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Deputy IGP says executive orders are considered laws

Deputy IGP says executive orders are considered laws

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By Tabora Bojang

Momodou Sowe, the deputy Inspector General of the Gambia Police Force, has said executive orders, which only emanate from the president, are considered as laws whether in writing or verbal.

DIGP Sowe made these remarks during an interview with The Standard on the sidelines of a 3-week training for police officers on crime scene investigation, forensic imaging and sexual and gender-based violence at a local hotel in Bijilo.

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Asked about allegations that the police are often politicised by the government through the issuance of executive orders with political motives, Sowe said while it is not in line with the mandate of the police for officers to engage themselves into partisan politics, all executive orders are considered to be laws unless interpreted otherwise by the courts.   

“Executive order only comes from the president and nobody else. Remember every Gambian votes in for the president and under the constitution the president has powers and when there are situations that he knows definitely require an executive attention, he has a constitutional mandate to give directives and whatever the executive says and does is law,” DIGP Sowe said. 

He cited the introduction of Covid-19 emergency measures as a reference when the president announced restrictive measures including curfew and lockdowns to curb the spread of the pandemic.

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“An executive order is a law whether or not it favours anybody. If the president gives directives, it is law and if he writes, it is law. These are some of the things that people do not understand because of the society that we have.”  

Asked if the police would still consider executive orders if they are not in line with the constitution, DIGP Sowe replied: “Well it is not up to us to interpret that but the courts. You see, we [the police] don’t write laws we only enforce them.

The police represent everybody. It is the people who gave us contracts and we are serving the people. The politicians will come and find us here and they will go and leave us here.”

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