Gambia: Supreme Court Set to Deliver Judgment in Lamin Sillah's Case

The Gambia Supreme Court is set to deliver judgment in the case of Lamin Sillah and the Oceanic Bank.

Making her submission before the panel of the Supreme Court of the Gambia, Lawyer Ida Drammeh for the appellant (Sillah) told the court that the Gambia Court of Appeal has gone beyond the orders that it could make in an appeal that was before it.

She said the case was brought to the High Court by the Respondent (the Bank) wherein Sillah was not made party. She argued that Sillah as an individual is different from the Chosan Enterprise. She said at the High Court, it was Chosan that was made a party and not Mr. Sillah.

She told the court that Sillah was the proprietor of the enterprise. She argued that Sillah was denied his right to fair-hearing by the Gambia Court of Appeal.

"His property was taken from him by the executors of the court's judgment and his properties were mortgaged without being given the chance to be heard," Lawyer Drammeh says.

She submitted that Sillah has the right to be heard and it was not fair for the Gambia Court of Appeal to deny him this right (the right to be heard). She asked the Supreme Court to set aside the orders of the Gambia Court of Appeal and make an order for the matter to be taken back to the High Court for the purpose of fair hearing. She said the motion that is the subject matter of this appeal was based on estoppel.

She argued that Chosan is different from Lamin Sillah because Sillah was the mortgagor and owner of Chosan Enterprise.

"There cannot be a short-cut to justice," she said in concluding her submissions.

Lawyer Christopher E. Mene on his part for the Bank said all the points raised by Lawyer Drammeh were all addressed in Respondent's (the bank) brief of argument. Mene refuted the submissions made by Lawyer Drammeh adding that the motion was not brought under estoppel.

He told the court that Mr. Sillah secured a loan from the Bank and became a defaulter after failing to pay. He said the action was brought before a lower court for the recovery of the money. He said in the Court of Appeal judgment, it was found out that Chosan was actually Sillah's. He added that Sillah acknowledged and commenced payment. He indicated that before Sillah started paying the money, he (Sillah) has filed several processes before the lower court and admitted liability.

Lawyer Mene submitted that if the appeal is allowed, it would not be in the interest of justice because he (Sillah) has admitted liability.

"The appellant (Sillah) started paying in installment and he negotiated payment. The name sued at the lower court was Chosan but the appellant accepted services. At the lower court, it was found out that Chosan and Lamin Sillah was the same," Lawyer Mene submitted.

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