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KMC WINS INJUNCTION – TO AVOID BARROW TAKE-OVER!

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KMC WINS INJUNCTION  – TO AVOID BARROW TAKE-OVER! 

Editor Mbai, your nightmare “UDP Judge” Justice Jaiteh is in-charge of the case! But, Pa, seriously, I have no doubt Justice Jaiteh will rule in line with the law! Trust me on this.

The KMC is not going to sit around and wait for the Barrow Government onslaught after the Report of the Investigative Panel. They have hurried off to the High Court and sued the following (courtesy of the Standar’ds Bruce Asemota):

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  • Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass.
  •  Babucarr Sanyang, Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs,
  • Inspector General of Police
  • The Attorney General, at the High Court in Banjul.

Here are the KMC claims, with my take in bold:

  1. KMC wants D20 million damages for trespass and intimidation of its staff.

This doesn’t seem likely to succeed! Firstly, there was NO TRESSPASS! The KMC Police did not allow them in. Secondly, it seemed from the Fatunetwork video that there were only 4 suspended staff – and some 50 demonstrating KMC staff: which begs the question who is “intimidating” who?

  1. KMC says the Minister has no power to interfere on the suspension of CEO Sonko – only the Local Government Service Commission has the power.

    I agree here. The KMC did break the law by not involving the Commission in the initial suspension – but the Minister too broke the law by usurping the authority of the Commission. 

  2. KMC also argues that Presidential intervention would be an “abuse of executive power, unconstitutional and unlawful”.

    This depends on when the President interferes. If he interferes before the Commission and the Investigative Panel have produced their report, it would be “an abuse of executive power”. If he intervenes after, on the basis of the Report, he would be entitled to do so – depending on the contents of the Report. 

  3. KMC also want IGP’s deployment of PIU at KMC “pursuant to purported executive directive” to be declared “illegal”.

    KMC say “purported”. So they are not sure, or are in doubt that the President had anything to do with PIU intervention. But, the IGP has operation independence to respond to any perceived potential “breach of the peace. The IGP says he sent the PIU because there was a possibility of disturbance – and there is a Fatunetwork video of a large KMC staff demonstration which appears to be heated, in KMC’s words “intimidation” was present. Therefore, the police were within their rights to be around, to “keep the peace”. 

  4. KMC also seeks an “urgent injunction” that the CEO and suspended colleagues, and the Ministry, will stay away from KMC premises until “the conclusion of the investigations by the Police or the decision of the Local Government Service Commission on the alleged fraud and maladministration reported against them on the 27th July, 2021”.

This is perfectly reasonable and no doubt such an injunction has/will be granted – until the conclusion of the investigatons. As I have also argued elsewhere, the suspensions are FOREVER – because the “working relationship” between the suspended and the KMC has broken down. IF the court rules that the KMC suspensions are illegal, all the court will do is give hefty damages to the CEO and those suspended … but the court will not be acting reasonably by ordering that they get their jobs back: because “the working relationship” has irretrievably broken down! The only way they can ever work for the KMC again is if Mayor Bensouda and his council are removed

Bruce Asemota’s Standard story is below (Thank you Bruce).

Dida Jallow-Halake. 

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KMC SUES GOV’T, OTHERS FOR D20M as damages for trespass 

AUGUST 17, 2021

By Bruce Asemota

The Kanifing Municipal Council has instituted a civil suit against Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass, Babucarr Sanyang, Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs, Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General, at the High Court in Banjul.

Kanifing Municipal Council is claiming the sum of D20.000.000.00 (twenty million dalasi) as damages for trespass into its premises and precincts without lawful authority and for intimidation of its staff and personnel.

The KMC is also seeking the High Court’s declaration that the Ministry of Lands and the Inspector General of Police, whether jointly or severally, do not have the power to determine matters relating to the appointment, control, discipline or employment of Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucarr Sanyang and that the Local Government Services Commission is the only body that may determine such matters.

The Council further seeks a declaration that any executive directive issued by the president to forcibly install any of the fore mentioned persons/ defendants in office despite the resolution of the plaintiff sending them on leave pending investigations into fraud and maladministration by the Local Government Service Commission and the Police is a violation of the Section 37, 43 (1) and 48 of the Local Government Act 2002, an abuse of executive power, unconstitutional and unlawful.

KMC also wants the High Court to make a declaration that the actions of the Inspector General of Police for deploying Police Intervention Unit officers to its premises to forcefully install into office Sainabou Martin Sonko pursuant to a purported executive directive is illegal.

More urgently, according to the suit, the KMC is seeking an injunction to restrain Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucar Sanyang jointly and severally whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or howsoever otherwise from entering upon or doing anything whatsoever on its premises, building and precincts wherever situated pending the conclusion of the investigations by the Police or the decision of the Local Government Service Commission on the alleged fraud and maladministration reported against them on the 27th July, 2021.

Meanwhile, the High Court presided over by Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh after hearing the ex-parte motion filed by the Kanifing Municipal Council against the 8 defendants on the 10th August, 2021 disclosed that the said motion raised a prima facie case to warrant the intervention of the court to grant an interim injunction, pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed.

The trial judge granted leave to Kanifing Municipal Council to hear this matter during this summer vacation 2021.

The trial judge also granted an interim injunction restraining Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucarr Sanyang whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, or howsoever otherwise from entering upon or doing anything whatsoever on the premises, building, precincts of the Kanifing Municipal Council pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice or further orders of the court.

The trial Judge ordered that Sainabou Martin Sonko, Dr Alieu Keita, Bakary Jawo, Mam Kaba Bass and Babucarr Sanyang shall only be permitted to enter the premises, building, precincts of Kanifing Municipal Council for the purpose of investigations of the matters complained, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice or further orders of the court.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday, 18th August, 2021 at 10am for hearing of the application.

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