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British National wins civil claim

Jan 4, 2011, 11:57 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Magistrate Abeke of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court recently entered judgment in favour of Nina Gallicchio, a British national, against one Pa Jallow.

Pa Jallow was ordered to pay to the plaintiff D30,700, being the amount owed to the plaintiff and D10,000 for damages and breach of contract, as well as D5,000 for costs.

In her testimony, the plaintiff, Nina Gallicchio, told the court that she is from the UK, but is presently residing at Sanyang village.

She adduced that she is a business woman and on 21st November 2010, she entered a verbal agreement with the defendant, Pa Jallow.

Pa Jallow, she added, came to her and requested to hire her car to take some tourists to Dakar for two nights.

She said that the car was not taken to Dakar, but used for five days within the country (Gambia), after which the defendant refused to handover the keys to her.

“The defendant also refused to pay me the money for the hiring of the car,” she told the court.

The plaintiff testified that, when she finally received the car, it was badly damaged beyond her imagination.

She added that a part of the main four-wheel drive mechanism, drive shaft and engine mounting were all missing, which made the car very dangerous to drive.

“Till this time, I have not received any payment for the hiring of the car, and I have to pay for the repairs of the car,” she further testified.

The plaintiff added that her claim was D30,700 for the repairs of her car, and she also claimed damages for breach of contract as per the hiring of the car agreement.

“I am also asking for costs for maintaining this action,” the plaintiff told the court.

In his judgment, Magistrate Abeke told the court the claim was read on the 27th December 2010, but the defendant had left the court without reasons.

He said the defendant could not tell the court whether he accepted liability or denied, adding that the matter was adjourned to enable the defendant to be in court.

Magistrate Abeke further stated that on the return date of 28th December 2010, the matter was called, but the defendant was absent.

“No reason was given for his absence,” the trial magistrate stated.

The court, he went on, by the provision of section 7(1) of the Subordinate Court Civil Proceedings Act, allowed the plaintiff to proceed and state her case.

The defendant subsequently accepted liability, and promised to pay the money with costs, the magistrate told the court.

He added that judgment was, therefore, entered in favour of the plaintiff as per her claim and the particulars of the claim as well as her evidence-in-chief.