By Lamin Njie

Former Vice President Ousainou Darboe has said Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou did not do anything wrong regarding members of his family holding diplomatic passports.

Mr Tambadou has in recent weeks endured a heavy dose of the wrath of a section of the Gambian public after it emerged some members of his family hold a Gambian diplomatic passport.

A letter that was leaked online last month showed the justice minister making a request to President Barrow for members of his family including his mother to be issued diplomatic passports.

But former Vice President Ousainou Darboe has said the justice minister was not in the wrong in ‘asking’ for the document.

“Certainly, he applied and it was left to the approving authority to approve or disapprove. There is nothing stopping you Pasamba from applying for a diplomatic passport for yourself and your wives or your wife and children,” Mr Darboe said on For The People By The People Show on Sunday.

He added: “It’s left to the approving authority to really approve or disapprove. I don’t think there is anything wrong in the asking. I believe maybe if he had misused his office, then I would think that that would be unethical.”

Mr Tambadou is displeased with the way Gambians have reacted to the issue, vowing in a news conference last month that he will return the passports. It is however not clear whether he has returned the passports.