Justice Landing M. Sanneh, a sitting High Court judge has been implicated in a plot against one Landing Jadama of Old Yundum in the West Coast Region of the Republic of The Gambia, leading to the latter’s fine of D100,000 and unlawful imprisonment for 10 years.
Justice Landing M. Sanneh is currently in charge of the High Court in Janjangbureh in the Central River and Basse in the Upper River Region.
An investigation mounted by LTN into this matter shows that Justice Sanneh, while serving as Judicial Secretary in March 2015, wrote a letter to the then Principal Magistrate Abeke at the Brikama Magistrate’s Court, giving him an order to sentence the accused Landing Jadama before the 10th April 2015, following an executive directive from the State House. Justice Landing M. Sanneh also warned the Principal Magistrate to conclude the case of Landing Jadama and sentence him to a mandatory jail term without an option of a fine.
The said Principal Magistrate acted on such orders and sentenced Landing Jadama to pay a fine of D100,000 and serve a mandatory jail term of 10 years.
LTN’s investigation revealed that a letter dated 17th March 2015, from the State House addressed to the Judicial Secretary Landing M. Sanneh and the IGP, instructed Landing M. Sanneh to warn the Principal Magistrate to conclude the case of Landing Jadama before 10th April 2015 in order to avert undesirable consequences.
Justice Landing M. Sanneh who was the Judicial Secretary at the time also wrote a letter dated 26th March 2015, warning the Principal Magistrate to hear and conclude the case of Landing Jadama not later than 10th April 2015. Sanneh further warned the Principal Magistrate to give him (Jadama) a mandatory jail term to avoid drastic measures being taken against him (the Principal Magistrate).
Mr. Jadama was sentenced to a mandatory jail term of 10 years and ordered to pay D100, 000. He then served two years at the State Central Prison at Mile 2 until May 2017, when he was pardoned by the new government of President Adama Barrow (Coalition Gov’t).
Landing Jadama is now late but had filed a lawsuit against the Inspector General of Police, 1st Respondent, and Attorney General, 2nd Respondent since 2021 before he died. His family has now taken a decision to continue with the said lawsuit to seek justice for their loved one Landing Jadama.
The originating summons by Landing Jadama is for the following:
1. “A DECLARATION that the arrest, detention, and prosecution of the applicant by the state in the matter of IGP vs Landing Jadama bearing case no. BRK/CC/122/13 and charged under sections 288 and 369 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Vol. III Laws of The Gambia 2009 without reasonable justification is a violation of his constitutional right to personal liberty as enshrined under section 19 of the 1997 constitution of the Gambia.
2. A DECLARATION that the arrest and detention of the Applicant for 37days without trial by the 1st respondent pursuant to an executive directive is unlawful and violates the applicant’s right to personal liberty as enshrined under section 19 of the 1997 constitution of the Gambia
3. A DECLARATION that the trial, conviction, and sentence of the applicant to a fine of GMD100,000.00 in default to serve 10 years imprisonment on charges of contravening section 288 and 369 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Vol. III Laws of The Gambia 2009 pursuant to an executive directive is a violation of the applicant’s constitutional right to a fair hearing as enshrined under section 24 of the 1997 constitution of the Gambia.
4. A DECLARATION that the imprisonment of the applicant pursuant to an executive directive for a period of 2 years at the Mile 2 central prisons from April 2015 to May 2017 is unlawful and a violation of the applicant’s constitutional right to personal liberty and fair hearing as enshrined under section 19 and 24 of the 1997 Constitution of the Gambia.
5. AN ORDER that the conviction and sentence by the Brikama Magistrate’s Court in May 2015 bearing case no. BRK/CC/122/13 pursuant to an executive directive be quashed.
6. AN ORDER awarding reasonable monetary compensation to the applicant for violation of his rights under sections 19 and 24 of the 199 Constitution.”
Efforts to reach Landing Sanneh and Magistrate Abeke for their reaction proved futile.