Kebba Ansu Manneh
Justice A.T Osei of the Kanifing High Court Annex has ruled against the appeal filed by the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) against Babucarr Sowe, former Air Transport Manager seeking the court to stay the payment of his salaries and benefits from 2018 to date pending the final judgment of the appeal case.
The ruling is under an application filed by the defendant Judgment Debtor herein called the Appellant praying for an order staying the execution of the judgment of the court dated 24th January 2022, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the appellant.
“I have carefully examined the processes filed. I believe the ends of justice would be served if the judgment stays in part.
The order for the respondent (Babucarr Sowe) to be reinstated hereby stays pending the hearing and determination of the appeal,” Justice A T OSei ruled.
He added: “However, the application by the Appellant to stay the salaries and benefits due to the Respondent from October 2018 to the date of delivery of the judgment is declined.”
It could be remembered that on 12th October 2018, the former Senior Air Transport Officer was arrested by security operatives stationed at the Banjul International Airport on allegations of disclosing classified information to Thomas Cook.
He was subsequently arraigned before the Brikama Magistrate Court on the 20th of February, 2020, for the offense of communication of confidential information contrary to Section 4 of the Official Secrets Act Cap 17:1 Volume 4 Law of The Gambia as revised in 2009.
In a marathon trial that lasted for twenty months, the accused person maintained his innocence by pleading not guilty, while his employees brought over ten witnesses including its director general to prove their case against him.
However, in delivering his judgment before a jam-packed courtroom on Tuesday, September, 29th 2020, Chief Magistrate Omar Cham acquitted and discharged Babucarr Sowe on grounds of the prosecution’s failure to prove their case. The situation led GCAA to file an appeal case at the courts of appeal to challenge the judgment of the matter leading to the ruling delivered by Justice A.T Osei.