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Abubakarr Jawara Alleges Sabally Made Him Lose D8 Million In Business

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The CEO of GACH Global, Abubakarr Jawara and former Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodou Sabally

By Landing Ceesay

The CEO of GACH Global, Abubakarr Jawara, has alleged that former Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodou Sabally made him lose D8 million in business, and sued him (Sabally) at the High Court of the Gambia for “defamation and slander”.

In his statement of claim, Jawara claimed that Momodou Sabally had at different times on or about the 11th day of January 2021, falsely and maliciously published several defamatory statements about him on his Facebook account which he (Jawara) said enjoys very high traffic owing to the status of Sabally as a prominent political figure in a Gambian opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and because of his previous position.

Jawara further claimed that at 12:08 am on the 11th day of January 2021, Sabally “falsely and maliciously” published libellous statements about him.

Jawara claimed that Sabally wrote the following statements against him on January 11th 2021: “Certainly, it is not a good idea to mix drugs with guns. First, they brought a container of drugs, and all indications are that the suspects will go unpunished. In both cases the suspects have a direct link with the presidency. There is something so audacious as to bring in thousands of kilogrammes of cocaine through our main port, such a baron must be assured of some level of protection from the powers that be. Our youths are going crazy by the day with weird mental illnesses. If our government cannot give the young people jobs and quality education, then for the sake of God; let the government not be a conduit for this country. Things are really going out of hand and the situation is scary.”

The Plaintiff (Abubakarr Jawara) claims that in a bid to ensure that no one is in doubt as to the fact that the Defendant (Sabally) was referring to the him in the publication, Sabally had posted a photograph of him (Jawara) immediately beneath the statements alongside a picture of a pack of guns as well as a stack of white bags (to indicate a consignment of drugs).

Jawara claimed that the said photo of him beneath the statements made by Sabally was intended and did make it obvious to the public that the publication was made concerning him.

“The said words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and  were understood to mean that the Plaintiff (Jawara) is amongst those persons supplying the Gambian society, especially the youths, with illicit and dangerous drugs. The said words were calculated to disparage the Plaintiff and his reputation in society,” Abubakarr Jawara’s statement of claim reads.

Jawara claims that the Defendant (Sabally) had afterwards on the same date i.e. the 11th day of January 2021, “falsely” published other defamatory statements about the Plaintiff on his facebook account.

He said Sabally wrote that: “For the record, Abubacarr (sic) Jawara has been involved in some of the most shady deals that the Barrow administration ran in the so called New Gambia, Let Jawara go to court over this and will face the biggest humiliation ever in his shady life. This man should start thinking of how to refund Gambians all the shady money he made from dirty deals like black sand mining before he starts thinking of crying foul.”

Abubakarr Jawara also claimed that the Defendant (Sabally) had in these defamatory publications which were read by a great number of persons within and outside The Gambia, including the his (Jawara) friends, business partners, son and his friends, as well as anyone with a Facebook account or on the internet.

He alleged that Sabally’s  statement  depicted him as a mercenary gun-runner and a drug baron who was not only destroying the youth of The Gambia but also hurting the economic interests of the country solely for his personal enrichment and gain.

“These falsely publicized statements have wrongly disparaged the Plaintiff (Jawara) and his standing in society. The Plaintiff avers that the Sabally’s defamatory acts have lowered Jawara in the estimation of right thinking members of society. Such members of society include but are certainly not limited to the Plaintiff’s friends, his son and his son’s friends who construed these publications to mean that the Plaintiff is an unconscionable mercenary who was into gun-running and drug trafficking,”

Abubakarr Jawara said he is aware of the damage to his reputation as many of such persons made the Plaintiff aware of the grossly negative impact the publications had on their perception of him.

Jawara said his reputation within the public and his family suffered greatly owing to Sabally’s actions and words, but the damage extended beyond him.

Jawara claimed that his son Muhammed Jawara also suffered rejection and disparagement from his peers, school and friends, and his family members had to make several efforts to ensure the mental well-being of his son.

Abubakarr Jawara further claims that he has been scandalized and lost business due to the Sabally’s postings against him. 

He said In the year 2019 and several months after it’s occurrence, the Sabally used an incident in which one of the his (Jawara) companies “GACH Security’ imported a consignment of hunting rifles to disparage the him, even though the he had at all material times been granted a valid licence by the Inspector General of Police to import the said rifles and same was done legally.

“Through the defamatory postings and words of the Defendant, used this incident to depict the Plaintiff as a gun runner and a person who was involved in illegal businesses. The Defendant did this despite knowing that the Plaintiff was not so involved. The Plaintiff had in any case been exonerated from any wrongdoing whatsoever in connection with the said incident by the Gambian Police Force as well as the National Assembly,” he said. 

Abubakarr Jawara said the defamatory statements which were published by the Sabally on his Facebook page were injurious to his reputation and have lowered him in the estimation of right thinking people within and outside The Gambia.

“Excerpts of these publications as printed from the Plaintiffs Laptop and mobile phone which was in good condition and regular use as at the time the publications were captured and printed therefrom; whereof the printed excerpts which are correct and accurate reflection of what was captured will be relied on at the trial of this action.

“The Plaintiff avers that even though he is and was at all material times legally involved in the exploitation and/or of black sand in The Gambia, and had a valid mining licence to do so, the Defendant nevertheless has sought to depict the Plaintiff as a mercenary involved in illegal exploitation of black sand which thereby hurt the economic interests of The Gambia to the detriment of the Plaintiff.

Jawara claimed that on or about the 20th day of January 2021, the Sabally granted an interview to Freedom Radio, an online newspaper previously run by one Pa Nderry Mbai (who is now deceased), then a journalist based in North Carolina, United States of America. 

Jawara claim that the said Freedom Radio was at all material times listened to by several persons in The Gambia and was extremely popular amongst persons in the diaspora, who believed most of what was contained on the said platform.

Jawara alleged that During the interview which was broadcast online on the website and listened to by persons including his son Muhammed Jawara, the Defendant (Sabally) had, uttered about him the following slanderous words:

“I understand that they are close associates. Jawara and Banta and Abubakar (sic), that one, it is out in the open, he is a close associate of

president Barrow.” 

Jawara claimed that the Defendant (Sabally) was subsequently asked in the course of the interview whether he knew the suspects linked to the notorious drug importation incident.

He said Sabally further “defamed” him by retorting as follows: “We have been hearing names of people accused, from the authorities themselves, there is Banta Keita, and we understand that he has a relationship with the guy who brought in a container of guns, that’s Abubacarr (sic) Jawara, and we know Abubacarr Jawara, is a close associate of President Barrow”.

Abubakarr Jawara further claimed that even though the authorities had only named Banta Keita as the main suspect in the drug import incident, Sabally, “in a bid to defame him”, took it upon himself and “deliberately mentioned him” as having a relationship with Banta Keita, thereby defamatorily presented him as one of the suspects, especially as he (Sabally) had earlier stated in a prior defamatory publication that he (Sabally ) had previously made about him that “it is never a good thing to mix guns with drugs”. 

Jawara said he remained at all material

times unmentioned by the authorities as one of the suspects.

Abubakarr Jawara claimed that the Sabally was only out to “defame him” when he made those “slanderous” statements about him on radio as he (Jawara) has no contact, connection or relationship whatsoever with Banta Keita and there was no basis for Sabally to have made those defamatory statements about the him on the radio.

Jawara claimed that the Sabally had on 16th day of May, 2021 held a press conference which was streamed life on Facebook on a page known as “Camaraba Official” and was viewed by many persons, including Muhammed Jawara his son, claimed wildly that he (Sabally) was being targeted for attack by the President, wherein he once again “defamed” him (Jawara) by making the following statements about the Plaintiff “Abubakar (sic) Jawara, a crimal businessman offers One Million Dalasis

to each of the rebels selected to ambush Mr. Sabally in their secret meeting held at Abubakar Jawara’s compound.” 

Abubakarr Jawara further claimed that Sabally had also made Whatsapp Voice Notes where he made similarly “slanderous” statement about the him; whereupon he (Jawara) one of such widely circulated Whatsapp Voice Notes recorded by the Sabally in Madinka

Language-which he (Jawara) and his son had listened to differently because of its

extensive circulation. 

Jawara claimed that the contents of which have now been subscribed to English Language by Saikou Omar Jallow, after being interpreted by Omar Bah; Sabally had stated inter alia in the aforesaid WhatsApp voice notes concerning the Plaintiff (Jawara) asfollows:

“Abubacarr (sic) Jawara this is not your first time of taking guns from country to country.  is not your first time since Congo you started it in Congo, what happened there we the Sarahuleys we know all. (The aforementioned Transcript which is caption AUDIO 1 OF SEVENTEEN MINUTES TWENTY ONE SECONDS (17:21) is here by pleaded and will be relied on during the trial proceedings).” 

Jawara claimed that the said words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean that he contributes to violence, drugs, and gun violence in Gambian society. 

Jawara claimed that the said words were calculated by the Sabally solely to disparage him in his profession “as such allegations will not be taken lightly against the person they are made.” 

“The Plaintiff avers’ that these different defamatory statements made about him

at different times by the Defendant had exposed him to hatred, disdain, contempt, odium, distrust and rejection from right thinking persons within and outside The Gambia whom have read or heard of such defamatory statements made by the Defendant about him in different for a/media.

“The Plaintiff avers that in consequence of the series of defamatory publications the Defendant had made aplenty against him the Defendant’s very wide and unlimited reading and listening audience, his businesses have suffered greatly,” Jawara claim in his statement of offence. 

Jawara said he received several letters from his business partners to the effect that they were suspending transactions with him and his firm owing to Sabally’s publications linking him with drug trafficking. He said At least three of the said letters will be relied on at the trial of this action.

Abubakarr Jawara claimed that he has been forced to shut down his tomato processing factory following his inability to secure vital raw materials because his business partners who used to help him have now refused to associate with him due to the defamatory publications made about him by the Sabally.

Jawara claimed that a Profit and Loss Statement which had previously been prepared at his instance will show the impact of the loss of good will occasioned by the defamatory publications on the tomato processing business revealed colossal loss suffered by the Plaintiff to the tune of GMD 8,000,000.00. (A copy of this Statement of Profit and Loss is hereby pleaded and will be relied on at the trial.)

Abubakarr Jawara is claiming for: Damages for defamation and slander; an order directing the defendant (Momodou Sabally) to issue an unreserved apology to the plaintiff (Abubacarr Jawara) to be published widely circulating national newspapers; An Order that defendant do pay to the plaintiff the sum of GMB 8,000,000.00 being special damages; A perpetual injunction restraining the defendant (Momodou Sabally) either through his agents, cronies, associates, contacts, or further defaming, the plaintiff (Abubakarr Jawara) in any way or manner whosoever; Interest at the rate of 15% per annum until the date of judgement; Cost; and for such further or others as this Honourable Court deems fit. 

The date of the court case is slated for November 14, 2022. 

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