Hon. Ebrima Sillah, Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure.
By Landing Ceesay
Beran Malick Sosseh, a resident of Kanifing Estate, has filed a D1 million civil lawsuit against the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, the Inspector General of Police, the Attorney General, and the taxi drivers of Kanifing Estate, alleging that his right to privacy was violated.
Mr. Sosseh has accused taxi drivers in Kanifing Estate of continuously violating his fundamental right to privacy and that of his family. He claims that the drivers set up a garage in front of his house without any legal authorization, and that this has caused him and his family significant distress.
Mr. Beran Malick Sosseh alleges that the garage has caused an unlawful assembly of drivers who begin work at 6 a.m. and continue until 10 p.m. daily, with some remaining there overnight. This assembly, he claims, violates his right to privacy, peaceful enjoyment, and quiet enjoyment of his property.
Mr. Sosseh also claimed that the noise emanating from the said “unlawful” garage creates so much nuisance by way of noise pollution that he and his family cannot sleep in their house and are forced to stay awake till late in the night and cannot rest or sleep at all during the day until the drivers’ close work late at night.
Mr. Sosseh alleged that the urine on his fence polluted the air and the environment, depriving him and his family of the fresh air they were entitled to. He also claimed that the constant obstruction of the entry and exit of his compound was a nuisance to him and his family, as the drivers parked their vehicles in front of his main gate.
Mr. Sosseh further alleged that the drivers’ “wrongful” parking led to a minor accident and an assault by Baboucarr Mbye on Malick Gai. This assault resulted in Baboucarr Mbye’s conviction for common assault by the Banjul Magistrate.
“These and other acts of the 1st Respondents (Drivers) raise the following issues for determination; Whether the taxi garage unlawfully set up by the 1st Respondents (Drivers) has any legitimacy and whether they have the power or authority to set up the said garage beside the Applicant (Mr. Sosseh’s) compound; Whether the 1st Respondents (Drivers) have any authority from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and Inspector General of Police to set up the said garage.
“Whether the constant noise, threats, abuses, pollution, provocation and harassment of the Applicants in their private home by the 1st Respondents amount to a violation of the fundamental right of privacy of the applicants
under Section 23(1) of the 1997 Constitution; Whether the conduct of the 1st Respondents is tantamount to both public and private nuisance which is a crime against Section 160 of the Criminal Code,” Mr. Sosseh claimed.
Mr. Sosseh is seeking a declaration from the High Court that the setting up of a taxi garage in front of his compound is unlawful. He also seeks a declaration that the conduct of the drivers at the garage amounts to a violation of his fundamental right to privacy. Additionally, he seeks a declaration that the noise and foul odor generated by the drivers at the garage amount to a nuisance.
Mr. Sosseh is also seeking a declaration from the High Court that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and the Inspector General of Police have been negligent and have omitted to carry out their official duties. He is also seeking compensation of D1,000,000.00 (One Million Dalasi) for the continuous violation of his right to privacy for the past 15 years, since the setting up of the garage in 2007.
The case is before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of the Gambia.