I will admit that I am clueless when it comes to the law. So what I write here is strictly about the Justice’s fuzzy logic. Justice Mohammed Dan Azumi Balarabe, a vacation Justice of the High Court in Banjul recently presided over the bail hearing of former President Jawara’s son, Ebrima Jawara. It is not surprising that Ebrima Jawara was refused bail. A  presiding judge at a bail hearing has great discretionary power. What is puzzling is the fuzzy logic applied by Justice Balarabe. As reported in the Observer under the subsection “Legal Matters”:

ebrahima_jawara-s“The judge in his ruling on Ebrima Jawara’s bail application intimated that Jawara has the right to walk freely in any street in the country like any other citizen, and his constitutional right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty should not be derogated.”

“He [that is the justice] observed that it would be dangerous to grant bail to the applicant at this point due to the portfolio he has held in the country, adding that if granted bail he might tamper with the witnesses with investigations still ongoing.”

The Justice accepted these two premises as true:

  1. Jawara has a right to walk freely in any street in the country like any citizen;
  2. [That Mr. Jawara’s] constitutional right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty should not be derogated.

The Justice then concluded that “it was dangerous to grant bail to [Mr. Jawara ] at this point due to the portfolio he has held in the country … [because] if granted bail he might tamper with the witnesses with investigations still ongoing.”

It is fuzzy logic indeed to accept as true that Mr. Jawara has a right to walk freely in any street in the country like any other citizen, and that his constitutional right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty should not be derogated, then conclude that it was dangerous to grant him bail because he might tamper with witnesses simply because of his former position in the government.

Mr. Justice, you cannot accept premise 1 and 2 as true and then arrived at your conclusion categorically. It is logically impossible to accept premise 1 and 2 as true and reach a conclusion that contradicts either or both of these two premises. In other words, because you accepted as true that Mr. Jawara has a right to walk freely in any street in the country, and you further accepted that his constitutional right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty should not be derogated, then you must grant him bail. Any other conclusion is illogical. Because you reached a contrary conclusion as suggested, your thinking is inaccurate and therefore fuzzy.

You conclusion should have been to grant him bail with conditions like house arrest, no use of the phone or that he should not travel beyond a number of miles from his residence and the like. And of course, no contact with anyone who is connected to the case in any way shape or form.  But to accept the two premises as true and deny him bail is fuzzy logic. Your ruling is erroneous. Ms. Ida Drammeh should appeal this erroneous ruling.

 May be as Marcellus said to Horatio in “Hamlet” (1:4): “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

By The Gambian Outsider

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