A civil lawsuit for defamation filed by an ex-cabinet minister in The Gambia suffered a snag at the High Court in Banjul, prompting the judge to adjourn the case until next month.Tuesday’s hearing failed to proceed due to the absence of the defendants.
Omar Amadou Jallow, who served as Minister of Agriculture in the government of President Adama Barrow until early this month, is suing the online Gambian media, Kerr Fatou over a publication the plaintiff had found offensive.
Jallow was fingered in the allegedly illegal sale of expired fertilizer to Gambian farmers.
The story reported last month cited an ongoing investigation sanctioned by the presidency.
Jallow who denied any wrongdoing is claiming damages to the tune of D20 million from the publication, and an additional D1 million against three Kerr Fatou journalists for defamation.
The sacked former minister is also seeking a court ruling ordering the defendants to jointly publish a written retraction and apology which should be published on two local newspapers.
Despite the suit, the defendants have refused to back down, insisting that the former minister was involved in the alleged sale of the fertilisers.
When the case was called on Tuesday, the defendants were not present in court.
High Court judge, Justice Fatou Saho Ceesay adjourned the case to August 15 for hearing, pending the delivery of summons to the defendants seeking their appearance before the court.