IGP, AG sued for unlawful detention, right violations

Jan 15, 2021, 10:45 AM | Article By: Assan Sallah

The Inspector General of Police and the country’s Attorney General have been sued by a man for being illegally detained by the police, stretching beyond the constitutional limits.

Sylvanus Johnson, a resident of Dobson Street in Banjul said he was arrested and detained for 15 days without any charges or appearing before a court of law.

The Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General are now being sued by Johnson, through his lawyer, for unlawful detention and violation of his right to personal liberty. Mr. Johnson was apparently arrested and detained at the Police Headquarters in Banjul from April 4 to 19, 2020.

According to a court affidavit, the police violated Mr. Johnson’s right to personal liberty, and freedom, which is guaranteed by the country’s 1997 Constitution.

Court documents filed on behalf of Sylvanus Johnson on December 18, 2020 against the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General are also asking for compensation for the violations.

Such right violations were rampant under the previous regime of the former President Yahya Jammeh. Since Jammeh’s ouster, democratic reforms have been introduced in the country, most notably the security service reform.

The Gambia’s constitution does not allow a person to be detained longer than 72 hours without being charged and brought before a judge.

According to the country’s laws, where there is reasonable suspicion that a person has committed or being about to commit a criminal offence and “who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a Court and, in any event, within seventy two hours.”

The Gambia is a signatory to human rights instruments that guarantee that no one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

Right organisations say the human rights climate in The Gambia improved dramatically as the current president, Adama Barrow, and his government took steps to reverse former President Yahya Jammeh’s legacy of authoritarian and abusive rule in which the security services were complicit.

According to Human Rights Watch, The Gambia’s government underscored the need for comprehensive security sector reform, describing security institutions as polluted because of their ties, abuses and rights violations, especially arbitrary detention and torture.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Human right groups welcome Gambia’s clarification on Jammeh’s return  
Aug 13, 2021, 1:07 PM

Human rights groups have warmly welcomed the official clarification made by The Gambia government elucidating that the administration of President Adama Barrow is not in any way involving or participating in the former Gambian dictator’s returning to the country. 

Darboe v5
Darboe argues IEC has no powers to reject Sabally
Mar 11, 2022, 1:05 PM

The leader and secretary general of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Hon. Lawyer A.N.M. Darboe has clarified that IEC has no authority vested on it to reject Momodou Sabally based on constitutional provisions.

cabinet on Covid
Barrow participates in first virtual meeting of Cabinet sub-committee on COVID
Aug 26, 2020, 11:16 AM

State House, Banjul, 25th August, 2020 – His Excellency, President Adama Barrow said the COVID-19 pandemic has not spared any part of the globe, including The Gambia. He added that despite the small size of the country, if everyone adhered to the health guidelines, we would register significant progress in the fight against the virus.  The President made the remarks in the first virtual meeting of the Cabinet sub-Committee on COVID-19, chaired by the Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray, on Monday. 

Marcel Mendy v3
Gov’t commits D7.5M ahead of Commonwealth, Islamic Games
Jul 21, 2022, 1:23 PM

The government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the National Sports Council (NSC) has committed to supporting the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) with D7.5 million ahead of the Commonwealth and Islamic Games which are scheduled from 28th July to 8th August and 9th to 18th August 2022 respectively.