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Fatty advises BAC to utilise courts, avoid confrontation

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress has advised the Brikama Area Council executive to utilise the courts to seek redress and avoid being confrontational with law enforcement officers.

On Monday, tensions erupted between police and vendors at the Brikama market over the demolition of stalls by members of the ‘Operation Clear the Roads’ team on one hand and officials of the Brikama Area Council on the other. The council had issued a statement advising all store owners to refuse any orders for them to demolish their own stores.

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Reacting to the tension in a Standard exclusive, Mai Fatty said: “The courts are the fora to challenge all perceived Executive excesses. It is not my wishful assertion but the dictates of our Constitution and the mighty demand of the rule of law. No one is above the law and no citizen or institution has the right or authority to undermine or take the law into your own hands. We must defend the enforcement of rights according to law and not contrary to law.”

He said no one can claim to serve the law by opposing it, arguing that laws and rights “do not enforce themselves”.

“The process is set into motion by human beings. If you believe those claiming to be enforcing any piece of legislation were wrong, or the manner of execution was anomalous, go to Court and challenge the perceived illegality. That is the proper venue and best course of action in a democracy. Public officials at Brikama Area Council in particular and elsewhere should not encourage the violation of existing laws.  I call for respect for the law on the part of all those, whichever side it may be, who incite or encourage the breach of the law in any shape or form,” Fatty added.

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He said there is evidence that the State has complied with several judgements, rulings and orders made against it by “our Courts in favour of ordinary citizens”.

“Therefore, as it stands today, no Gambian should have the need to resort to illegal recourse in the name of democratic exercise of rights. Those who willfully violate the law, will be consumed by the law. Use the law to enforce the law. You cannot breach the law claiming to enforce the law. Let us protect our nascent democracy. I am for the law and I speak on the law as it is, without favouring or placating anyone side because the law is for us all. If particular laws are inimical to our progress, let us ensure their abolition through democratic parliamentary process and not through violence. To The Gambia, ever true!” he said.

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