie might have the matter referred to arbitration under the Joint Venture Agreement does not threaten its right to have this matter determined on appeal of the Supreme Court or even if Mam Sait Njie actually proceeds with the matter to arbitration as he is entitled to do so.
“Furthermore” the judge went on “it is my considered view that that the status quo will be maintained and the rest preserved even on the face of the refusal of the granting of an order for an injunction. As such, I am of the view that the SSHFC is not entitled to this relief and is application is hereby refused”, the judge concluded.