Friday, June 10, 2016

Lawyer Antouman Gaye exposes a corrupt and dysfunctional judiciary

Senior legal defense team leader - Antouman Gaye 
When the senior and lead defense lawyer in the Ousainou Darboe and co case decided, as the old policeman he is, to march his entire defense team out of the courtroom of the Nigerian mercenary judge E. O. Dada, the move threatened to expose how rigged, convoluted and rotten the judiciary has become under the dictatorship of Yaya Jammeh.

The dramatic walk-out was triggered by armed soldiers and prison wardens who were insisting on being resent while the defense team is consulting with its clients which proved to be the final straw.

Prior to the incident, E. O. Dada displayed a brazenly sulky and unprofessional behavior towards the defense team, all of whom are senior members of the Gambian Bar with decades of standing.  Despicable behavior aside, E. O .Dada persistently denied the defense several routine motions, culminating in her refusal to stay the proceedings until such time that the Supreme Court rule on a constitutional issue relevant to the case.   Her behavior did not come as a surprise because, like the rest of the Nigerian mercenary contingent that has infested the judiciary, she takes her orders from the Gambian dictator through another Nigerian mercenary named S. K. Barkum who doubles as prosecutor and the Gambian Minister of Justice in the name of Mama Fatima Singhateh.

E. O. Dada's instructions were to proceed with the case even when the defendants are left without legal defense.  And as the UDP briefs regarding the case suggest,  Jammeh is determine to railroad Darboe, his entire party executive and supporters "through a corrupt and subverted judicial process." Jammeh intends to neutralize the opposition before the presidential elections, even if it means using insidious methods, regardless of how blatantly crude the methods might appear to be.

Jammeh's decision to chose Ousainou Darboe to set an example in the run up to the scheduled presidential elections next December may prove to be a poor and risky choice.  He heads the single largest opposition party and the second or third most senior active member of the Gambian Bar.  He has over four decades of courtroom experience and that experience is already beginning to show as he exposes Dada's lack of judicial experience.

In the absence of legal representation, the defendants will remain silent.  In the words of Ousainou Darboe, he is not going to help the regime convict him.  Yaya Jammeh will have to do it all by himself with the aid of his team of "mercenary judges, unethical prosecutors, lying and conniving security personnel" while the international community has its eyes firmly fixed on The Gambia.  We are not an isolated speck or a slither of a country on the West African coast anymore.