New Interior minister urged to put house in order:- As he, 5 judges are sworn-in
Friday, April 20, 2012
The president of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, has challenged the new minister of the Interior to put the service institutions, especially the Police Force that are under his purview in order, warning that failure to do so will welcome his intervention.
The Gambian leader was speaking Thursday afternoon at State
House in Banjul, while presiding over the swearing in ceremony of the new
Interior minister, Lamin Kaba Bajo.
Bajo, was sworn in alongside five newly appointed judges in
the persons of Justice Raymond Claudius Sock, a Supreme Court judge; Mama
Fatima Singhateh and Emmanuel Fangbenle, Court of Appeal judges; and Penda
Dibba and Abdullahi Mikailu, High Court judges respectively.
“You will need
an iron broom otherwise I will come [my own way]. So if you really want some
trees to survive, I would advise you to use a broom now and clean that place.
Everyday you will hear outrageous stories and in most cases the complainant
becomes an accused person.
This is unacceptable and also where you take the law into your own hands. So clean the place because if you don’t I will. There are still constant harassments of drivers and other drivers get away with murders because they have a big pocket; this is unacceptable,” the Gambian leader warned.
Emphasising that it is indispensable for the minister of the Interior together with the minister of Justice to work with the Judiciary given the fact that the three are inter-dependent, President Jammeh enjoined the new Interior minister to put his “ears on the ground”. “The best way to know is to put your ears on the ground and you must be interested in what goes on at the police stations and checkpoints,” he further stated.
He added: “Listen to the people but don’t act based on what people tell you because others may have a hidden agenda. Depending entirely on the reports of your officials, you will be making a great mistake because they will tell you what you want to hear and one that will always protect their interest.”
The Gambian leader pointed out that the ceasefire between him and the police, the security forces in particular are over, stating that he extended the three months duration that was agreed to17 months. “I gave them one year five months and don’t be surprised if you see three quarter of the police being dismissed because the ceasefire is over. You may not know what is going on but I know what is going on and I will not accept any appeals from anybody. Enough is enough because for 17 years I have been talking about the security forces,” he stated.
The president stated that it is made very clear that no
security agents be it the National Intelligence Agency, the police or the
military intelligence whatever or even the Customs or Immigration should treat
a civil matter in the police stations, checkpoints or anywhere.He described this situation as
unacceptable, noting that such has been continuing despite the warning that he
gave during the start of the ceasefire.
“But sometimes the law enforcement agencies violate the laws and give the government a bad image, we have enough of that and there will be no compromise. If you violate the law, you will be dismissed and prosecuted because the laws of this country have been violated. The ceasefire was supposed to be three months but I gave them one year and five months. There will be nothing more because enough is enough and for 17 years I have been warning them to go according to the laws of the Gambia and ignorance of the law is no excuse,” he pointed out.
Gambia’s laws will be upheld
Shifting his comment to the issues affecting the Judiciary, the Gambian leader was quick to praise the judicial system, while defending the existing laws of the country, which he said must be enforced to the letter.
“I think it is quite obvious that if you have to listen to detractors, you would have failed in your oaths. The detractors do not wish this country well and listening to their irrational rambling, you will be wasting your time and there will be a miscarriage of justice. Let me be very clear as always that the Gambia will not be ruled twice, enslaved or colonised twice because there will be no instance where laws of this country will be promulgated outside of this country and enforced according to the wishes of those people who promulgated them,” he stated.
President Jammeh further stressed that the laws of The
Gambia will be passed by Gambians for the interest of Gambians and no one else,
saying how the country enforced its laws or how the Judiciary is carried out is
He continued: “Today they would tell me the death penalty is
inhumane and degrading treatment but this is based on a judicial process – the
laws that are passed in the interest of the people. But what about somebody who
sat in his home and decided that he doesn’t like another person’s face and
takes that life off on his own and when this criminal is dealt according to the
laws of this country to ensure our safety and every individual including that
criminal, they say it is a violation of human rights. But we cannot be fooled.”
To this end, President Jammeh urged the Judiciary to apply the laws of The Gambia in view of the fact that Gambians passed those laws through their representatives at the National Assembly. The Judiciary, he said must continue to do its work because it is not applying universal laws or any other laws for that matter but the laws of The Gambia.
While pledging his government’s continuous support to the Judiciary, the Gambian leader commended them for their continued hard work.
The vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Her Excellency Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, thanked President Jammeh for the appointments, while also commending the minister and judges for accepting the challenges.
The vice president hastened to harp on the giant strides made by the Jammeh administration, stating that since 1994 this country has had a focused government and a committed leadership that provides the enabling environment for all to perform within their limits and capabilities. She also harped on the importance of the Judiciary and the improvements made in the sector.
Her words: “Without the Judiciary, there will be no peace and security because everybody can do whatever they want; there will be lawlessness, there will be a failed state, and there will be many other things because crime will be on the rise and people can just use their powers and do whatever they want. So therefore we should show our appreciation of the Judiciary.” Taking turns to address the gathering were the ministers of Justice and the newly sworn-in Interior minister, who both thanked President Jammeh for the appointments.
Minister Bajo hailed President Jammeh for renewing the trust and confidence to man such an important but sensitive Ministry, while commending him for bringing him on board once again to support him in the implementation of his vision for the country.
The Interior minister spoke about the importance of peace and stability, which he described as the only gold mine The Gambia is blessed with. Reiterating that The Gambia’s peace and security is paramount and comes before anything, Bajo sought the support and collaboration of all in strengthening it.
The Attorney General and minister of Justice, Lamin Jobarteh
reminded the judges of the fact that the administration of justice plays a
vital role in boosting the confidence of the people to whom they administered
justice. “The constitution calls on you to administer justice
according to the law. The people of the country reposed so much confidence on
you for the protection of their lives, property and liberty,” he said, adding
that to adjudicate on those things is greater responsibility.
On his part, the chief justice, Emmanuel Agim, noted that the appointments of these judges will strengthen the capacity of the Judiciary to deliver justice expeditiously. He commended the Gambia government for establishing what he called an effective and quality Judiciary to be reckoned with. The occasion was administered and chaired by the secretary to Cabinet, Ramou Cole-Ceesay.
Author: Hatab Fadera