Ever since Yaya Jammeh started to micromanage the Judiciary 20 years ago, we have never read a single press release from the Bar Association to condemn the Executive interference in the Judiciary.
It is said that a healthy nation is not a so good business to Medical doctors and so is a law abiding executive power a bad business for the lawyers on criminal matters. Ironically Lawyers make more money in a dictatorial regime than in a truly democratic regime. Today the Gambian lawyers are the richest people amongst all the professional fields combine in the country. Gambian law students will tell you they chose to study law simply because they will make more money as seen amongst the best criminal law lawyers practicing in our courts. Even though they forgo money for their honorable colleague Senior Lawyer Oussainou Darboe and few special cases of national interest, never have they issued a press release condemning the illegal jailing of their colleague by the State in connivance with a corrupt Judiciary. That is a big shame.
Under a dictatorial regime, the Judiciary is the only hope of upholding freedom and justice for accused people. Willingly most judges and magistrates are under the dictates of the executive but truly and clearly the Bar Association is not oblige by virtue of the private nature of their job. If the Bar association had stood their ground from day one and stand down the total court system, the courts will not function and will compel the executive and the judiciary to stop delivering illegal judgments that most of the time favors the wish and caprices of a dictator executive that even the laymen know it is not right. But many of lawyers prefer to close their eyes to injustice and quietly rip the financial benefits of representing poor people wrongly accused, slapped with outrageous bail conditions and jailed unfairly after being financially milked together with what their families can financially afford. Many families went totally broke for paying lawyers, paying marabous, taking out costly charities just to see their loved ones gained freedom which is in fact not guaranteed in our corrupt judicial environment. You will never hear a lawyer frankly complain or truly sympathize with all these victims of state prosecution. Most simply fake it to sooth our ears.
Sometimes one even wonders if some our lawyers want Jammeh to leave office for the sake peace, justice and rule of law as some are fond of saying “you know the system in our country hein!” but we will try. This begs the question to ask if they are truly honest in their sympathetic statements as they could put a stop to it by collectively standing the whole court system throughout the country at once.
Verily this collective positive action from our lawyers would have reduced if not put a stop to the flagrant injustice-taking place in our courts.
I know lawyers would not like this article but as we criticize the NIA, the Police, the bloody executive, the corrupt judges and magistrates, the IEC so should they take their fair share of the blame and criticism for not being true nationalist patriots sympathetic to our terrified people by a terror state known the world over.
The only collective positive action we recall Lawyers took was to withdraw from the Daboe&Co trials but here again they could have extended this positive action to stand down the whole court system in the country so that the judiciary take heed.
GOD is watching all of us and will judge each one of us as we go to our grave with only the cost of a coffin or 7 meters of cotton and leave all the material and financial gains behind. Would we reflect on that day when only GOD matters?
I know I will hurt some conscience but I am happy to do so for the sake of our battered country and fair criticism.
Written By Baboucarr Bojang