By Bruce Asemota
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul has struck out a civil suit filed by one Anna Manneh against the Inspector General of Police, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Forest View Apartments, Ferme Agro Limited and Ndey Haddy Jobe.
Anna Manneh dragged the above respondents to the High Court seeking a declaration that the conduct of the IGP to forfeit his vehicle and handing it over to Ferme Agro Limited and Ndey Haddy Jobe without court authorization is arbitrary and constitutes violation of her constitutional rights to the property.
Anna Manneh is also seeking an order for the respondents to pay her monetary compensation for the hardship and distress occasioned by their actions.
She is also seeking an order of the High Court for the respondents to return the vehicle, registration Number BJL7447P, a Range Rover and an apartment to her possession.
Delivering ruling yesterday, the presiding judge disclosed that on the 9th March 2021 the court ordered Anna Manneh’s counsel and the lawyers for the respondents to file written addresses on the originating summons and were each given 14 days to do so and the matter was subsequently adjourned to yesterday for adoption of briefs.
Justice Jaiteh said he saw a letter dated the 27th April, 2021 from the applicant’s counsel seeking for the matter to be rescheduled to another date, because of the lawyer’s engagement with the Gambia Court of Appeal and the High Court in Janjanbureh.
Justice Jaiteh stated that adjournment of cases is at the discretion of the court and that no adjournment shall be entertained except in very compelling circumstances and with a veritable reason, citing the High Court practice direction of 2013.
Justice Jaiteh noted that the applicant’s counsel did not give any veritable reason attached to the letter sent to the court and he is not satisfied that the request for an adjournment is compelling and as a result will not grant it.
He revealed he had ordered the applicant’s lawyer to file his written brief of arguments within 14 days and serve the respondents which was not complied until yesterday 28th April when the case is set for adoption.
Justice Jaiteh stated that the applicant’s brief was filed way out of time and there was no application pending before the court which sought leave (permission) of the court to file the said brief out of time to deem it as properly filed.
Justice Jaiteh said the Respondents’ counsel was also not served, noting that the brief of argument filed by the applicant’s counsel yesterday is incompetent as no permission (leave) was sought and granted by the court.
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh disclosed that the business of the court yesterday was to adopt the written briefs of arguments.
“Since there is no competent brief of argument before the court, the suit is hereby struck out for lack of diligent prosecution,” he concluded.