By: Landing Ceesay
Madi Jobarteh has said that the payment of the $200, 000 [about D10 000 000] honorarium by the Ministry of Justice to its staff participants in the Gambia-Myanmar case at International Court of Justice is ‘unethical, illegal, unjustifiable and outright corruption’.
The recipients of the said amount include Abubarcarr Marie Tambadou, former Justice Minister; Dawda Jallow, current Justice Minister; Chernor Marena, former Solicitor General; Hussein Thomasi, current Solicitor General, etc.
“So regardless of the amount allocated for the Minister and Solicitor general, what I’m saying is that it is unethical, illegal, unjustifiable and outright corruption,” Madi stated.
He suggested that the Ministry could have hired a local private legal firm to perform the task with the private international legal firm, while it [Justice Ministry] facilitates the process.
“What the Ministry could have done is to hire a local private legal firm to work with that private international legal firm, their [Justice Ministry] role is to facilitate the process. So, during the facilitation, the internet cost, the travelling cost will be under the working time of the Justice Ministry. But allocating a certain amount of money for the Ministry of Justice Officials as honorarium is unethical, illegal and unjustifiable.
“But to say that the local legal team comprising the Minister and Solicitor General, I find that to be unethical, illegal and unjustifiable. Because the public service act is very clear on what the public officers can receive, even though it says that they cannot receive any income order than the one establish by law, there is no law out of parliament that dealt with this issue to specify that public officers should receive this honorarium,” Jobarteh stated.
The activist said the manner in which the ministry handled the issue is not transparent; adding that it could have used the said amount to uplift the institution and build the capacity of its staff instead.
Amid the public condemnation of the move by the Ministry, the government released a statement and the Justice Minister has granted an interview on the subject but Madi none of the explanations could justify the act.
Jobarteh, makes these remarks recently on ‘The Brunch’ a weekly current affairs show which airs every Saturday on Kerr Fatou.