She added: “The profession has recently been plagued with allegations of professional misconduct, dishonesty and fraud against our colleagues most of whom are still very young at the bar and this has unfortunately brought the profession into much disrepute. Professional misconduct will not be tolerated.”
Ms Singhateh made this remark at the Banjul High Court on Thursday 29 January when twenty-five new lawyers were being called to the bar and she did not hesitate to advise them to be responsible and protect their integrity.
“By calling you to the bar,” she said, “we are presenting you to the public as professionals who should be trusted to carry out their responsibilities with honesty and integrity and these responsibilities must be taken very seriously. Let your code of conduct be your compass in life as you navigate through the trials and temptations in this world.”
Also speaking at the event was the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Fatou Mbye, who deputised for President Jammeh. She also pointed out that the legal profession in The Gambia is under the radar due to the undesirable behaviours of some of its member’.
“From now on, you will be judged by your actions and attitude towards those who need and seek your professional assistance. Your actions and attitude will dictate how society views you, either as good and upright lawyers or as opportunist and self-serving ones. If you adhere to the ethics of the profession, you will serve your nation with the honour and dignity befitting your noble profession.
“For the rule of law to prevail and for justice to guide our actions towards the common good, all Gambians and non-Gambians must have access to justice. You who have been called to the bar today should see yourself as an integral part of a holistic legal framework designed to bolster peace and security for national development.”
The chief justice of The Gambia, Ali Nawaz Chowhan, told the new lawyers: “The legal practitioners act as buffers between the litigants for pursuing their lawful rights, in an organised and civilised manner.”
Those called to the bar were: Abdulrahma Bah, Bubacarr Bouy, Lamin Bittaye, Haruna Farage, Ya Amie Touray, Mariama Koita, Christopher Chi Avwoutou, Mansour Jobe, Fakou Nzoukekanga, Babucarr Drammeh,Valery Chi Enow, Njilifac Horac Fonkwa, Patrick Gomez, Bechemnyuo Oben Gilmore, Amadou Jaiteh, Cornelius Fongole Jiki, Bafou Jeng, Mary Magdalene Johnson, Fanny Mahoney, Ransome Ndikum, Banjugu Nyangado, Fatou Penn, Famara Singhateh and Tarisinda Tumbeh. Nine of them are non-Gambians from Nigerian and Cameron. Abdulrahman Bah was awarded the best student while Mansour Jobe was awarded as the best criminal procedure lawyer of the third badge.]]>