By Omar Bah
The Gambia government has accepted the TRRC recommendation to reinstate Justice Na Ceesay Salla-Wadda and back date it to 2017. The government said it has referred the recommendation to the Judicial Service Commission for review as the body charged with regulating matters of judicial officers. According to the TRRC, the reinstatement of Justice Wadda should substitute the reappointment. The truth commission said it will also be in line with the rules of restitution and consistent with natural justice and fairness and taking into account her long-standing service in the justice sector both as state counsel and judge.
According to the TRRC, in 2016, Justice Na Ceesay Sallah-Wadda’s service was terminated as a Judge of the Court of Appeal following a meeting convened by the President of the Court of Appeal wherein, she expressed her opinion for granting bail regarding the case of Ousainu Darboe and UDP supporters given that the offences charged were bailable.
“The evidence has shown numerous unlawful terminations of the services of judges such as Hon. Chief Justice Chowan, Justice Raymond Sock and Hon. Justice Gibou Janneh,” the TRRC added.
The government also accepted the recommendation of the Commission to repeal Section 141 (2) (c) of the 1997 Constitution which grants power to the president to dismiss judges because it encourages interference by the Executive in the Judiciary. The government however said the Judicial Service Commission is now the sole body charged with overseeing the affairs of judicial officers.
The government has accepted the commission’s recommendation to give the National Assembly power to initiate investigations into interference of the Executive in the exercise of their constitutional powers.
“The Government is committed to the principle of separation of powers and further notes that the powers referred to are already provided under section 109 of the 1997 Constitution which empowers the National Assembly “to appoint Committees to investigate or inquire into the activities or administration of ministries or departments of the Government,” gov’t said in the White Paper.