By Omar Bah
Abdoulie Fatty, the lawyer of detained UDP campaign manager Momodou Sabally, has filed a certificate of urgency at the High Court in Banjul requesting the court to expedite his client’s hearing.
Mr Sabally was arrested last week in connection with a video in circulation in which he allegedly said they will take the country from the president before the local government elections. His lawyer has since expressed fears that he could face treason charges as part of a “well-designed” scheme to deny him his freedom.
The state had filed an ex-parte motion on 23rd December 2022 seeking the continued detention of Mr Sabally and the court granted the request, pending the hearing and determination of the motion.
But in a summon of notice submitted at the high court seen by The Standard, Lawyer Fatty requested the court to urgently proceed with the case.
In the summon, Lawyer Fatty argued that the longer Mr Sabally remains in custody without being charged, the greater the violation of his constitutionally guaranteed rights under section 19(3)(b).
“Where there is a serious risk of continuous infringement of fundamental rights and freedoms, such as in the instant case, the court should expeditiously deal with any application seeking protection and enforcement of Chapter IV rights under the constitution. This application raises important and urgent constitutional and civil liberty issues,” the summon added.
Mr Fatty argued that since his client’s arrest and detention on 21 December 2022, he has neither been charged with any offence nor brought before a court.
“Time is of the profound essence and unless the summons on notice dated 27th December 2022 and filed on 28th December 2022 is dealt with urgently, the Applicant may continue to languish in state custody, further depriving him of his constitutionally guaranteed rights. This application raises important issues that go to the heart of the principle of the rule of law and access to speedy justice. Therefore, it is in the interest of justice and constitutionality that the Summons of Notice herein is heard as a matter of extreme urgency,” Fatty added in his summon. The matter is expected next Tuesday at 10am at the High Court.