High Court orders State to immediately release Lt. Gen. Saul, 2 others

Feb 7, 2022, 12:28 PM | Article By: Alagie Baba

High Court judge, Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami on Friday ordered for the immediate release of Lt. Gen. Saul Badjie and his two colleagues from Mile 2 where they were detained on suspicion of committing grave offences.

Badjie, a member of the Gambia Armed Forces was detained together with Major Landing Tamba and Warrant Officer Class 1 Musa Badjie.

Saul Badjie and others were in detention since the 10th January 2022 and have not been told the reason of their arrest.

The court held that their detention without a charge is a violation of their fundamental rights preserved in the 1997 Constitution. She ruled that it is unlawful to keep someone in detention beyond 72 hours without a charge.

Justice Jawara refused to grant the application by the State to keep Saul and his two co-detainees in detention for 90 days.

Justice Jawara asked the question, “whether there is a charge before this court?”

In answering the question, she said a charge is not a mere accusation. ‘It should be a formal charge, she added.

She said section 19 of the Constitution guarantees the right to liberty and security of every person. She added that no one should be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention.

The Judge said it is very clear that Saul Badjie and the others were detained based on suspicion of committing a crime.

There is no charge before this honourable court against the Respondents (Saul Badjie and others), She said.

She said even the Attorney General in his affidavit in-support is saying the three were held based on suspicion.

They must be held on charges not on suspicion,” she said.

She maintained that suspicion does not amount to a charge. She reiterated her position that any detention beyond 72 hours without a charge is unconstitutional.

I decline to grant the reliefs sought in this application [by the Attorney General],” the Judge ruled.

She ordered for the three not to leave the country and must answer to calls for questioning by investigators.

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