Gambian President Adama Barrow said the pursuance of justice remains his government’s top priority.
In his first state opening of 2017 legislative year on Monday, President Barrow described the importance of justice in a country that has just emerged from more than two decades of dictatorship.
Thee Gambian leader’s statement comes at a time when the rising demands for justice have been sounded by the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations. The group issued a statement urging the government to create a conducive environment for justice because “getting justice for all victims should be top priority of the Barrow government. Without justice, there will be no peace or reconciliation!”
In an attempt to contain growing concerns by families of the Jammeh-era victims, President Barrow said “we still have a lot to do despite the progress made so far. “Over 500 prisoners have been pardoned and we have delivered on our promise to decongest prisons by releasing political and other deserving reformed prisoners.”
Announcing the establishment of a Criminal Case and Detention Review
Panel, President Adama Barrow said the newly established body is tasked with the responsibility of inquiring into all criminal proceedings against current and former public officers and that the panel has uncovered cases linked to political activity, and persons remanded and awaiting trial.
“We have recently and carefully concluded the work on the setting up
of a Commission of Inquiry to look into the financial and business-related activities of the former President and his associates,” President Barrow said, adding that the commission will look into the activities of ex-Gambian leader and his close associates, ranging from July 22nd 1994 to January 21st, 2017.
Barrow also took the opportunity to disclose the reform that has been
carried out over these past months. The reform which led to the appointment of a Gambian Chief Justice and six Superior Court justices, has put an end to the era of ‘mercenary judges’ who were seen by many Gambians as ‘tools of oppression.’