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City of Banjul
Thursday, October 21, 2021

KMC SUES GOV’T, OTHERS FOR D20M as damages for trespass

By Bruce Asemota

The Kanifing Municipal Council has instituted a civil suit against Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass, Babucarr Sanyang, Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs, Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General, at the High Court in Banjul.

Kanifing Municipal Council is claiming the sum of D20.000.000.00 (twenty million dalasi) as damages for trespass into its premises and precincts without lawful authority and for intimidation of its staff and personnel.

The KMC is also seeking the High Court’s declaration that the Ministry of Lands and the Inspector General of Police, whether jointly or severally, do not have the power to determine matters relating to the appointment, control, discipline or employment of Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucarr Sanyang and that the Local Government Services Commission is the only body that may determine such matters.

The Council further seeks a declaration that any executive directive issued by the president to forcibly install any of the fore mentioned persons/ defendants in office despite the resolution of the plaintiff sending them on leave pending investigations into fraud and maladministration by the Local Government Service Commission and the Police is a violation of the Section 37, 43 (1) and 48 of the Local Government Act 2002, an abuse of executive power, unconstitutional and unlawful.

KMC also wants the High Court to make a declaration that the actions of the Inspector General of Police for deploying Police Intervention Unit officers to its premises to forcefully install into office Sainabou Martin Sonko pursuant to a purported executive directive is illegal.

More urgently, according to the suit, the KMC is seeking an injunction to restrain Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucar Sanyang jointly and severally whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or howsoever otherwise from entering upon or doing anything whatsoever on its premises, building and precincts wherever situated pending the conclusion of the investigations by the Police or the decision of the Local Government Service Commission on the alleged fraud and maladministration reported against them on the 27th July, 2021.

Meanwhile, the High Court presided over by Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh after hearing the ex-parte motion filed by the Kanifing Municipal Council against the 8 defendants on the 10th August, 2021 disclosed that the said motion raised a prima facie case to warrant the intervention of the court to grant an interim injunction, pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed.

The trial judge granted leave to Kanifing Municipal Council to hear this matter during this summer vacation 2021.

The trial judge also granted an interim injunction restraining Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucarr Sanyang whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, or howsoever otherwise from entering upon or doing anything whatsoever on the premises, building, precincts of the Kanifing Municipal Council pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice or further orders of the court.

The trial Judge ordered that Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucarr Sanyang shall only be permitted to enter the premises, building, precincts of Kanifing Municipal Council for the purpose of investigations of the matters complained, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice or further orders of the court.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday, 18th August, 2021 at 10am for hearing of the application.

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