The acquittal and discharge of Mambury Njie, the Gambia’s former Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, is yet another sweet victory for a country whose people have long been denied the due process of law. Instead of allowing justice to take its course, Gambian leader has been abusing his powers to twist justice in his favour. We have seen over and over how the Jammeh regime had connived and still conniving with the Attorney General’s Office and the National Intelligence Agency to concoct or plant evidence against innocent people. These are usually people that President Jammeh wants to see jailed at all cost.
We are delighted that Justice Mikail Abdoullah of High Court in Banjul has done the right thing by acquitting and discharging the dismissed minister for “deficiencies in the prosecution’s case,” which is in tandem with the defence’s no-case submission application. In any serious judicial system in the world, establishing evidence is an ingredient of the offence charged.
Yes, another important factor – though not in Yahya Jammeh’s Kanilai Law School – is that the establishment of doubts in a criminal proceeding favours the accused.
Before justice finally smiled at him, Mr. Njie was arrested and detained by police in Brusubi. This was after the Banjul court released him on bail. He was slapped with bogus charges of abuse of office stemming from his failure to advise the Office of the President appropriately in approving the license of Carnegie Minerals.
However, it turned out that Mambury was being witch-hunted for putting on Jammeh’s face that the execution of the death-row inmates in August 2012 was illegal and unjustifiable. Five days later, he was sacked, arrested and remanded for months before being tried for trumped up charges in Yahya Jammeh’s kangaroo court.
What is more unfair and painful than embroiling an innocent and decent citizen in a two-year foolish court case. It was only meant to massage the ego of a brutal Dictator. Kudos to Mambury Njie and others for battling it out with a lawless regime until the end. When it comes to justice, we must neither retreat nor surrender.