The CEO of GACH Global, Abubakary Jawara has filed a lawsuit against Momodou Sabally, a former Secretary General and head of the Civil Service. Mr. Jawara is claiming damages for defamation and slander against the plaintiff Mr. Sabally.
The case is expected to be heard in court on 14th November 2022 and the plaintiff is represented by Lawyer Ida Drammeh.
Meanwhile, the defendant has confirmed receipt of the summons by Abubakarr Jawara.
Below is the full summon served on to the defendant.
AND MOMODOU SABALLY
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
The Plaintiff is a Gambian national resident in Bakau New Town, The Gambia, within
the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court. The Plaintiff previously served as Honorary
Consul of The Gambia to the People’s Republic of China and is a businessman who runs a chain of business concerns with diverse business interests in a number of
2. The Defendant is a Gambian national resident and politician, who served at one time
as the Secretary General in the Office of the President and was a Minister of
Presidential Affairs in The Gambia. The Defendant also previously served as the
Director General or Managing Director of a now defunct daily newspaper known as
the Observer Newspaper and was at one time as well as the Director General of
Gambia Radio and Television.
3. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant had at different times on or about the 11th day
of January 2021, falsely and maliciously published several defamatory statements
about him on the Defendant’s Facebook account which enjoys very high traffic owing
to the status of the Defendant as a prominent political figure in a Gambian opposition
party, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and because of his previous position.
4. At 12:08am on the 11th day of January 2021, the Defendant falsely and maliciously published libelous statements about the Plaintiff which were as follows:
“Certainly, it is not a good idea to mix drugs with guns. First, they brought a container of drugs, and all indications are that the suspects will go unpunished. In both cases the suspects have a direct link with the presidency.
There is something so audacious as to being in thousands of kilograms of cocaine through our main port, such a baron must be assured is some level of
protection from the powers that be. Our youths are going crazy by the day with weird mental illnesses. If our government cannot give the young people jobs
and quality education, then for the sake of God; let the government not be a conduit for this country. Things are really going out of hand and the situation
5:The Plaintiff avers that in a bid to ensure that no one is in doubt as to the fact that the Defendant was referring to the Plaintiff in the publication, the Defendant had
posted a photograph of the Plaintiff immediately beneath the statements made by the
Defendant and alongside a picture of a pack of guns as well as a stack of white bags (to indicate a consignment of drugs). The said photo of the Plaintiff beneath the
statements made by the Defendant was intended and did make it obvious to the public that the publication was made concerning the Plaintiff.
6. The said words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to
mean that the Plaintiff is amongst those persons supplying the Gambian society, especially the youths, with illicit and dangerous drugs. The said words were calculated to disparage the Plaintiff and his reputation in society.
7. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant had afterwards on the same date i.e. the 11th
day of January 2021, falsely published other defamatory statements about the Plaintiff on the Defendant’s Facebook account as follows:
“For the record, Abubacarr (sic) Jawara has been involved in some of the most shady deals that the Barrow administration ran in the so called New Gambia.
Let Jawara go to court over this and will face the biggest humiliation ever in his shady life. This man should start thinking of how to refund Gambians all the shady money he made from dirty deals like black sand mining before he starts thinking of crying foul.”
8. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant had in these defamatory publications
which were read by a great number of persons within and outside The Gambia,
including the Plaintiffs friends and business partners, the Plaintiffs son and his friends, as well as anyone with a Facebook account or on the internet, depicted
the Plaintiff as a mercenary gun-runner and a drug baron who was not only destroying
the youth of The Gambia but also hurting the economic interests of the country solely for his personal enrichment and gain.
9. These falsely publicized statements have wrongly disparaged the Plaintiff and his
standing in society. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant’s defamatory acts have
lowered the Plaintiff in the estimation of right thinking members of society. Such members of society include but are certainly not limited to the Plaintiffs friends, his
son and his son’s friends who construed these publications to mean that the Plaintiff is an unconscionable mercenary who was into gun-running and drug trafficking.
10. The Plaintiff is aware of the damage to his reputation as many of such persons made the Plaintiff aware of the grossly negative impact the publications had on their
perception of him. The Plaintiffs reputation within the public and his family suffered greatly owing to the Defendant’s actions and words, but the damage extended beyond the Plaintiff. The Plaintiffs son Muhammed Jawara also suffered rejection and
disparagement from his peers and school and friends, and the Plaintiff and his family members had to make several efforts to ensure the mental well-being of his son.
11. The Plaintiff avers that he has been scandalized and lost business due to the Defendant’s postings against him. In the year 2019 and several months after it’s
occurrence, the Defendant used an incident in which one of the Plaintiffs companies “GACH Security’ imported a consignment of hunting rifles to disparage the Plaintiff.
This even though the Plaintiff had at all material times been granted a valid licence by the Inspector General of Police to import the said rifles and same was done legally.
Through the defamatory postings and words of the Defendant, used this incident to
depict the Plaintiff as a gun runner and a person who was in involved in illegal
The Defendant did this despite knowing that the Plaintiff was not so involved. The Plaintiff had in any case been exonerated from any wrongdoing
whatsoever in connection with the said incident by the Gambian Police Force as well as the National Assembly
12. These defamatory statements which were published by the Defendant on his
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sabally.momodou.7 were injurious to
the Plaintiff’s reputation and have lowered him in the estimation of right thinking people within and outside The Gambia.
13. Excerpts of these publications as printed from the Plaintiffs Laptop and mobile
phone which was in good condition and regular use as at the time the publications were captured and printed therefrom; whereof the printed excerpts which are correct and accurate reflection of what was captured will be relied on at the trial of this action.
14. The Plaintiff avers that even though he is and was at all material times legally involved in the exploitation and/or of black sand in The Gambia, and had a valid mining licence to do so, the Defendant nevertheless has sought to depict the Plaintiff as a mercenary involved in illegal exploitation of black sand which thereby hurt the economic interests of The Gambia to the detriment of the Plaintiff.
15. The Plaintiff avers that on or about the 20th day of January 2021, the Defendant
granted an interview to Freedom Radio, an online newspaper previously run by one
Pa Nderry Mbai (who is now deceased), then a journalist based in North Carolina,
United States of America. The said Freedom Radio was at all material times listened to by several persons in The Gambia and was extremely popular amongst persons in
the diaspora, who believed most of what was contained on the said platform.
16. During the interview which was broadcast online
on the website www.freedomnewspaper.com and listened to by persons including the Plaintiff’s son Muhammed Jawara, the Defendant had, uttered in reference to the Plaintiff the following slanderous words:
“I understand that they are close associates. Jawara and Banta and Abubakar (sic), that one, it is out in the open, he is a close associate of President Barrow”.
17. The Plaintiff avers that when the Defendant was subsequently asked in the course of
the interview whether he knew the suspects linked to the notorious drug importation incident, the Defendant further defamed, the Plaintiff by retorting as follows:
“We have been hearing names of people accused, from the authorities themselves, there is Banta Keita, and we understand that he has a relationship with the guy who brought in a container of guns, that’s Abubacarr (sic) Jawara, and we know Abubacarr Jawara, is a close
associate of President Barrow”.
18. The Plaintiff avers that even though the authorities had only named Banta Keita as the main suspect in the drug import incident, the Defendant, in a bid to defame the Plaintiff, took it upon himself and deliberately mentioned the Plaintiff as having a relationship with Banta Keita, thereby defamatorily presented him as one of the suspects, especially as he (the Defendant) had earlier stated in a prior defamatory publication that he (the Defendant) had previously made about him that “it is never a good thing to mix guns with drugs”. The Plaintiff remained at all material times unmentioned by the authorities as one of the suspects.
19. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant was only out to defame him when he made
those slanderous statements about him on radio as the Plaintiff had and has no contact, connection or relationship whatsoever with Banta Keita and there was no basis for the Defendant to have made those defamatory statements about the Plaintiff
on the radio.
20. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant had on 16th day of May, 2021 held a press conference which was streamed life on Facebook on a page known as “Camaraba Official” which can be found at https:/www.facebook.com/camarabaofficial/; The
video of the press conference was again posted by the Defendant to his Facebook page and
in the video which can be found at the
link hups://www.facebook.com/sally.momodou7 and was viewed by many persons,
including Muhammed Jawara the son of the Plaintiff claimed wildly that he the
Defendant) was being targeted for attack by the President, wherein he once again defamed the Plaintiff by making the following statements about the Plaintiff:
“Abubakar (sic) Jawara, a criminal businessman offers One Million Dalasis to each of the rebels selected to ambush Mr. Sabally in their secret meeting held at Abubakar Jawara’s compound”.
21. The Plaintiff avers that the Defendant had also made Whatsapp Voice Notes where he made similarly slanderous statement about the Plaintiff; whereupon I one of such widely circulated Whatsapp Voice Notes recorded by the Defendant in Madinka
Language-which the Plaintiff and his son had listened to differently because of its extensive circulation; the contents of which have now been subscribed to English
Language by Saikou Omar Jallow, after being interpreted by Omar Bah; the Defendant had stated inter alia in the aforesaid WhatsApp voice notes concerning the Plaintiff as follows:
“Abubacarr (sic) Jawara this is not your first time of taking guns from country to country is not your first time since Congo you started it in Congo, what happened there we the Sarahuleys we know all.
(The aforementioned Transcript which is caption AUDIO 1 OF SEVENTEEN MINUTES TWENTY ONE SECONDS (17:21) is here by pleaded and will be relied
on during the trial proceedings).
22. The said words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean that the Plaintiff contributes to violence, drugs, and gun violence in the
Gambian society. The said words were calculated by the Defendant solely to disparage the Plaintiff in his profession as such allegations will not be taking lightly against the person they are made.
23. The Plaintiff avers’ that these different defamatory statements made about him at different times by the Defendant had exposed him to hatred, disdain,
contempt, odium, distrust and rejection from right thinking persons within and outside The Gambia whom have read or heard of such defamatory statements made
by the Defendant about him in different for a/media.
24. The Plaintiff avers that in consequence of the series of defamatory publications the Defendant had made aplenty against him the Defendant’s very wide and unlimited reading and listening audience, his businesses have suffered greatly.
25. The Plaintiff received several letters from his business partners to the effect that they were suspending transactions with him and his firm owing to the Defendant’s publications linking him with drug trafficking. At least three of the said letters will be relied on at the trial of this action).
26. The Plaintiff avers that he has been forced to shut down his tomato processing factory following his inability to secure vital raw materials because his business partners who used to help him have now refused to associate with him due to the defamatory
publications made about him by the Defendant.
27. The Plaintiff avers that a Profit and Loss Statement which had previously been prepared at his instance will show the impact of the loss of goodwill occasioned by the defamatory publications on the tomato processing business revealed colossal loss suffered by the Plaintiff to the tune of GMD 8,000,000.00. (
A copy of this Statement of Profit and Loss is hereby pleaded and will be relied on at the trial =.)
A declaration that the different statements made by the Defendant amount to
defamation: An order of this honourable Court directing the Defendant to issue to the Plaintiff
an unreserved apology which will be published forth widely circulating national
(ti) An order from this court directing the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff the sum of
GMD8,000,000.00 being special damages which the Plaintiff claims after being forced to shut down his tomato processing factory inability to secure vital raw
materials with the aid of his partners whom have disconnected from him in consequence of defamatory publications made by the Defendant;
Damages for defamation and slander;
A perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant either through his agents,
cronies, associates, contacts, or further defaming the Plaintiff in any way or
Interest at the rate of 15% per annum until the date of judgment;
(vili) For such further or other orders as this Honourable Court deems fit.
Dated this 11th day of October 2022.
IDA D DRAMEH & ASSOCIATES
13A MARINA PARADE
BANJUL, THE GAMBIA
LEGAL PRACTITIONERS FOR THE PLAINTIFFS.
Credit: Journalist Omar Wally