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Published On: Fri, Feb 2nd, 2024

Magistrate Dunn Orders Police to pay Damages to Jawara’s Son

Magistrate Elizabeth Dunn of the Kanifing Magistrate Court, ordered the Gambia Police Force to pay over D150,000 as damages to Modou Musa Jawara, son of former President of the Gambia Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara for illegally impounding his vehicle that was parked at the roadside in March 2023.

Magistrate Elizabeth Dunn made this judgement directing the police to hand over possession of Mr Jawara’s Peugeot 3008 vehicle, which was parked at the Kotu Police Station, the judgement followed a suit filed by Jawara who was legally represented by FC Forster in which police officer Sgt Katim Sarr is cited as the first defendant and the IGP as the second respondent.

A summary of the plaintiff’s oral evidence cited by Magistrate Dunn stated that Jawara was driving his vehicle through Serekunda when it had a breakdown due to this he parked by the roadside, uninterrupted by the traffic with his hazard lights on to sought the help of his mechanic who came to the scene with his assistant, Jawara and the mechanic left the vehicle in the care of the assistant for it to be towed by a taxi.

Jawara narrated to the court, that he received a call from Sgt Sarr, informing him that his vehicle would be towed. In response Jawara explained that the vehicle was not abandoned but that his mechanic’s assistant was making arrangements for a tow truck to pick it up. Jawara eventually went to the police station to retrieve the vehicle and was told to pay D4,000 for its release which he declined.

Mr Jawara told the court that the vehicle had been in the possession of the police since 20th March, 2023 and in that period, the police did not prefer any charges against him and that the windscreen was broken under police custody. He told the court that the vehicle was bought for D750,000 and that its documents including insurance were valid at the time.

Magistrate Dunn stated on her judgement, that the police neither entered a defense nor contested the evidence of Mr Jawara under oath, adding that the court had no choice but to regard the evidence of Mr Jawara as “cogent, consistent and proven”. She asks Sgt Sarr to hand over the vehicle to Mr Jawara; pay damages of 674.84 Pounds Sterling for the broken windscreen; and D100,000 for legal and other costs.

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