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Saturday, January 23, 2021

‘Golden Lead case must be settled in court’

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By Omar Bah

The vice chairman of the parliamentary committee on environment, Demba Sowe of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress has called on government to quickly facilitate for the Golden Lead Company case to be heard in court, “to ensure transparency and accountability.”

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Golden Lead was dragged to court few months ago and ordered to pay $25,000 dollars [D1 million dalasis] bond to continue operations.

But, later the Gambia’s environment agency agreed to settle an out-of-court environmental dispute with the Chinese-owned fishing company.

“We will persuade that the case be taken to court because it is an obligation for the National Assembly to do so. We are ready to ensure that justice is done at all means,” Hon Sowe told The Standard at Tendaba in Kiang where the committee was on official trip.

He said the government or the environment ministry has no right to interfere because “they (Golden Lead) failed the Gambians and they must face the consequence.”
Meanwhile, the member for Wuli East, Hon Suwaibou Touray said the Gambia-Senegal marine deal should be brought before the National Assembly for ratification.

“The law is saying that any international agreement between The Gambia and any other country must come before the National Assembly, before implementation,” he said.

He added: “But we are made to understand that, that particular agreement is being implemented despite the fact that it has not come before the National Assembly.”

According to Touray, although the agreement maybe in favor of the Gambia, “we are going to make sure that the agreement comes before the parliament.”

On the Golden Lead factory case, he said the trade ministry must explain how they come to the conclusion to withdraw the case from the court.

“We are going to raise it with the minister and we believe she will be able to explain,” he added.

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