Shyben A. Madi’s & Sons’ Summons Dismissed

By Rohey Jadama
Justice Simeon A. Abi of the Banjul High court on Thursday 30th April
dismissed the application of Shyben A. Madi and Sons Limited, holding
that it lacks merit.The state was represented by M. B. Abubacarr, while the applicant was
represented by Ida Drameh, A N. D Bensouda,  Mrs. Hawa Sisay Sabally
and Y. H. Cox.
Mr Shyben Madi of Shyben A. Madi and Sons Ltd who  was in detention
was absent from court.
The application sought for an order to restrain the National Drug
Enforcement Agency (NDEA) “from acting in contravention, or violation
of the provisions of the Drug Act and the Constitution of The Gambia
in relations to the applicants until further order of the court.”
They also sought for a provisional order to restrain NDEA from
interfering with the operation of the company or enjoyment of its
property without a court order.
Thirdly, they sought for an order directing the respondent to remove
all seizures of and restraints placed on the company’s premises and
properties on Friday the 17th day of April 2015 until further order of
this court.
The lawyers added that section 5 of the constitution enables the court
to make orders and give directions and that it confers the right on
any person to bring an application where it is alleged that any
provision of the Constitution is being breached. Section 5(2) of the
Constitution empowers to make orders on such application.
Lawyer Ida Drameh added, that the constitution guarantees every person
charged with a criminal offence a fair hearing within a reasonable
time in section 24(1) and also provides for the presumption of
innocence in section 24(3).
She said the applicant will suffer irreparable damage unless some
provisional measures can be obtained from the court. She said the
items in the sealed stores include perishable goods, rice, flour,
sardines, etc.
She argued that no court order was produced and no documentation was
produced to justify this unconstitutional sealing and that even the
names of the people who took over this possession were not given. She
said after closing the premises the NDEA took three employees,
detained them and charged them with drug offences.
She referred to further additional affidavit which sets out some
details of the difficulties the company faces because of the actions
of NDEA.
The trial judge in his ruling said it is clear from the forgoing that
the whole build up to this entire saga is the discovery of some
suspected substances now confirmed to be cocaine in the consignment of
containers imported and being sold by the applicant (the company). He
said it is not in dispute that the respondent (NDEA) is the
appropriate authority to deal with matters concerning drugs like
cocaine.
The trial judge added, “it was contended by the respondent that the
seizure of the applicant’s premises was done to secure the items in
the premises for the purpose of the ongoing investigations.
“I consider all arguments as supporting these main contentions on both
sides and I do not wish to review or analyze them here. I do not find
that the applicant has made out a case for the grant of the reliefs
sought in the summons on notice”, ruled the trial judge.
The presiding judge then struck out all the three reliefs sought by
the company and accordingly dismissed the summons on notice as lacking
merit.
The proceeding on the originating summons was adjourned till 12th May
for hearing.