Alagi Yorro Jallow
Go to D R Congo for Benchmarking: Send Killers to Jail and thieves go to jail or pay back the money?
I am writing to congratulate Mr. Dawda Jallow ( no blood relation) on your appointment Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and as a quintessential lawyer and a former magistrate. The Gambia citizens will benefit from your legal experiences of more than 15 years of experience in presiding criminal and civil cases as a magistrate as you take on additional administrative responsibilities in the judiciary.
Never before in more than two decades, in our history, has the entire justice system, right from the civil society, politician and some members of the private media have spoken so consistently to its lack of independence and relentlessness to the observance of the values of our constitutional charter as has in recent times; bear witness to this fact.
I pray that justice and mercy, as well as the rule of law and the general principles and theory of constitutional patriotism, are inscribed in your hearts at this defining moment in the fight against corruption and impunity. I want to remind you of the famous remarks of Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga “…The greatness of any nation lies in its fidelity to the constitution and adherence to the rule of law and above all respect to God”.
Incoming Attorney -General Jallow, and I expect you to speak for the rule of law and protect the judiciary’s independence. You will be better represent the Justice Department leadership. The declining respect for the criminal justice system and the judiciary is deeply worrying.
Your acceptance of this promotion demonstrates your continued commitment to public service, which in turn promotes the cause of justice, upholds the rule of law, and protects all citizens’ rights. I wish you well in your new position of leadership.
I congratulate you once again and know you as a good lawyer who knows the law and a great lawyer, also a brilliant magistrate. I have privileged to know you at a professional level, but I do know the out-going Attorney General Abubacarr Baa Tambadou and Minister of Justice during my sojourn at the Independent, both personal and professional besides; he is an Arsenal fan, and I support Manchester United.
However, at a personal level, I do not know what sports Mr. Jallow supports but appears to be a fan of local wrestling and American professional wrestling, and I do not know if he supports Arsenal, Chelsea, or Liverpool. Although Jallow has an impressive professional profile in public law and policy development also International human rights law, he read Shakespeare, Socrates, Plato, Karl Marx, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Chinua Achebe. I do not know what other books he reads. He is measured by a character with deep intellect and is dedicated to empowering the vulnerable, recognizing their lives have purpose and meaning. I do not think Dawda Jallow has an acerbic tongue, used to antagonize critics, colleagues, and loves melodrama.
I do not utter these words by way of criticism or explication. On the contrary, I submit respectfully that today the Gambia’s criminal justice system and the judiciary does not stand on the precipice, but on the brink of plummeting into the abyss. However, it also stands at a moment of immense opportunity. It is poised to take off to a new, more glorious future, marked with vision, excellence, determined focus, and an air of certainty in its bowels.
Having congratulating you, Attorney General and Justice Minister Jallow, can you please find your way to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo for an essential benchmarking trip. While you are at it, make sure you tag along President Adama Barrow and his Advisers, Secretary-General and Head of the Civil Service, the Chief Justice, and the National Assembly members. The taxpayers will be thrilled to charter a private jet and limousines for all of you and pay for your accommodation in the best and most expensive hotel in Kinshasa on condition that you come back and implement the lessons you learn on how to prosecute and convict thieves. We want you to copy-paste the prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of Vital Kamerhe, one of the DRC’s President’s top advisers. He embezzled $50 million from a public housing fund and has been jailed for 20 years with hard labor.
In a world of political smoke and mirrors where vested interests interfere with your job, you can learn a lot from DRC, a country with perhaps a more complicated political landscape than the Gambia. There are more than enough candidates who can become guests of the Gambia state for 20 years with hard labor at Mile II Central Prisons and in Janjanbureh Prisons or any of our other maximum-security states lodges. Gambians are no longer interested in continuously blowing smoke up our faces with flowery English language Friday, press conferences, and promises to prosecute thieves and killers to the full extent of the law. However, these bandits and thieves continue to walk the streets without fear.
The Gambia want to see the bandits and thieves lined up to check into prison – preferably with a video of them strip-searched with extreme prejudice in all cavities, subjected to the mandatory squat and cough while naked to see if anything falls out of their orifices before being handed their blue jumpsuits, toothbrush, and a bar of soda soap.
I hope Attorney General and Minister of Justice Jallow, you should be above the fray. A person who avoids juvenile prattles, and good character, professional ethics, and etiquette are the embodiment. This person attracts respect across the legal fraternity and has an ebullient personality and charisma.
Alagi Yorro Jallow