Gambia: Sabally Asked to Apologise or Face Legal Battle

4 February 2021

Christopher E. Mene, the lawyer to business tycoon, Abubakary Jawara, the chief executive officer of The Gambia-Angola Holding Group (GACH) has asked Momodou Sabally, former Presidential Affairs minister, secretary general and head of the Civil Service to apologise to his client or face legal battle; The Point has been reliably informed.

In a letter dated 1 February 2021 addressed to the former Civil Service boss, and obtained by The Point, Mene has given Sabally seven days to apologise to Mr. Jawara or risk being dragged to court.

"By this letter, my client demands that you cease and desist from continuing to propagate the aforementioned unfounded stories about my client and utilising photos of my client in the propagation of such falsehoods."

"You are further given seven days to publish a detailed withdrawal of your post and tender an unreserved apology to my client for the false statements made against him in all social media platforms through which the falsehoods were perpetrated (WhatsApp Voice Notes, Freedom Radio and Facebook)."

Christopher E. Mene, further noted in the letter that: "Should you fail to comply with the above request within seven days from the receipt of this letter I have instructions to bring an action against you before the High Court of The Gambia for damages, including exemplary damages for defamation without any further warning."

"It has come to my client's attention that at various periods during the month of January 2020 you Momodou Sabally, by means of a number social media and media platforms made unfounded statements damaging to my client's reputation. On or about the 11th of January 2021, you made a widely shared post on your Facebook page on which you posted a picture of my client and sought to draw a link between my client and a drug seizure."

"Furthermore, despite the fact that my client has been investigated by both the police and the National Assembly and publicly cleared of all wrongdoing over the importation of hunting firearms, your post sought to portray that my client went scot free as a result of enjoying some irregular presidential patronage. By virtue of your standing in society, there are strong grounds to believe that you knew or ought to have known that the contents of your post were unfounded and will damage my client's reputation."

"Even more disturbing was an interview you granted Pa Nderry Mbai of Freedom Radio on or about the 20th of January 2021 with a partial transcript and audio recording of the said interview on Freedom newspaper on the 20th of January 2021. In this interview you stated that my client was a close associate of one Banta Keita, a person of interest in the drug seizure."

"You made these statements without any proof and based your information on pure conjecture, knowing or having cause to know that the information you were spreading was not true. Around 15 minutes to 35 minutes into this interview the interviewer asked if you were sure my client had any ties with the said Banta Keita, in response to which you very strongly reiterated your unfounded claims. You further made a number of WhatsApp Voice notes repeating the same unfounded claims against my client."

"My client doesn't know the said Banta Keita and has at no point been associated with him. Furthermore, my client has no connection to the drug alleged to have been imported into the country and discovered on the 8th of January 2021."

"The said words which you know or ought to know were false or which you uttered recklessly not caring whether they were false or not was also calculated to injure my client's business. The said words are clearly defamatory of my client because it disparages the reputation of my client or tends to lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of the society generally or expose him to hatred, ridicule, scandal, odium, contempt and similar feelings."

Meanwhile, Sabally in a Facebook post said he would not apologise. "An apology from Momodou Sabally? That will NOT happen in a BILLION years, Inshaa Allah."

"Let Barrow and his cronies try another channel to silence me. This one will not work!"

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