Dear Pa

Your “Gambia: Breaking News: Gambian Lawyer Amie Jobe Accused Of Pocketing Client’s Money Amounting To D1 Million; Police Advised Complainant To Settle Case At The Station! Article in the Freedom Newspaper and the subsequent radio programme on this matter is a welcome topic. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The issue is not only with the so called “small” lawyers but even the senior lawyers are deeply corrupt and several of them are owing their clients millions of Dalasis. In fact I know of a senior lawyer who is currently owing his client D2 million.

The lawyers and judges protect each other in such issues. The issue is not a land issue but an issue of corruption and collusion within the legal services. Judges, Magistrates, The Sheriff’s Office, are all working together protecting each other.

There are judges who are bribed to give judgments in favour of those who bribe them. This is how it works, the Judges have “point men” who are civilians. When a case is before a Judge or Magistrate, this point man will approach one of the parties to the case and would offer to settle the case in his or her favour if he/she gives a certain amount of money. The party involved will never meet or talk to the Judge or Magistrate directly, this “point man” is the middle man. For example if the guilty person is to pay D100, 000.00, they will ask him/her between D40,000.00 and D60, 000.00. The person will pay 50% and once the case is settled, he/she will pay the balance. This matter is even more prevalent with the Nigerian Magistrates and judges but Gambians are also deep in the game.

There are cases right now in the Sheriff’s Office of moneys stolen by staff of the Sheriff’s Office. For example when some ones takes a loan from a bank and gives his/her property as a collateral and defaults, the case goes to court and a judgment against the person is reached. The person can negotiate with the Sheriff’s office to settle the amount in an agreed payment plan. This person will go to the Sheriff’s office monthly to make payments and he/she is given a receipt. This money is supposed to be banked on daily bases, but no, sometimes they don’t and is taken by staff or the Sheriff himself and invest it in a business transaction and in most cases returns the money and keeps the profit. At times the business goes bad and the client will struggle to get their money even though it has been paid. In fact as I write, there is a staff of the Sheriff’s office who is currently in Germany who stole a lot of money from and absconded to Europe but you will hear it anywhere. There a lots of case like this.  

You know if one goes to court and is fined for example, he or she pays the money to the court. Those payments are being used by lawyers, judges and staff of the courts as a slush fundto give themselves interest free loans. If you could recall, some years ago some female lawyer took a lot monies from the courts until Jammeh threatened to jail them. There was a case and it went to court, even though we all knew that they took the money, they were protected by other lawyers and judges. As a matter of fact some of those lawyers who were involved are now Appeal Court and High Court Judges.

The Ministry of Finance or GRA cannot tell you how much money is made from the courts annually. Millions of these funds are used by these judges and lawyers.

Do you know that most of these lawyers do not even pay sales taxes and they all falsifies their taxes and revenue records? Some of them don’t even issue receipts to their clients for payment.

You know Pa, the amazing thing about this is that the female lawyers, female judges, female magistrates and female staff are the most corrupt and more than 80% of these cases involves them.

There is a long way to go with in this New Gambia and I feel sorry for the Minister of Justice because he has so much work to do and the people surrounding him are the most corrupt. 

The same corruptions in the civil service, police, immigration etc. We have big problem in The Gambia and I don’t any solutions, am sorry, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

People think the problem of this country was Yahya Jammeh, he was just 40% or at most 50% of the problem. Jammeh became more corrupt because Gambians who surrounds him. They showed him the way. Where are the lawyer for example who did all the transfers of properties of Jammeh and the millions they earned doing so.

Another area you need to look into is the Banks, Judges and Real Estate triangle. Nigerian own banks with Nigerian MDs, take cases to court with a Nigerian Judge, gets judgment and sells it far below the property value to wealthy Nigerians or other wealthy Gambians including Yahya Jammeh. 

Pa, you have a lot of topics to doing pertaining to corruption .

Written By A Concerned Gambian 

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