By Omar Bah
United Gambia Association, UGA, a non-profit, non-political and non-religious association of Gambians mainly in the US which was a key financer of Coalition 2016, has urged the government to address the unnecessary delay of criminal cases in the country.
In a statement signed by its president, Alhaji Abdoulie Drammeh and secretary Siaka Drammeh, shared with The Standard, the association stated: “We are worried because if a government is unjust, people may see violence as the only way of addressing their grievances, and once people came to believe that they suffer from grave injustice, they are unlikely to be willing to compromise, thus making conflicts intractable.
“We are therefore calling on the ministry of justice to address the injustice in the judicial system. Criminal investigations and prosecutions should not be delayed. Justice delayed is justice denied. The victims of crime and those accused deserve access to speedy trials,” the association said.
The association said it has observed with concern the unnecessary delay of court cases in The Gambia with many cases adjourned due to the absence of judges or other flimsy excuses.
“We urge the Justice Minister to as a matter of urgency consider securing more qualified judges and magistrates to ensure speedy hearing of cases in the country,” it said.
The association also said it is worried that if the current economic struggles of Gambians are compounded with difficulties of getting justice it could threaten the country’s stability.
“Each of us is an author in our collective Gambian story, and in participating in our national discourse to address some of our nation’s greatest challenges, we are reminded of the blessing we have to live in a land where we are able to freely express the beliefs we hold in our hearts.
“The Gambia will continue to stand up for those around the world who are subject to fear or violence because of their religion or beliefs. As a nation free to practice our faith as we choose, we must remember those around the world who are not afforded this freedom, and we must recommit to building a society where all can enjoy this liberty and live their lives in peace and dignity,” it added.
The respected association concluded by urging the ministers of Justice and Interior to work tirelessly for the interest of keeping peace and tranquility in the country.