AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

Dear Honorable Minister,

I have learned through the press conference held today that you had said that the Ministry of Justice was not consulted by the Ministry of Interior when conducting investigations in, or as regards the case of The State v. Nine Officials of the former National Intelligence Agency. With all due respect, sir, this shocked me! I believe when you took office you know of the amount of work that lies ahead and any reasonable person in your position would have thought that the killing of Solo Sandeng should be one of the cases that should be given priority and the government must investigate as soon as possible.

It is fair for your ministry to be consulted on regular basis, but since your job is to uphold the laws of the land, what stopped your ministry from reaching out to the Ministry of Interior so as to effective lay plans as to how to deal with and/or manage this, and other impending cases? I guess you people are colleagues? It puzzles me that even after you have assumed office and moreover, when the suspects/accused persons were arrested, neither the Ministry of Interior nor your ministry reached out to the other in order to effectively manage the case.

Would you want to say that you and the Interior Minister never discussed this case? If that’s the case, then I must say that I’m disappointed! You and the Interior Minister met on several occasions since you both took office, you are colleagues, both departments reside in Banjul, and recently, both of you were on tour to Europe with the President. Therefore, it’s unreasonable for you (both) not to have discussed and lay plans to effectively manage this case and other cases. Now is not the time to shift blame onto the other party! The families of the victim deserve justice that you promised.

Just days ago, I feared that something might go wrong because of the manner the case is being managed. The judge took oath to uphold the law and nobody should blame her if the case is struck out and the accused persons released. Could you imagine the tension that will result if this case is struck out? Let nobody blame the families of the victims if they took the law into their hands because your ministry and Ministry of Interior will have to take the blame for depriving the families of the victim access to justice that you promised!

We have had enough excuses already! How can I be assured that I will get justice if someone assaults me in the streets of Banjul, today?

For The Gambia, Our Homeland!

Yours Sincerely,

SAMSIDEEN CONTEH ESQ.

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