Wednesday, 6 February 2019
‘‘The Gambia Bar Association Should Desist From Hypocrisy’’
The last time I checked its mission is to represent its members and contribute to the strengthening of participatory legal development, the rule of law and human rights standards in the Gambia. With a vision to seek an enlightened and transparent legal environment in The Gambia in which the rule of law is upheld, access to justice is assured and the protection and integrity of the legal profession is guaranteed.
Of recent, the president of the Gambia Bar Association Rachael Mendy speaking at the official opening of the 2019 legal year noted that PBYND was set up to promote the agenda of President Barrow. Therefore, “It is for this reason that we are opposed to the action taken recently to resuscitate the establishment of a youth movement based on a personal agenda. Such action can only result in the perpetuation of disunity among the youth who should now be encouraged to work in harmony incredible social activities.”
The said statement from the GBA President was not only unfortunate but disappointing since there are salient issues that the GBA should work on. The question is where was the Bar Association during the 22 years Jammeh’s brutal rule and when the NIA was turned into a torture chamber, when Solo Sandeng was killed and on April 10th and 11th, 2000 when 14 Gambian students were massacred when they held a demonstration against the regime of president Jammeh for alleged murder of Ebrima Barry and the rape of a Brikamaba school girl. Considering its mandate for a better country we want as per defending and upholding freedom, justice and the rule of law in The Gambia.
Furthermore, Article 2 (a) of the Constitution of The Gambia Bar Association reads; to maintain the standards, integrity, honour and independence of the Bar, to promote, preserve and improve the services and functions of the Bar, and to represent and act for the Bar generally as well as in matters affecting the administration of justice.
I might not agree with the mode of operations of the PBYND. However, its formation is constitutional and legally binding as it is a charitable organization said to be registered under the Companies Act 2013. Besides, Section 25 of Subsection 1 (e) of the 1997 Constitution granted all citizens the freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations and unions, including political parties and trade unions.
‘‘Rachael Mboge Mendy cannot use her position to pay political and she has no right and basis for her ill-judicial comment against the PBYNP. That statement doesn't fit in the mouth of someone promoting judicial independence and reconciliation, especially after knowing that PBYNP was a legally registered body’’. Said, Jeng.
Rachael should tell the sovereign citizens how she reached at the conclusion about the illegality and the unethical formation of the PBYND. The judicial sector should be the last resort of any democratic dispensation in the 21 Century. As well its decisions should not be politically motivated, either to promote the agenda of an individual/entity.