Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle

Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle

A confession by a state lawyer in an open court that the Gambia’s Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle advised them on how to prosecute remanded United Democratic Party (UDP) prisoners has left a dent on the image of the country and its head of judiciary. Such a confession clearly proves that the Gambia’s judiciary is anything but impartial. It is not an institution that serves as the last bastion of hope where justice is not only served but seen to be served. This revelation, which was spilled in the trial of May 9th opposition protesters, has invited protest and complaint from defence lawyer. Lawyer Asi told the presiding judge how the Chief Justice interfered in the dispensation of justice. The defence lawyer would not understand why the Chief Justice should dig his fingers into what is purely a political case in the absence of both parties – prosecution and defence lawyers. Lawyer Asi’s protest was recorded but the question that remains to be answered is whether Justice Fagbenle will clean himself or resign. Another baffling thing before the same court was that an unqualified man represented the state. It was later confirmed that State Council Anthony Mendy was not called to the bar either. Who then can dispute that the Gambia’s state institutions, including the all important Judiciary, are run by  criminals?. The more Yahya Jammeh stays in power, the more our country tilts towards dysfunction. We must bridge our difference and turn things around.


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