I write to counter the press release issued by the Justice Minister regarding the court verdict of the GDC 4 case, ie: Hon. Alhagie Sowe and his compatriots. According to the Justice Minister, the GDC 4 were not prosecuted by the State, instead his Ministry advised the police to drop the charges due to insufficient evidence.
It is true that the police (representing the State) did not have sufficient evidence and his Ministry advised them to drop the charges but that does not mean, the accused persons were not acquitted and discharged by the court.
The magistrate who presided over the case did acquit and discharge the accused persons accordingly. The proceedings and the final verdict is available at the court’s records.
Anyone can confirm this by going to the court to request for this information.
How can the Justice ministry claim that the accused were not prosecuted by the State, when the police who were representing the State had earlier pressed charges against the accused persons and the case has been dragging in court for 4 months? Lawyers were travelling from Banjul to Basse attending the case for the past four months and if the State had not prosecuted the accused persons then why would there be sittings in the first place? Why was the case mentioned in court if they are not prosecuted and if they were not ready to move on with the proceedings?
The Justice Ministry also stated: “The Ministry assures the general public that the days of politically motivated prosecutions in The Gambia are over and that the Government of His Excellency President Adama Barrow is committed to upholding the rule of law and the fundamental human rights of every Gambian irrespective of their political or other orientation.”
Contrary to this statement, the GDC case was politically motivated and we have other cases that were also politically motivated. The GDC has been widely feared by the UDP and Barrow’s government and they have been doing all they can to mute us but to no avail. We will never be silenced by anyone, those days are over. We know our rights and we will exercise them freely within the confinement of the law.
MC Cham Jnr. National Youth Mobiliser GDC.