By Landing Ceesay
Following their arrest upon return from exile, The Attorney General and Minister of Justice on behalf of the state filed an application at the High Court seeking General Sulayman Badjie (Saul Badjie), Major Landing Tamba and WO1 Musa Badjie to be detained for 90 days.
“Let all parties concerned attend the judge in Chambers on Monday the 17th day of January 2022 at 10:00am O’clock in the noon on the hearing of an application on the part of the Attorney General for;
” An order that the respondents currently being held on suspicion of having committed grave offences be held in detention at the Mile 2 Central Prisons for a period of 90 days to permit and facilitate further investigations pending the referring of formal charges,” the Attorney General said in summons on notice served to the lawyer of the respondents.
The case titled ‘The State Vs General Sulayman Badjie (1st respondent), Major Landing Tamba (2nd respondent) and WO1 Musa Badjie (3rd respondent)’ is before the High Court Judge, Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami.
The lawyers for the State are Lawyer Patrick Gomez and Lawyer Reneta Rohey Jack, while Sheriff Kumba Jobe, is the only Lawyer representing the respondents.
Talking about the appearance of General Saul Badjie and Co before the High Court, Sheriff Kumba Jobe, counsel for the respondents said there is no indictment or charges against his clients.
“My lady, as far as we are aware, what is before us is a summons and there is no indictment or charges against my clients. So as far as I know, what is before us is a civil proceeding,” he said.
In response to the respondents’ lawyer, Counsel Patrick Gomez, representative of the State said the matter is a civil matter and it is being transferred to the court as part of the process.
“My lady, the matter is being transferred to court and then it is a civil matter. It is not an indictment but it is part of the process to transfer the matter to the court,” he said.
Sheriff Kumba Jobe, lawyer for the respondents, disagreed that there is no transfer of the matter from any subordinate court.
Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami then told the lawyer for the respondents that she would allow him to file an application and asked counsel Jobe whether they will file an application.
“Yes we will be filing one, but before you proceed to that, you really need to permit us. We intend to raise a preliminary objection on the competence of this application,” Sheriff Kumba Jobe responded to Justice Jawara-Alami.
Justice Jawara-Alami asked Sheriff Kumba Jobe whether they have already filed an application for a preliminary objection.
“Not yet, but if the court wants to, because it will be strictly on law. If the court wants to allow us to do it, we will be much grateful,” Sheriff Kumba Jobe responded.
He further stated that the matter before court is pursuant to an ex-parte application filed by the Attorney General; saying the competence of such an application has no legal basis.
“There is no legal basis for the application,” he argued.
“On what ground?” Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami asked.
“On the ground that there is no law to support the application and we will provide the law,” Sheriff Kumba Jobe, Lawyer for the respondents responded.
The High Court Judge Zainab Jawara-Alami then gave two days for the respondents’ lawyer to file the preliminary objection and adjourned the case to Monday January 24, 2022 at 1pm.
Saul Badjie, Major Landing Tamba and WO1 Musa Badjie were arrested shortly following their return from exile where they had lived with former president Yahya Jammeh after his defeat in the December 2016 presidential election.
However, the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) spokesperson said his institution is not responsible for their arrest and detention.
“What I can confirm from our (GAF) end which is rather a clarification, is that the Armed Forces is not in any way responsible for their (General Badjie, Co) arrest; and not also responsible for their subsequent detention,” Captain Malick Sanyang told this medium in a phone conversation on January 12.
Meanwhile, Saul Badjie, Yahya Jammeh and others are held responsible for 7 ‘unlawful’ killings, according to the Truth Commission’s report.
The Commission revealed that Badjie, Jammeh and others unlawfully killed Mamut Ceesay, Ebou Jobe, Ndure Cham, Ello Jallow, Mustapha Colley, Tumani Jallow and Abdoulie.