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General Saul Badjie’s Case in Court of Appeal

Mar 8, 2022, 2:42 PM | Article By: Alagie Baba

The case involving the State and Lt. Gen. Sulayman Badjie, alias Saul Badjie is now before the Gambia Court of Appeal.

The State filed an appeal against the high court ruling and then General Badjie and his two colleague military men who were released by high court.

The State asked the high court to order for the detention of Lieutenant General Sulayman Badjie, Major Landing Tamba and Warrant Officer Class 1 Musa Badjie for 90 days to facilitate and permit further investigations. This application was turned down by the court and ordered their immediate release from custody.

Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami of the Banjul high court delivered the ruling in the case.

The State described the ruling as unreasonable and cannot be sustained having regard to the nature of the case.

The State asks for the Court of Appeal to set aside the high court ruling in the case.

The State contends that the high court judge erred in law as she failed to consider that section 19 subsection 3 of the Constitution as a general guideline. The State argued that this provision of the Constitution is only a guideline as to the period of legality with respect to how long a person or suspect can be detained by an investigative authority in connection with a crime. The appellant argued that the high court judge failed to give consideration to section 19 subsection 4 of the Constitution which vests the courts with the power to deprive an individual of liberty thereby constituting an exception to the right to liberty. Finally, on this ground of appeal, the State contended that the high court judge failed to aver her mind to section 24 subsection 4 of the Constitution which provides that, for a person/suspect/accused person to be detained beyond 72 hours, the court must sanction the detention for it to be lawful.

On the second appeal, the State pleaded that the high court judge misdirected herself when she held that a person cannot be detained beyond 72 hours pursuant to Practice Directive 5 paragraph (4) of 2013.

According to the particulars of the error, the State submitted that the trial judge failed to consider that the purpose of practice directive number 5 is to effectively abolish the use of holding charge and in effect give legitimacy to judicial sanctioned detentions without a formal charge. Also, appellant argued that the high court judge failed to aver her mind to the wordings of practice directive number 5 paragraph 4 of 2013 which effectively distinguishes between a charge and formal charge. It is the position of the State that the high court judge erred in law when she held that Saul Badjie and the two others cannot be further held in detention by the high court beyond 72 hours without a charge.

The State wants the Court of Appeal to make declaration that practice directive 5 paragraph 4 of 2013 and section 19(4) of the Constitution permit the detention of persons suspected of having committed an offence beyond 72 hours pending further investigation and without a formal charge.

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