Remove Yaya Jammeh from office—Writes Ansu Koroma
By Ansu Koroma
The Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia provides for the removal of the President from office under several provisions. Under Section 67 1(b)i, The President may be removed from office if "he or she has conducted himself in a manner which brings or likely to bring the office of President into contempt or disrepute." The recent revelation that Yaya Jammeh, actively sought, and eventually received, what amounts to a tongue-in-cheek award in the form of a title of Admiral of a fictitious Navy from landlocked State of Nebraska which according to the spokesperson of the Governor of Nebraska "regret(s) that this individual (referring tio The President of The Republic of The Gambia)has attempted to embellish a certificate for a Nebraska admiralship, claiming that it was a high honor bestowed upon him by the governor, when to the best of our knowledge, this person (meaning the President of the Republic of The Gambia) has no relationship with or ties to Nebraska." The spokesman further informed the general public that thousand of these admiralship requests are processed annually.
It came to light that this award was initiated by Yaya Jammeh and brought to fruition by two individuals who claim to represent an Italian-based organization called International Parliament for Safety and Peace - an organization, according to a CPJ release, has been accused in the past for providing credentials to educational institutions otherwise not accredited in their own nations , and of selling membership, titles and other distinctions for fees. It stands to reason that Yaya Jammeh must have paid a fee to these characters, one of whom carries the title of Ambassador.
On the basis of the above, Yaya Jammeh has on this occasion committed an act of fraud by claiming to have earned the title of Admiral of the Nebraska Navy, when according to the office of the Governor of Nebraska, Yaya Jammeh was not even eligible to for the tongue-in-cheek award because 'he has no relationship with or ties to Nebraska" and thus deemed ineligible for the award. This act alone warrants Yaya Jammeh to be impeached for bring the office of President into contempt AND disrepute.
The second impeachable offense that Yaya Jammeh has committed is during the same award ceremony, involving the same characters who claim to be representing the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, is the claim that two awards he received were accompanied by a letter from "President Barrak Obama commending the Gambian leader for the accolade, and also commended him for helping address the most pressing needs in his community". The purported letter from President Obama described the Gambia leader as an inspirational leader and thanked him for his exemplary dedication, determination and perseverance for the development of The Gambia as well as the advancement of humanity at large." This claim was also proven false by none other than Mr. Bob Jensen, spokesperson of the White House National Security Council who wrote in an email message to CPJ the following: Those reports are incorrect. The Gambian president did not receive what the media reports are claiming. Those media reports were based exclusively on the reports of Gambia Government official mouthpiece that is The Daily Observer. The State House own web site carries the same reports in more detail. This second count warrants impeachment of Yaya Jammeh for bringing the office of president into contempt and disrepute.
Article 67 Section 2 of the Constitution provides that not less than half of the members of the National Assembly must sign a motion to impeach which must be received by the Speaker, specifying the particulars of the allegations (with any necessary documentation), and requesting that a tribunal be appointed to investigate the allegations. If the allegations have been substantiated, the National Assembly shall remove Yaya Jammeh from office if two thirds of its members vote in favor.
We implore the National Assembly in the interest of the Nation to take the necessary first step by bringing a signed motion to the attention of the Speaker so that a tribunal can be established to investigate these allegations which has, once again, brought international attention of the wrong kind to our beloved county: The Gambia.