By Yankuba Jallow
Pa Modou Bojang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Home Digital FM has instituted a suit against the Gambia Police Force, the Ministry of the Interior and the Attorney General claiming fifteen million dalasis as damages he incurred from the alleged police assault on him during the Faraba Incident.
Bojang, is claiming for this sum as damages for assault, battery, physical injuries, mental trauma, unlawful detention, pain and suffering, and public humiliation allegedly inflicted on him by personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) and the Brikama Police Station. The Faraba Incident occurred sometime around mid-2018.
When the case was called before Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay of the Banjul High Court, Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe announced appearance for the claimant (Pa Modou) while Counsel A. Ceesay represented all the defendants.
According to the Statement of Claim, Bojang on the day of the incident went to Faraba Banta amidst the land dispute between the community and the police. It is indicated in the claim that Bojang is a journalist. The claim adduced that he went to Faraba Banta driving his Blue Ford Focus and while the people of the community of Faraba Banta were chasing the PIU personnel, the claimant (Bojang) was behind a mango tree. Bojang said one of the senior personnel of the police approached him demanding to know what he was doing. He added that he told that senior officer that he was a journalist and his purpose of going to Faraba Banta was to cover the incident for the purpose of public information and enlightenment about the events as they were unfolding. He said after showing that PIU officer his press card, some other personnel came and ordered that he has to format his phone. Bojang said he told them that the phone has documents that he wouldn’t want to lose including his bank details.
He said it was at this juncture that the PIU personnel started slapping him on his face and he fell on the ground. Despite being on the ground, Bojang said the beating that was meted on him increased as other PIU personnel joined in the assault on him as he was still on the ground feeling helpless and offering no resistance.
He said he sustained injuries on his head, nose, and mouth/gum, back and as well received verbal assault. He indicated in the claim that he temporarily lost consciousness from the intensity and impact of the beatings by the PIU personnel.
He said his Samsung mobile phone, identity cardand digital recorder were all seized at the scene.
The matter will be coming on Monday 17th June 2019 at 10 am for hearing.