By Louise Jobe
The Brikama High Court, has recently dismissed an application by occupants of disputed lands in Farato to agree to hear their appeal which was filed well beyond the time allowed by law.
The time allowed by law to appeal is 30 days from the day of the judgment while judgment was delivered on 27th April, 2016.
Being aggrieved by the decision of the District Tribunal of 27th April 2016, Foday Conteh and eighteen others, the plaintiffs in the court of first instance, filed an appeal against the defendants Ansumana Sonko and others on 29th January 2018.
Foday Conteh and eighteen others had earlier brought an action against eleven defendants including Ansumana Sonko, before the Kombo South District when some residents of Farato clashed with some members of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) staff, who escorted the staff of the Sheriff Division of the High Court to execute an eviction order.
Aggrieved with the action of the Sheriff Division of the High Court, Foday Conteh and his co-plaintiffs sought the service of barrister Kebba Sanyang who filed a notice on motion, seeking for the court to agree to extend the time within which they can file their appeal and to actually agree to hear the appeal.
According to the judge, upon being served with the plaintiffs’ application, barrister Lamin Jobarteh filed a preliminary objection on behalf of the respondents on 25th February 2018.
The Court remarked: “If the time is reckoned to start running 24th April 2017 with the withdrawal letter by 29thJanuary 2018, is nine months. The 29thJanuary 2018 was when the application to seek extension of time was filed. Would it be possible to say the applicants came within reasonable time?”
Justice Musale added that the Gambian Constitution in his reckoning, felt a reasonable time as it relates to the decision of the Court, shall be three months; that equity helps the vigilant not the indolent. He described the application as lacking merit and dismissed it.
“I hold the application unmeritorious and the same is dismissed,” he concluded.