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Senegal and UN PR Seck Were Denied Bid To Deny All Claims by Architect Diedhiou Dec 13

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 5 – Senegal, through its Mission to the UN in New York with Permanent Representative Fode Seck, were sued earlier this year for $1 million by a Senegalese architect who says they ripped him off.

  On Christmas Day 2020 Inner City Press reported that the architect had filed to win by default. Senegal had not put in any response at all.

  But when Inner City Press' report was picked up in Senegal, by and Senxibar, this arrogant response was proffered: "Senegal faces condemnation in the United States. According to the Obs, which quotes Inner City Press, a media specializing in the coverage of legal cases, the Senegalese mission to the United Nations and its former ambassador, Fodé Seck, are being sued... Pierre Goudiaby Atepa indicates that his nephew is confusing people's heads and that he himself is a victim in this affair. Better, he made it known that Fodé Seck has nothing to do in this affair."

   Note to Seck, and other diplomats seeking to emulate the impunity of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres - thumbing your nose at a legal system is not a good look.

On January 11, Senegal belatedly made an appearance in the SDNY case, with this suburban lawyer: "Ryanne Konan Law Office and Legal Services Ryanne Konan, Esq. ryannekonan Attorney for Defendant, 4 Marshall Road, Suite 248 Wappingers Falls, NY 12590." His video is here. It cited dog bites, and shows a New York Post article about porn.

Then on January 19, game on: "Given this Circuit's preference for resolving disputes on the merits, Senegal's explanation for its initial delay in appearing in this case and prompt effort to seek vacatur, and the early posture of this case, the Court hereby GRANTS Senegal's motion to vacate the Clerk's certificate of default. The Clerk of Court is respectfully instructed to vacate the certificate of default. The parties are instructed to confer and jointly stipulate to a date by which Senegal must answer, move, otherwise respond to the Complaint. Such stipulation must be filed with the Court by no later than January 22, 2021. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 1/18/2021)."

But on June 8,  Senegal filed a one-page "motion" with the court, saying that it should not have to produce any discovery.

And on June 9, it was granted: "The request is GRANTED. Discovery will be stayed until a decision is issued on the Motion to Dismiss. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 6/9/2021)."

Now on September 29, 2021, Senegal's motion has only been partial granted, and partially denied - so the case proceeds: "OPINION AND ORDER: re: [24] FIRST MOTION to Dismiss filed by The Republic of Senegal. For the reasons set forth above, Senegal's motion to dismiss is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Senegal's motion is granted as to Diedhiou's breach of contract claims relating to the purchase and transfer of the property; but denied as to all other claims. The parties are directed to appear for a teleconference on November 5, 2021 at 9 am."

On November 5, this: "ORDER SCHEDULING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: This case has been referred to me for general pretrial supervision purposes & settlement (Doc. No. 37). A Case Management Conference in this matter will be held on Monday, December 13, 2021."

Also, further ahead: "This case is to be tried to a jury. Non-expert depositions shall be completed by February 1, 2022. Amended Pleadings due by 12/1/2021. Joinder of Parties due by 12/1/2021. Deposition due by 5/1/2022. Discovery due by 6/1/2022. Case Management Conference set for 6/1/2022 at 03:30 PM before Judge Edgardo Ramos."

                        Russell Lee in front of UN, before total ban

The architect says his claim is not blocked by sovereign or diplomatic immunity, so common around today's UN, since Senegal was developing commercial real estate.  

In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which Inner City Press covers daily including Cheikh Gadio along with the UN while being banned by UNSG Antonio Guterres from entering the UN due to its reporting on UN corruption, Pape M. Diedhiou filed a lawsuit on July 23, 2020, for more than $1 million.

 And on December 25, this has been filed: "Defendant, the Republic of Senegal, was properly served under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4 and 28 U.S.C. § 1608, and proof of service has been filed with the Court. 3) The time for Defendant to answer or otherwise move with respect to Plaintiff’s complaint herein has expired. 4) Defendant is not an infant or incompetent person." Actually, the Senegal Mission or PR may well be incompetent.

  Diedhiou recounts that after substantial work, in May 2016 he "sent an invoice to Fode Seck, who had replaced [Paul] Badji as Senegal's Permanent Representative to the UN."

Seck has led the UN's Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People - but he did not pay Diedhiou for his work. The lawsuit followed. Inner City Press will be following it. Watch this site. 

The case is Diedhiou v. The Republic of Senegal, 20-cv-5685 (Ramos) 


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