A lower court in the residential city of Brusubi in the west coast region of the Gambia has granted bail to detained officials of Home of Medical Mission group after their indictment and appearance before a magistrate court.
Police prosecutors charged both Neneh and Lamin Sey with three counts of Idle and disorderly conduct, Criminal trespass and obstructing a police officer.
Ms Nenneh Freda Gomez, the country co-ordinator of Home of Medical Mission with Lamin Sey, a staff of the same company were previously arrested for trespassing in a property allegedly belonging to global HOMM, a non-governmental humanitarian organization.
The arrest and detention of Neneh, who is also the spokesperson of Citizens Alliance has been condemned by the National Human Rights Commission and Citizen Allaince.
In a statement , the Human right watchdog said: “The National Human Rights Commission has learnt with grave concern the arbitrary arrest and the unlawful detention of one Nenneh Freda Gomez and Lamin Sey by officers of the Gambia Police Force.
According to reports and information gathered by the NHRC, Nenneh Freda Gomez, the Country Representative of Global Hearts of Medical Mission (GLOBAL HOMM) and a staff of the same Mission, Lamin Sey, were initially arrested and charged with 2 counts of malicious injury to property and criminal trespass by the Inspector General of Police.
They were subsequently granted bail but the charges against them never proceeded before the courts. As a result, Ms Gomez filed a case before the High Court challenging the legality of her arrest.
A High Court ruling on Wednesday 17th November 2021 declared that their arrest and detention was unlawful and contrary to Section 19 of the 1997 Constitution.”
But on monday the justice ministry also released a statement countering claims by Neneh and Co.
“The uproar that followed the arrest of Ms Neneh Freda Gomez on suspicion of obstruction, idle and disorderly conduct has necessitated the release of this statement. As stated in our previous statement, the lack of an elaborate response by this office has been as a result of the pendency of this matter before the Courts. This silence on our part has led to the propagation of blatant falsehoods in an attempt toinfluence public opinion.”
“It is undisputed that Global Hearts of Medical Mission, which Ms Gomez purports to represent, does not and has never held title to the land in question.We challenge Ms Gomez to produce any evidence to the contrary. We are resolute in our position and are confident that after the hearing on the 2nd of December this matter will be resolved once and for all. We wish to assure the general public of our commitment to Human Rights and the Rule of Law. We have confidence in our judicial system and to date have not disregarded any of the Court’s orders. We believe the Judiciary is adequately placed to deal with all issues at stake in this matter and the Complainants ought to know that disputes are not resolved through Social Media.” the statement from the attorney Generals office declared.
Defense lawyers have urged the court to dismissed the case set to resume on January 3rd 2022 for Judgement.