By Alhagie Jobe
The Gambian president Yahya Jammeh has rewarded the Gambia’s judiciary in appreciation of the job his hired Nigerian machinery judges did for him especially in the recent sentencing of opposition United Democratic leader Ousainou Darboe, his party executives and other members.
He gave ten brand new executive cars to the new judges and a brand new complex for their accommodation, a moved appreciated by all his hired Nigerian machinery judges messing up with the Gambia’s judicial system under the instruction of Mr Jammeh.
Gambia’s chief justice Emmanuel Fagbenle confirmed the reward during an interview with the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper.
“We thank him [the President] for giving us ten brand new executive cars for the new judges and a brand new complex for their accommodation and also for giving us staff bus meant to reduce the problem of staff mass transit or movement. He has also given us additional personnel through the appointment of nine judges for the High Court and three judges for The Gambia Court of Appeal and he also gave us approval for new justices of the Supreme Court,” Fagbenle said.
Ousainou Darboe and 18 others were convicted and each sentenced to three years in prison by Nigerian judge Justice Eunice Dada Oshim on Wednesday, July 20th, after been found guilty of six offences ranging from unlawful assembly, for “riotously interfering with vehicles”, holding a procession without a permit and disobeying an order to disperse among others during the April 16th peaceful demonstration. They were all acquitted of one charge of incitement of violence. They were arrested on April 16 in Serrekunda, during a peaceful demonstration calling for the release of party members and produce Solo Sandeng dead or alive.
This verdict was followed by another conviction to three years imprisonment on Thursday, 21st July, of the group of April 14th peaceful protesters by a court in Mansakonko, Lower River Region. The April 14th protesters were arrested along with late Solo Sandeng who died in state custody after staging a peaceful demonstration at Westfield Junction demanding electoral reform.
The Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, Chapter 4, Section 25, Sub Section 1(D) states that “Every person shall gave the right to freedom of assemble and demonstrate peaceably and without arms.”
Gambians head to the polls in December 2016 in which current president Yahya Jammeh is seeking for a fifth term.