By Landing Ceesay
The Former Secretary-General and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally (defendant) denied receiving $2,000 from Abubakary Jawara (the plaintiff).
Sabally said this in response to a question posed to him by Counsel Ida Drammeh, the lawyer representing Abubakary Jawara in his defamation lawsuit against him.
“It is correct that you approached the plaintiff (Abubakary Jawara) for support when you were about to launch your book and he gave you $2,000,” Counsel Drammeh asked Sabally.
“No, that’s not correct and that’s not true. Instead, I am the one who helped him (Abubakary Jawara). Because when the Former President (Yahya Jammeh) wanted to confiscate his land, I helped him retain that land. He is here in the courtroom, he can’t deny that,” Sabally responded to Counsel Drammeh.
On the issue of Sabally’s (the defendant) postings on social media about the plaintiff (Abubakary Jawara).
Counsel Drammeh; “When you are writing on social media, you write to attract the attention of your followers.”
Sabally; “No, I write to defend the public interest and the truth. Because I write based on my principles and convictions.”
“I will be critical to anyone that is an opponent to my party. I also criticize my party (UDP) openly on social media based on principles. Even though it does not go well with some of my party members,” Sabally told the Court.
“It is correct that you never write anything critical of Jammeh (the former President),” Counsel Drammeh asked Sabally.
“That is not correct. I was a columnist for the standard newspaper from 2010 to 2013. I wrote several articles ranging on politics, culture, and agriculture. In those articles, I criticized government policies,” Sabally responded to Counsel Drammeh.
Counsel Drammeh asked Sabally whether It is correct that a responsible person will check on facts before publishing any article.
Sabally told her that It depends on the areas a person wants to talk about.
“You don’t see yourself as a responsible person to check with facts before publishing your articles,” Counsel Drammeh asked Sabally.
“That’s not correct, by my principles and convictions, I will not say anything that is not true,” Sabally responded.
“When you said that the plaintiff should be charged with economic crime. Is what the former regime used to charge people,” Counsel Drammeh asked.
“Not necessarily, when I said he should be charged with economic crime. I am speaking from a social justice point of view,” Sabally stated.
“Did you know that the postings you have done on social media about the plaintiff (Abubakary Jawara), he has to hire security for his protection,” Counsel Drammeh asked Sabally.
“No, I am not aware of that,” Sabally responded.
The case was adjourned to the 24th of February 2023 for continuation.
Momodou Sabally (the defendant) has been served a Writ of Summons to appear before the High Court in Banjul on November 14th, 2022, to respond to a civil suit filed by Abubakar Jawara (the plaintiff).
Abubakary Jawara is claiming: Damages for defamation and slander; an order directing the defendant (Momodou Sabally) to issue an unreserved apology to the plaintiff (Abubakary Jawara) to be published widely circulating national newspapers; An Order that the defendant does 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 (Abubakary Jawara) in any way or manner whosoever; Interest at the rate of 15% per annum until the date of judgment; Cost; and for such further or others as this Honourable Court deems fit.