By Omar Bah
A US-based Gambian criminologist, specialising on law enforcement and national security crisis, has urged the government to, as a matter of urgency file criminal charges against former President Yahya Jammeh.
“The state should have by now filed charges against Jammeh, which he (Jammeh) shall be informed of in writing and a language that he understands. In addition to that, the state should hold a press conference/release to inform the public of what Jammeh is being charged for so Gambians can know what the way forward is because they have been left in the dark for over six years, which is a contributing factor to the unwarranted controversies between victims of Jammeh’s administration and political supporters,” Modou Lamin Faye told The Standard yesterday.
He said former president Jammeh like any Gambian is innocent in the eyes of the law, until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt in the court of law.
“I understand that Jammeh’s method of due process was a total opposite of how the constitution of The Gambia describes due process but that doesn’t give the current administration the right to deny Jammeh the right to fair trial or treat him as if he is guilty especially after hearing one side of the stories/testimonies from people who have accused him without giving him (Jammeh) the opportunity to defend himself or get his own side of the story with supporting evidence in court,” he said.
Faye added that in order to make or bring change, “we have to be the change and stop leading/running the country with personal feelings, cultural, religious, and political beliefs and start letting our laws decide the fate of everyone”.
“In other words, the laws of the land must be valued, respected, and we should put the country’s best interest and future of our children at heart first and not the leaders that we support. Besides, a leader cannot expect his/her followers to value and respect the law when they themselves don’t value and respect the law,” he added.
He said if Jammeh wants to come back peacefully and defend himself or fight for the charges against him then “we will support him throughout the process to make sure that his constitutional right isn’t violated, but if he decides to go ahead with whatever ongoing plan that he has that would threaten our national security or jeopardize the safety, stability, and security of the Gambian people, then we will show him that he (and his people bleed like any other person by using whatever means necessary to use the law and contain him; it’s up to Jammeh to choose”.
“We need Jammeh to understand that his days to be the president of The Gambia are gone. Gone are the days when Jammeh will psychologically, mentally, and emotionally hold the country hostage. He abused the license that God gave him and it’s time for him and the country to move on,” he said.