IN SOLIDARITY WITH MUNTAGA AND THE INNOCENT ONES IN THE GNPC CASE
Justice it is said should not only be done but it must manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. When the issue about the non-involvement of Muntaga Sallah was published, it was taken personal by others. When a statement or a concern is raised, it must be viewed objectively. We must construe issues from a holistic perspective devoid of any prejudice. This will help us to develop. It will make us thrive and progress as a Nation.
It was not the assertion of the author in that article that there was no loss occasioned by the Gambia government, rather, it was about the non-involvement of an innocent soul. There was indeed loss but that should not be a guarantee to falsely prosecute the innocents. In fact as I read through, I realized the author gave instances of the excessive payments and even suggested a way forward for the new government to recover the lost monies. We cannot drop charges against everybody but those who are innocent should not be maliciously prosecuted. No reasonable prosecutorial department in a civilized society would venture into an exercise of prosecuting innocent individuals. Such moves will prone the prosecuting bodies to the tort action of malicious prosecution. I think we have enough legal liability bills to think about thank risking the government to further liabilities.
People who have been wrongly charged should be set freed. There continuous trial is occasioning unnecessary legal expenses to the State. Think of the resources being put into such a futile and concocted trial. Those resources can fit into better and well meaningful areas of our development agendas. It must be appreciated that people have surrendered their title deeds as guarantees for the conditions of grant of bail to the accused persons. Those properties are currently charged and cannot be so used by their owners for economic ventures which will enhance the economic development of this great nation. It hurts to be wrongfully dismissed, arrested, falsely charged and disgraced. I used this because the executive directives sanctioning the arrest of people come in the wordings, “arrest, detain, charge and prosecute Mr. X” during the days of Yaya Jammeh. You will come to realize that even if the authorities have no scintilla of evidence against an individual, they will do as per Jammeh’s executive directives command. This was the Gambia we lived in. This was the Gambia many people fall victims of. This is not the Gambia we wished to live. We need to review the case at hand and free all the innocent souls.
We should not be carried away by the amounts involve in some of the charges. What we should be concern about as conscious citizens is whether those charges are devoid of prejudice. Muntaga is innocent and continuing with the case against him will be the height of injustice. Lets get to work and set the innocent souls free. We need the expertise of most of these people. With their current status they cannot be involved. How long do we deny ourselves of their contribution? Yes, they are not the only ones who can help in the development of this country but hey! they have the institutional memory already.
The facts surrounding the truth about the GNPC case is at the public domain. A bill of indictment is filed together with all the necessary documents, the evidence to be relied upon and all the witnesses to the case. So any concern citizen can have this. Information relating to cases once in court cannot be censored. Trials of this nature are done in open court for the general public to access it. That’s what we call justice.
It’s now time we act very cautious with our international contract agreements. We need to have them insured so that we have something or somewhere to lean on in situations like this. Indemnity clauses cannot be left out. They are very fundamental.
Ba Tambedou, the new justice minister, you are a very upright person. You have a sense of justice running all over you. You claimed not to be used by anyone to falsely prosecute. The case of Muntaga is before you and others in the GNPC case. All those involved are very resourceful to the Gambia. We need them. Let the case be reviewed for the innocents to go home and reduce the potential legal liability bill of the government. You have the powers under section 85(1)(c) of the Constitution to instruct your DPP to discontinue any criminal proceedings, safe for private criminal proceedings which must have the consent of the private prosecutor, against any person before judgment is delivered. Assert your powers in the interest of justice. We cannot be failed twice. We have been failed under Jammeh and I know you wouldn’t allow us fail under Barrow. Your professionalism has stood the test of time both national and international.
Written By A Concerned Gambian