A famous Gambian writer and a historian has filed a civil lawsuit against three Gambian teachers who have allegedly plagiarised a collection of her books on the country’s history.
Patience Sonko Godwin is seeking an amount of about $100, 460 dollars in damages against one E. Charles, Mohammed J Kebbeh and Muhammed T Jobarteh.
However, the presiding judge at the High Court in Banjul today deferred her case against the trio to another date due to the absence of the third accuse person, Muhammed T Jobarteh.
Godwin is claiming over $25, 115, D1, 000 000, for damages against the defendants on her book, “Ground work history of The Gambia”, to be paid over a period of ten years.
The writer is also claiming damages of D3, 000 000, over $75, 000, to be paid in a period of ten years over her works: “Understanding Gambian History, Senior Secondary School History Text”, “Trade in the Senegambia 2nd edition” and “Development of local industries” .
The historian also requested for the National Centre for Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to retrieve her books/ pamphlets from circulation and have them destroyed.
The case was adjourned to March 2, 2016.
Copyright infringement is a big issue in The Gambia.
But despite the commonness of the act, copyright infringement is a criminal offence in the country.
Barely a month ago, one teacher at a Gambian school has written to admit he has plagiarized Godwin’s book, thus accepted to apologize on a national newspaper.