Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Halifa Sallah Confronts Banjul Central NAM to Stop Day Dreaming and Face Reality

September 9, 2014
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Why should a man of your calibre put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation?-Halifa Sallah

Why would a man of your calibre put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation?-Halifa Sallah

I was misquoted by Halifa Sallah and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe – Abdoulie Saine NAM for Banjul Central

The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul central Hon.Abdoulie Saine was crying baby in a national assembly session that he was misquoted by Halifa Sallah and lawyer Ousainou Darbo when he suggested president Babilimansa to be crowned King of the Gambia. Mr. Saine in his rambling said, what he suggested was a constitutional monarch and not absolute monarchy. This has led to Halifa Sallah confronting the NAM for Banjul central in an open letter. In the letter Mr. Sallah questioned the rationale of Mr.Saine’s agument. The politician cum sociologist battled the fumbling Mr.Saine that by suggesting that the Gambia revert to constitutional monarchy Mr.Saine wants to live almost five decades behind time and would be out of step with both modern civilization and the constitution he has sworn to defend. Below is the full text of the open letter addressed to Hon.Abdoulie Saine of Banjul Central:

Posterity compels me to address this letter to you questioning why a man of your calibre would put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation and further drag me into it. I hope in initiating this debate you have alerted your mind to Section 112 of the Constitution which states: “all members shall regard themselves as servants of the people of The Gambia desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or alienate themselves from the people, and shall discharge their duties and functions in the interest of the nation as a whole and in doing so, shall be influenced by the dictates of conscience and the national interest”

I hope the dictates of conscience, sense of duty to people and the national interest will guide the spirit of this debate. First and foremost, I must remind you that you were elected and further took oath to uphold and defend a Constitution which states under Section 1 and 2 that :

“The Gambia is a Sovereign Republic“ “The Sovereignty of The Gambia resides in the people of The Gambia from whom all organs of government derive their authority and in whose name and for whose welfare and prosperity the powers of government are to be exercised in accordance with this Constitution “ You have sworn to uphold and defend a Republic under which authority to govern is connected with dependent on and determined by the sovereign will of the people Now you are arguing for Gambia to become a constitutional monarchy. What is a constitutional Monarchy?

What is constitutional Monarchy? Gambians who know their history know what constitutional monarchy means and would not be calling for a return to it which would amount to a retrogressive step towards a defunct era. One has to read the 1965 Constitution to know the nature and characteristics of constitutional monarchy. The Gambia was a constitutional monarchy in 1965. This is why Section 62 of the 1965 Constitution stated: “The Executive authority of the Gambia is vested in her Majesty” In order to exercise executive power, Section 29 provided for the office of governor general “…who shall be appointed by her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure and who shall be her majesty’s representative in the Gambia” Section 60 empowered the Governor General to .”… at anytime prorogue or dissolve parliament .” Section 66 stated that “ the function of Cabinet shall be to advise the Governor General in the Government of the Gambia “ Now who did the governor owed allegiance and obedience to? Was it the Gambian people? Not at all. His oath of office reads:

“ I do swear ( or solemnly affirm) that i will well and truly serve her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, in the office of the Governor General of The Gambia.”

Hence under a monarchy sovereignty resides in the monarch who cannot be removed from office. A Monarch is not a representative of a people. A monarch is not elected. The throne is inherited by their children and grand children on the basis of blood line until they are overthrown as had happened in France in 1789 or defeated and given ceremonial roles as is the case in many countries in Europe. In fact threat of an Arab spring made the monarchs in Morocco and Jordan to make concessions to move towards constitutional monarchy through devolution of more power to representative institutions. The progressive route established by the history of human kind is to move from absolute monarchies to constitutional monarchies which comes with devolution of power to representative institutions and then to Republics which hands over all power to the people. The Gambian people went to a referendum in 1970 and voted in favor of a Republic instead of retaining constitutional monarchy. The Gambian people fully asserted, without ambiguity or equivocation that in a land of equals no one is fit to lead without the consent of the others. This is why elections are periodically held to elect a president, members of the National Assembly and Members of Councils.

Such representatives are considered servants of the people and not their lords. Hence a Gambian who is fully conscious that sovereignty resides in him or her would not consider himself or herself a lesser being than those who occupy positions of representation, on the contrary, one would see them as equals who by virtue of choice are in fact servants of all. Hence if the member for Banjul Central would want Gambia to return to the past he has his right to propagate his vision. He should however realise that he would be living almost five decades behind time and would be out of step with both modern civilisation and the constitution he has sworn to defend.

My advice to him in particular and all Gambians in general is to shelve this fruitless debate. I have told people in the countryside that when a person stands in the middle of the crowd to argue in broad day light that the moon was shining in the sky and not the sun all should pass and leave him or her alone. In short, every Gambian has witnessed that the president goes to vote during Presidential, National Assembly and council elections. He takes only one ballot token and cast it for the candidate of his choice in secret. Has he ever demanded for more than one ballot token or all to be given to him to cast because he is president? This confirms that the president is equal to all in terms of citizenship and has only one vote which cannot make any one president. No Gambian could ever see another Gambian political figure as a superior being by birth. Gambia has become a Republic as a result of political evolution of her people. This is the verdict of history and it is irrevocable

WHO IS THIS VILLAGE BELLE?

September 9, 2014
Reads :4826
MAMY ADAMA JALLOW

MAMY ADAMA JALLOW

To her friends and family she is Mamy Adama Jallow. But who is really Mamy Adama Jallow and what is she all about? She first came into the Gambian diaspora nonconformists’ limelight during the recently ended DC demonstrations. Many allegedly dubbed her a Jammeh Spy. She disappeared with the dust of the demonstrations as they found refuge in and blend with uncleansed clusters of DC.

“She is weird”, they said but a close associate of Mamy disagreed. He revealed, “Let just say she is somebody who is very troubled and needs help real bad”. He screened a vivid picture of the troubled beauty in captivating high definition colours. Others described her as a jail bird that flies in and out of jail for felonies such as credit cards frauds, shoplifting, drugs and others crimes.

“A troubled person like her is often exploited by others. She is desperate for acceptance and craves for a sense of belonging. I see her more of a victim than a perpetrator. Calling her a spy is giving her a credit she does not deserve. It is just like a janitor calling himself a cleaning engineer. Her coming to the demonstration was more of trying to fit in than spying”, the associate further, added.

During the DC demonstrations, she was reported to be loitering between the two camps of President Jammeh and the demonstrators. In facts, many strongly believed she was the one providing President and his henchmen up to date information about the demonstration and demonstrators. A little bird had it that she advised Fatou Camara’s assailants when to strike her. She was in the Jammeh’s hotel for more than four hours and when confronted by Banka Manneh, she said she was using the toilet casting more doubt on her already perfect imperfect conduct.

Currently, she is reported to be in police detention for more than three weeks. It is not yet known by her associates what lands her into police net this time, however, it is highly speculated that she is in for either drugs or shoplifting as she battles with drug addiction and alcoholic cravings. She is young with potential and therefore needs help to put herself together and take control of her life again. Kibaaro will do all it can to help her walk out of the current mess she is in.

ARMED ROBBERS STRIKE AT GT BANK, BAKAU BRANCH

September 6, 2014
Reads :5464

IGP SONKO

IGP SONKO

Shortly after Friday prayers, staff and some customers of GT Bank-Bakau Branch were momentarily held hostage by a gang of three heavily armed men dressed in haftans and wearing mask on their faces.  The armed robbers are reported to storm the bank with their weapons. Both unsuspecting and panic-stricken staff and customers within the premises were rudely ordered and roughly herded to a corner by the robbers. One of them took sentry at the entrance to wade off any unwelcome guest, the second robber threatened to kill anyone who attempts to raise an alarm or make a phone call while the third escorted the vault custodian to surrender all the monies in the safe.

According to information reaching Fatu Radio’s desk, the shaken lady handed him a couple of bags. He threatened to kill her if she fails to handover all the bags to him. As he shoved his gun on her but, she screamed in panic and the armed robber ran with the bags he collected. It is not yet confirmed how much money and in which currency is taken by the robbers but we are reliably informed that the police were quick in recovering D200, 000 after apprehending the three robbers and their taxi driver. A police informant who solicited anonymity disclosed to our investigative team that they first arrested the driver at a crash scene.

“When the police arrived at the accident scene after receiving information about the crash, they noticed an unusual behaviour about the driver. He was arrested and taken to the police station for further questioning”, our police source revealed.

It was during the police interrogation that the driver told them he was hired by the armed robbers and strictly instructed to cover his vehicle’s number plate to avoid any leads to him after their operation. Unfortunately for him, he crashed after fleeing hurriedly from the bank in panic. He led the police to where he dropped them and two of them who are allegedly said to be Gambia nationals were immediately arrested and detained at the Serious Crime Unit at the Police Headquarters in Banjul. Their third colleague, who was later arrested, is said to be deported from the UK.

It may interest you to note both President Jammeh and Amadou Samba-Chairman of the bank are its major shareholders. While some are speculating that President Jammeh might have a hand in the robbery, others maintain that the police only did a magnificent job in this robbery because they know President Jammeh owns half of the bank’s shares.

“How come the police are able  to do such a tremendous job in this robbery within a space of few hours while the murders of Ousman Koro Ceesay  and Deyda Hydara still remain unresolved?”, another source queries angrily.

LAWYER OUSAINOU DARBOE HAS QUESTIONED THE WISDOM OF PRESIDENT JAMMEH’S UNENDING TITLES.

September 6, 2014
Reads :10460
LAWYER DARBOE-THE PEOPLE'S LEADER

LAWYER DARBOE-THE PEOPLE’S LEADER

JAMMEH-THE SHEIKH WHO CANNOT RECITE FATHIHA

JAMMEH-THE SHEIKH WHO CANNOT RECITE FATHIHA

Speaking in an interview with The Standard at his Pipeline home, the veteran opposition who is banned from standing in the 2016 elections due to legal fetters said: “I did not know the president was being renamed Sheikh Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh Nasiru Deen Babili Mansa and why I was not invited to attend the renaming ceremony. I do not see any genuine reason for all those accolades to be added to his name. I went to Mecca at the same time with Yahya Jammeh in 2000 but I never added to my name the title Alhaji. Great leaders like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu received many honorary awards but never called themselves professor or doctor. I am called Lawyer Darboe because I worked for it with bachelors’ degree in law. I also did my bar to become a lawyer and did a master’s degree programme in legislative drafting, the first to do so in this country so I deserved the name. And what has he done to be given the title of Babil Mansa? It is certainly not for building a bridge at Janjangbureh which cannot even be called sea but a bolong. For him to deserve the title Babili Mansa let him go and build a bridge between Barra and Banjul then he will deserve the title. You cannot build a bridge across a small distance and insist on calling it sea…

“The late Imam Karamo Touray of Brikama and the likes of Ba-Kawsu Fofana, Al-Haiba Hydara and Baba Leigh were all arrested and detained by his regime. Jawara had been in power for thirty years and the Supreme Islamic Council was here but they never used to go on tour with him. What was the Supreme Islamic Council doing following the president on a tour of the country? I think the Supreme Islamic Council president should explain to us what they are doing now. I think Momodou Lamin Touray has to go back to Gunjur and think whether he is following the footsteps of his alleged teacher, the late Hatab Bojang. As the alleged successor to Hatab Bojang and a scholar from Gunjur which has produced great people like Ismaila Manjang and late Omar Bun Jeng I do not think he is following the footsteps of Hatab Bojang. It is high time the Supreme Islamic Council looked at its functions.”

Reacting to Darboe’s allegations, APRC national mobiliser and KMC Mayor Yankuba Colley stated: “It seems Ousainou Darboe does not know the difference between a sea and a bolong otherwise he would not have referred to the Janjangbureh bridge as a bolong. Ousainou and his people are those who were saying the revolution will only last for a few days, weeks, months and years but now it is twenty years old with a lot of development projects accomplished. We will bridge the Banjul-Barra crossing when the time comes because everything is stage by stage. When he talks about the arrest and detention of people he should know that this is a country governed by rule of law and nobody is above the law. If the people he talked about have not done anything then why were they arrested? Only blind people will fail to see the support President Jammeh has given to religion with mosques to be found at every kilometer of this country. President Jammeh sponsors hundreds of people on pilgrimage every year which no one had ever before done. I think Ousainou is just jealous.”

The Supreme Islamic Council president Lamin Touray in his riposte enunciated: “Our critics are enemies of Islam bent on driving a wedge between the council and the government. These are people who want to see the successful cooperation we have had with the government to promote the Islamic religion cease. By the might and grace of Allah, they shall not succeed in their mischief. Whatever Lawyer Darboe and anybody say about the Supreme Islamic Council, we submit our case to Allah to judge between us and them.”

Source: The Standard Newspaper

 

MOMODOU SABALLY BRUTALLY TORTURED AND LEFT TO RECOVER IN JANJANBUREH NOTORIOUS PRISON

September 5, 2014
Reads :5964
BABILI MANSA JAMMEH

BABILI MANSA JAMMEH

ERSTWHILE SG SABALLY

ERSTWHILE SG SABALLY

Dependable sources close to Momodou Sabally reaching Fatu Radio have indisputably confirmed the former Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister who was also disgracefully demoted to Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology shortly before his removal from office, has been severely tortured by ‘The Junglers’, a group of security personnel specifically trained to carry out state manage killings and tortures of vulnerable Gambians on the orders of The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh. Sabally was arrested and detained even well before his removal as Minister for Higher Education contrary to what Gambians were told by GRTS news report. It was after the announcement of his dismissal on GRTS that he was later escorted to his office to hand over to his Permanent Secretary, Madi Ceesay.

“Sabally is in really very bad shape that even his wife could not recognise him. He was severely tortured and then heartlessly moved to Janjanbureh prison to heal naturally. How can anyone do such a heinous thing to another human being and sleep soundly?” Charged the source as tears burst from his eyes.

“None of his family members are allowed to see him including his wife and children due to his gruesome condition. Sabally was tortured shortly after his brief court appearance in Banjul.  His torture was planned hence the reason his trial adjourned to October 14 so that he could heal before his hearing begins”, furiously lamented another source.

President Jammeh is said to be very bitter with Sabally after he learned that Sabally tore his removal letter and threw it at the Vice President, Dr Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy. He also shitted himself with rage when he was informed that he Sabally claimed he was more educated, cultured, exposed and admired than Jammeh. Many believe this was all made up by security agents who were with Sabally at that time due to grudges they held against him when he was Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister. Many now understood why it took the state long to charge Sabally after his dismissal and quick appearance at court. President Jammeh gave detailed instructions on how the torture of Sabally should be orchestrated to teach his arrogant intellectual a lesson of his life. A little bird from Jammeh’s inner circle has it that Jammeh knew if Sabally was tortured before his first court appearance, he will inform the court about it. Consequently, his appearance at court, adjournment and subsequent tortured were all carefully state planned and orchestrated according to President Jammeh’s disposition.

Momodou Sabally was hastily arraigned at the high court in Banjul on 11 August 2014 and pleaded not guilty to all charges of economic crimes and abuse of office slammed on him by the Director of Public Prosecution, S.H. Barkun. It will be recalled Sabally who appeared in court without a lawyer applied for bail based on being a family and that he has already been in custody for five weeks and had “cooperated fully with his investigators”.  Unsurprisingly, his appeal for bail was quickly denied by court which reasoned that his investigation was still inconclusive.

However, the judge ruled that since both parties agreed that the investigation is yet to be completed, he does not think the court should at this stage grant bail. Below are the charges brought against Sabally: In May 2014, Sabally committed an offence when as secretary general he caused economic loss to Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) to the tune of D402, 500 by unduly influencing the corporation to fund the ‘Youth Career Development’ programme of one Mariama Sillah without recourse to due process, and thereby committed an offence. The second and third counts stated that he committed an offence when he abused his office as the secretary general, by influencing the SSHFC to sponsor the said programme.It further alleged that this was in “flagrant abuse of his office”, and that he “blatantly disregarded due process” when he influenced the SSHFC to sponsor the programme.

Source: Fatu Radio

ALHAGIE JOBE, EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OBSERVER, ACQUITTED AND DISCHAGED BY JUSTICE AMADI

September 3, 2014
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A. JOBE EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OBSERVER

A. JOBE EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OBSERVER

JUSTICE PREVAILS FOR GPU

JUSTICE PREVAILS FOR GPU

Today, Gambian journalists rejoice with Alhagie Jobe, former deputy director of Daily Observer, and his co-accused-Mbye Bittaye as both are acquitted and discharged by Justice Emanuel Amadi of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court. It will be remembered that both Mr Jobe and Mr Bittaye were arrested, detained and tortured at the National Intelligence Agency in May 2013 and slammed with four counts of felony. 

On count two, the first accused is charged with seditious Publication contrary to section 52(1)(c) of the Laws of The Gambia  and the particulars of counts stated “Alhagie Jobe sometime between the year 2012 and 2013 at the Daily Observer Company in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of The Gambia, did an act with seditious intention to wit: published in a purported Daily Observer newspaper of the 19th December 2012 edition, a false story that ‘Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and code by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people’ and thereby committed an offence.”

On count three, the first accused is charged with being in possession of seditious Publication contrary to section 52(2) of the Laws of The Gambia and the particulars of offence accentuate “Alhagie Jobe, sometime between the year 2012 and 2013 at the daily Observer newspaper company in the Kanifing Municipality and other various places in The Gambia, without lawful excuse had in his possession a seditious publication, and thereby committed an offence.”

Counts one and four were giving false information to a government official. When arraigned before Justice Amadi Alhagie Jobe denied all charges and went on to tell the court “This story was never published. Before you publish a story, management must authorize it. The article in question is a cancelled article which was never published. When I said so they said I am lying and they started beating me again all over my body in a dark room.”

Justice Amadi’s bold decision to uphold justice in a dictatorial state is commendable. It also amplifies that justice will always prevail eventually however one may strive to suppress it.

“EVERY GAMBIAN HAS A RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY”, FOROYAA REMINDS IGP SONKO

September 3, 2014
Reads :5014

IGP SONKO

IGP SONKO

A state which does not guarantee freedom of expression and association, including political expression and association, is an outlaw state which does not deserve to exist in the 21st Century. Such states cannot be respectable members of the international community. They are always isolated and marginalised.

After the Coup of 1994, Decree number 4 abolished freedom of political expression and association. Hence no room was left for change of government based on the consent of the people. This is why the government was isolated and pressure was put on it to come up with a transition that would restore freedom of political expression and association.

Today, the Gambia has a Constitution which states under Section 25 that “Every person shall have the right to freedom to assemble and freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations and unions, including political parties and trade unions.” Police service is a public service and Section 26 calls for every citizen of the Gambia “to have access, on general terms of equality to public service of the Gambia.” Section 17 imposes on the executive and its agencies like the police as well as the legislature to respect and uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.

Since political parties have freedom of assembly, the police is given the power of regulation of the use of instrument for the amplification of sound. In that case once one organises a rally one must seek a permit to use a public address system. This enables the political parties and the police to negotiate time and venue to prevent clash of time and venues among the parties and between them and other social groups. There should therefore be no obstacle to the issuing of permits. The efficient and effective issuing of permits makes the police a respecter and upholder of the rights to freedom of assembly and association.

The issue of National security only arises in a state of emergency or when there is a breach of the conditions laid in a permit. Needless to say, all efficient police forces have the ability to monitor and control crowds if they suspect any potential for any breach of public order. We therefore hope that the relation between the police and the political parties would be subjected to review to avoid any friction in the future.

Source: FOROYAA