Gambia: Current Occupants of Kerr Mot Hali Take Sering Ndigal Followers to Court

The current residents of Kerr Mot Hali village have instituted civil action against the followers of Sering Ndigal, who are currently in exile in Senegal.

The appellant, Ousman Secka and his people want the High Court to make an order for the residents of Kerr Mot Hali, who are in exile to return to the Gambia and set up their own village where they can freely practice their religion without any fear of confrontation or violence with them.

Ousman Secka and his followers are seeking for an order retraining the followers of Ndigal from coming into and around the village of Kerr Mot Hali and their farmlands. They want the court to make that order in order to protect and enforce their fundamental human rights to freely practice their religion without hindrance and avoid troubles from the respondents.

Ousman Secka and his people want the high court to protect and enforce their fundamental human rights pursuant to section 17 (2), 25 (1) of the 1997 Constitution.

When the case was called before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh on Thursday, 2nd June 2020, Lawyer Lamin Mboge appeared for the applicants while the respondents (the followers of Sering Ndigal) were representated by Lawyer Sheriff Kumba Jobe.

Muhammed Basirou, the eldest son of Sering Ndigal represented the followers of his father's teachings. Counsel Mboge informed the court that he was ready to proceed with the case but Lawyer SK Jobe objected to it and informed the court that the matter has been decided by the high court.

Lawyer SK Jobe in his preliminary objection said the matter has been caught by the principle of 'res judicata' because it was decided by the high court in October 2017.

Barrister Jobe said in the civil suit HC/081/17/MF/029/F, the lead applicant and his followers were represented by the village alkalo, Sheikh Secka together with Attorney General, Inspector General of Police and Governor of Central River Region and the judgement was delivered in favour of the respondents, Ndigal people.

"It is our submission that this matter attempts to re-litigate the issues that were dealt with by this court. The parties in this present suit and the previous one are the same. The same court has given its final determination on this matter," Jobe said.

Counsel for the applicants Mboge, applied for adjournment to be able to prepare and file in another affidavit.

The application was granted and the matter was adjourned to the 21 of July 2020 at 12 noon for continuation.

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