Mr Editor, except I am reading the editorial wrong, and I apologize if I do, I do not believe anyone should know VP overseer Tambajang in order to be hired as a Supreme Court Judge. According to an editorial on Freedom newspaper online May 24, 2017, one particular paragraph in part states that “now we are hearing that Alfa Barry’s sister is married to lawyer Omar Njai. Mr. Njai was recently hired as a Supreme Court Judge. The VP overseer’s signature is all over the place. This is scary Gambia. She wants to run the government as a family enterprise”.
Of course, it is correct that Mrs Fatoumatta Tambajang is an aunt to Alpha Barry and Omar Njai’s wife but let’s understand that the office of a Supreme Court Judge in the Gambia does not attract too much money in the first place. Except if the remuneration package for Supreme Court Judges have been revised by the Barrow government, they do not earn too much. To be clear to the Gambians, the Vice President overseer does not sit in the Judicial Service Commission which recommends the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge.
I know for sure that Omar Njai has been running his practice way back in 1992 thereabout so this guy has the credentials to be a Supreme Court Judge. Omar Njai taking up an appointment as a Supreme Court is just a display of good statesmanship. Many Gambians will agree with me that in the Jammeh regime, Gambians shy away from taking such appointments because it was like a “hire and fire” scenario and that is why most lawyers preferred to stay in private practice. I am of the conviction that many Gambians will now want to work in the Gambian judiciary in this post Jammeh era. The appointment of Hassan B. Jallow as Chief Justice of the Gambia is a clear example of the fact that the Gambian Judiciary is falling back into the hands of Gambians.
Also, in one of the articles written by Pa Njie Girigara recently, he made mention of Justice Mam Yassin Sey. It is not clear to me whether she came back to the Judiciary but if that is the case, it just goes to prove that Gambian legal luminaries are just sacrificing for the betterment of the Gambia.
Quote of the day: Anything is better than Yahya Jammeh.
Written by Ebou Ngum in Everett Washington
Editors note: Mr. Ngum, thanks for the rejoinder. At a personal level, I equally know Mr. Omar Njai. He is a good man. He has long been practicing law; with a wealth of experience.
In fact, I was told by a colleague of Omar that Mr. Njai, had long wanted to serve the bench, but it was during Barrow’s government that God had predestined his ambition to become a judge. Perhaps, he doesn’t want to serve during Jammeh’s watch–given the lack of job security, and tenure for members of the Bench. That’s understandable.
The law profession is no longer lucrative in the Gambia, compared to the former administration of President Jawara, in which lawyers used to win big cases, retained by companies and parastatals.
Mr. Njai is the son of the late businessman Momodou Musa Njai. He is from a wealthy family, based on Gambian standard.
But the truth be told, the VP overseer is pulling the strings from afar. Folks have been hired–thanks to her meddling into government hiring process. There is a documented evidence of her meddling into the hiring process.
Legally speaking, it is not within her purview to recruit judges. That’s the job of the Judicial Service Commission, in consultation with the president. But that’s not happening. All hiring have been channelized to the Vetting Committee, which she headed.
Your quote of the day is misguided–given the lack of faith you had in honest Gambians to run the affairs of the state. By default, you implied that Gambians will rather put up with a dog to rule them than Jammeh. Yes, Jammeh is bad, but that shouldn’t render “desperate folks” of your caliber to accept phony characters to pull the strings in this new government. I prefer an honest dog to run the State House than a phony dishonest dog. I prefer a non thief to run the state than a thief. We rest our case.