By Yero Jallow
The case for Cherno Njie, a Texas Real Estate businessman, has raised some questions. Our records show that Mr. Njie was arrested around the beginning of the year. The author of this piece gathered from reliable sources that the trio (Cherno Njie, Papa Faal and Alhagie Saidy Barrow) will be all tried in the Minnesota Federal Courts. The question is why is he still not in Minnesota? Why are things a little mute about him? What will justice look like for Cherno Njie?
Let us establish the fact that Cherno Njie arrived in Washington around the first week of January 2015, upon which he was arrested and charged for violating the U.S Neutrality ACT. Cherno did appear once in a Washington court. From there, he was transferred by the U.S Marshals to Oklahoma.
Njie was expected to be extradited to Minnesota much earlier. The author of this piece doesn’t know why his transfer to Minnesota is delayed. It is gathered from reliable sources that Njie is holding onto his 5th amendment, which states as follows; Amendment V: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” (http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fifth_amendment. Culled from the web on 2/7/2015). Speculation is rife from people familiar with the case that since Njie is holding onto the 5th amendment, which on the side of the U.S Government, is not total cooperation, the U.S Marshalls are short off engaging in an intimidation tactic to frustrate Mr. Njie. Otherwise, the reason behind taking him to Oklahoma when he is to be tried in a Minnesota Federal court doesn’t add up for many. The U.S Government is therefore advised to respect Mr. Njie’s right to hang onto the Fifth Amendment. It is his right with a clear note that he is innocent until proven guilty in a competent court of law, and he must not be tried by public opinion.
From reliable sources, the author gathered that Mr. Njie will be transferred to Minnesota as early as Monday 2/9/2015 and latest Wednesday 2/11/2015, and he is expected to be appearing in the Federal courts the same week. The Minnesota Civil Rights group is already in touch with Mr. Njie’s family and expects to show solidarity when Mr. Njie appears in court next week. Solidarity will include delivering petition letters, demonstrating outside the federal courts, and getting in their large numbers to attend court hearings.
The question now is: What will be his fate? Based on my observations, Mr. Njie’s fate will be same as the duo (Papa Faal and Alhagie Barrow). He will be bailed in court as soon as he appears. From there, he will be temporarily sent to a “half-house” (a transition point), from where he will be released to his hometown Texas as soon as he satisfies the probation requirements. Mr. Njie will be allowed to continue to work and with travel restriction outside this country for his safety and to ensure that he doesn’t participate in any further operation to dislodge Jammeh’s tyrannical administration.
It is not clear to whether Mr. Njie will equally plead guilty just like his alleged conspirator Papa Faal. What is certain is that Alhagie Saidy Barrow hasn’t pleaded guilty yet. It is more than likely that Njie might as well not plead guilty. What that means, it will give the U.S Government a whole work to do, to gather credible witnesses who will be used to testify against Njie. At some point, the U.S Government will be forced to negotiate with the defendant to establish a common punishment ground. With recent calls from Human rights groups to have the U.S Neutrality ACT dropped, it is a possibility to have the law repelled or dropped. Repelling or dropping this law will foster a great working relationship with Gambians and the United States Government. Already known that the Gambian constituency is such a large constituency that U.S politicians cannot afford to lose.
While all this is going on, something is just very clear, and that is dictatorships don’t like the type of exposure, especially one that has done so much to hurt its citizens. Does this serve as a lesson to Jammeh? Will it make Jammeh make some adjustments to respect citizens? I will reserve this part for the conclusion of the series.
Note: Don’t miss out on the remaining series. Coming to you soon…please stay tuned.