Dismissed soldiers claim D15M against gov’t for damages

Gen Yankuba Drammeh, Chief of Defense Staff, The Gambia Armed Forces

Three ex-soldiers that were dismissed from the army by the court-martial with disgrace have filed summon at the high court against the armed forces, the ministry of defense and the attorney general claiming fifteen million dalasis for damages.

Captain Yaya Beray Jammeh, Lieutenant Abdoulie Jarju, and Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh were found guilty by a military court of treason and related offenses. They were sentenced accordingly to a maximum jail term of 9 years for planning to overthrow the Government of President Adama Barrow on the 22nd of July 2020. 

They appealed against the high court decision and were acquitted and discharged by the Gambia Court of Appeal. 

The ex-soldiers in their summons through their lawyer, Sheriff Kumba Jobe want the court to make an order for the state to pay them D15 million as compensation for the violation of their fundamental rights. 

They also want the court to make a declaration that their compulsory retirement from the army was based on their arrest, detention, prosecution, conviction, and sentence by the court-martial for which they were subsequently acquitted and discharged.

An order of D200,000 to be paid to them as the legal cost is also sought from the court.

“Despite our denial that we had nothing to do with such allegation and maintained that we were and still innocent, the respondent detained us for more than (3) months and subjected us to an unlawful, arbitrary and egregious investigation as we were never informed our rights to consult a legal practitioner and had no access to a lawyer during our pre-detention,” one of the soldiers, Yaya Beray Jammeh stated in his affidavit in support.

The state counsel in his affidavit in opposition stated that the applicants were arrested and detained in 2017 on the grounds of allegations of treason and other criminal charges. He further stated the applicants were paid a salary until May 2019 when the general court-martial ordered their termination from the armed forces.

“The applicants were after the decision of the court of appeal, reinstated and retired from the armed forces by President who is also the Commander In Chief of the armed forces,” the affidavit stated adding that they were retired following the law.

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