In delivering his judgment, Justice Jaiteh declared that Alagie Sissoko alias Bora’s detention was unconstitutional and amounted to a breach of his fundamental rights, as he underwent inhuman treatment in the hands of the police.
The court restrained the IGP from arbitrary arrest and detention, especially in the case of the applicant (Bora), for no just cause and ordered the IGP to hand over his iPhone 13 Pro Max with immediate effect.
Justice Jaiteh further delivered that the police are duty-bound and under an obligation to protect the fundamental rights of every person in The Gambia. “No person’s rights should be violated with impunity, and it is totally unacceptable in a democratic society like The Gambia,” he stated.
“The Inspector General of Police and his cohort cannot and should not arrest and detain people at his whims and caprices indiscriminately, and it is totally wrong for the IGP or his officers to arrogate power that they do not have under the law,” Justice Jaiteh pointed out.
It would be recalled that Alagie Bora was in police custody from 4 to 10 October 2023 without being charged and arraigned before any court of law.
He, therefore, claimed that the Inspector General of Police and the Ministry of Justice pay the sum of D7,000,000.00 (Seven Million Dalasis) as damages for the willful breach of his fundamental rights by detaining him beyond the constitutional limit. The court factored out that the economic condition of the country but sent a clear message to the law enforcement agencies and their cohorts to keep within the statutory powers.
The court further stated that it is a settled law that the violation of fundamental rights to liberty attracts compensation as a matter of course, adding that compensation would be ordered even when no claim is expressed by the applicant.
Justice Jaiteh added that it must not be forgotten that the ‘New Gambia’ that prides itself on democratic tenets, liberty, integrity, and dignity cannot be acting unlawfully. “It is our duty as guardians and custodians of justice to rise when occasions call for it and allow the goddess of justice to rule our heads and actions,” he states.
“In a country such as ours, where there is so much hatred and animosity, the court and the Inspector General of Police ought to be cautious in detaining persons in custody beyond the constitutional limit of 72 hours without any substantial evidence in support of an allegation of crime against the person under their detention. In order to preserve our heritage for freedom, a person not charged should not be detained for the purpose of making him or her suffer indignity as that is not the purpose and intent of the law.”