By Tabora Bojang
President Adama Barrow yesterday swore in Justice Na Ceesay Sallah-Wadda as president of the Gambia Court of Appeal, just days after the government accepted the TRRC recommendation to reinstate her.
According to the TRRC, Justice Na Ceesay Sallah-Wadda was wrongfully dismissed as a judge of the Appeals Court in 2016 by the Jammeh regime following comments she expressed at a meeting convened by the then Appeal Court President regarding granting bail to UDP leader Ousainu Darboe and his supporters.
Mr. Darboe was standing trial with 19 other UDP supporters charged with unlawful assembly among others when they took to the streets demanding the release of Solo Sandeng ‘dead or alive’ after he led a peaceful demonstration calling for electoral reforms in 2016.
In its White Paper released last week, the government said it has accepted the commission’s recommendation to reinstate the judge and back date it to 2017.
Speaking at the swearing in ceremony at the presidency yesterday afternoon, President Barrow said he has all trust and confidence that the appointment of Justice Na Ceesay Sallah-Wadda will contribute “extensively to the effective and speedy dispensation of justice” as well as boost the morale and professional standing of the Judiciary.
“Public confidence in the Judiciary, as the last resort for justice, grows when we have the right calibre of judges presiding over the Courts. I am optimistic that, with the quality of judges in our superior courts, the Judiciary will continue to uphold the doctrines of their noble profession, by acting with honesty, independence, impartiality, and integrity in the discharge of their duties,” President Barrow added.
The president also sworn in Justice Omar Njie as judge of the Supreme Court. His elevation now raises the number of Gambians at the Supreme Court to six under the Barrow administration.
“There is no doubt that we have delivered on our promise to Gambianise the Judiciary, which is the only way to minimise our dependence on external judges for the operations of our Judiciary,” president Barrow stated.
“My government is aware of the key role the judiciary plays in the quest for a stable and progressive nation wherein we uphold the rule of law, and all are equal before the law. This is critical for the achievement of our goal to promote access to justice, economic prosperity, increased foreign direct investments, and enjoyment of peace and harmony.”
New IEC commissioner Haddy Jobe also took the oath of allegiance following her appointment as a commissioner at the Election House.
“We wish you a successful tenure in the service of the nation, particularly in the administration of Justice and the conduct of free, fair, transparent, and credible elections in the country,” President Barrow said.