Tuesday, June 6

Ex-councillor chooses apology over 100M lawsuit

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Mr. Badjie is said to have, on March 7, accused Kanifing Municipality Mayor, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, of using the Kanifing Municipal Council as a business venture for his family. 

He also alleged that Mrs Amie Bensouda, mother of Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda, had shares in AGIB Bank, which Mayor Bensouda used as collateral to secure financing for the Kanifing Municipal Council’s Mballit project. 

He said: “The Kanifing Municipal Council took a loan from AGIB Bank, where [Talib Ahmed Bensouda’s] mother has shares. This is why I said that Talib used the council as a business venture for his family. The mother has shares at AGIB Bank and he used that [sic]shares as a collateral to secure a loan for them to finance the Mbalit project.” 

Amie Bensouda, through her lawyers at the Farage & Andrew Chambers, wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Momodou Lamin Badjie, also demanding a public apology or in default face 100 million dalasis defamation suit against him before the court.

They stated in a letter written to Mr Badjie that the statement attempts to taint Madam Bensouda as someone engaged in corruption with a public entity. 

“As a consequence, these statements form part of the world wide public record and will cause irreparable harm to our client’s reputation and professional interests,” they added.

“Accordingly, our client demands that you immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of our client, provide us with prompt written apology and assurance within five (5) days that you will cease and desist from further defamation of our client’s character and reputation and make a public apology at a press conference within 10 days retracting the statement made on 7th March 2023.

“If you do not comply within this time period stated, our client is entitled to seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your defamation. In the event you fail to meet this demand, please be advised that our client has asked us to communicate to you that she will pursue all available legal remedies, including seeking monetary damages, which our client will be seeking in the sum of GMD100 Million (One Hundred Million Gambian Dalasis), injunctive relief, and an order that you pay all legal and administrative costs associated with the course of action.

“Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable. Before taking these steps, however, my client wished to give you one opportunity to discontinue your illegal conduct by complying with this demand within Ten (10) days,” they told Mr Badjie.

The former Ebo Town and New Jeshwang Ward councillor took a u-turn concerning the allegations he made against Madam Bensouda and chose to apologise.

In a press conference on Thursday, Mr Badjie apologised, saying: “I, Momodou Lamin Badjie, the secretary general of the Councilors Association who made a statement on behalf of the association, had erred on some of the statements about Amie Bensouda.

“Therefore, we had a meeting and have agreed that we will do a public apology to apologize to Amie Bensouda, which I am doing.  

“I am hereby apologising to Amie Bensouda on my behalf and on behalf of the Association for the statement that we made that she feels offended; that she feels is defamatory.”

“It was not intentional, and we sincerely apologise to her.” 

He also assured that they will not talk about her in any forum convened, as has been demanded by Madam Bensouda.

The press conference was held at the Talinding residence of Yankuba Colley the former Kanifing Municipality mayor.