|Justice Mohammed Balarabe|
The unprofessional behavior of both of these gentlemen have been documented and reported on with little improvement. However, we have notice a new pattern emerging and that is the setting up of bail conditions to such impossible levels that the d=accused cannot meet.
The latest is the case of Ebrima Jawara, son of the former President Sir Dawda Jawara, and four other staff of the Ministry of Agriculture where bail amounts were set at such levels that none can meet.
In a country that is among the poorest in the world to set bail at D 6 million ($ 133,000), D 7 million ($ 155,000) and D 10 million ($ 222,000 for Sulayman Manneh, Lamin Fatajo and Lamin Mass and Dr. Alasan Bah respectively is both preposterous and an inhumane treatment of the accused.
Continuing to deny bail - because setting such ridiculously high bail amounts tantamount to bail denial - means accused persons are held in prison for bailable offenses, contrary to every principle of justice, including the delaying in the dispensing of justice.
Adding insult to injury, Justice Balarabe decided to take casual leave when he should have been in court, further delaying the proceeding by a week while the accused, who are innocent until proven otherwise had to remain in jail. There are human lives involved. All those before the courts must be treated as innocent and must be treated fairly and with dignity.
We will not sit idly by while Gambians and non-Gambians alike are treated in a manner that defies all manners of decency. Denying the Ministry of Agriculture staff bail is a form of obstruction of justice. Therefore the practice is unjust (if not unlawful) and must stop.