It would be remembered that, during the heat of the 2016 election in the Gambia that saw the removal of the long-serving dictator, Yahya Jammeh, some opposition party members were arrested and sentenced to 3years imprisonment by the then government.
Some members of the group, which was headed by Ousainou Darboe, leader for the United Democratic Party (UDP) were arrested in April 2016 and charged for unlawful demonstration. According to them, the protest was organized to demand justice for one Mr. Solo Sandeng, a political activist that was arrested by the Jammeh led administration.
Reports have it that, Mr. Sandeng was not the only one who was arrested. Several other activists were also included but the group was reliably informed that Mr. Sandeng died in custody due to torture, a wild allegation that Amnesty international equally attested to.
This arrest rendered the UDP stranded as the biggest opposition party was left without a leader. This led to the formation of the highly influential coalition that made Adama Barrow the President of The Gambia. A few days after winning the election, Barrow’s administration pardoned those who were arrested.
Fortunately for them, a ruling from an ECOWAS court sitting in Abuja on the 20th of January, 2020 went in their favor. Even though the court stated clearly that the group lacked permit for the protest and declared the protest an affront to the law, it made provisions for damages to be paid to each of the people who were arrested.
According to the declaration by Justice Edward Amoako Asante of Ghana, the Gambian state is obliged to compensate Mr. Darboe and nine others with an amount of $100,000 ‘Equally’ For the Violations Of their rights.