Gambia’s Attorney General, Justice Department sued by lawyer group

Gambia’s Attorney General, Justice Department sued by lawyer group

Gambia Bar Association on Monday filed a lawsuit against the country’s Attorney General, Justice Department, and Judicial Service Commission for unlawfully reappointing four Nigerian-born justices.

The lawsuit alleged that the appointment of Justice Edward E. Ogar, Justice Martias O. Agboola, Justice Simeon A. Abi and Justice Martins U. Okoi was not in conformity with the law.

The Bar Association, which is boycotting the courts of the four Justices wants their appointment nullified.

The judges are on contract with the Gambia government, according to a Justice Department source. Their contract was hurriedly renewed by former President Yahya Jammeh during the political standoff that led him to flee.

Gambians have accused Jammeh of appointing foreign judges as mercenaries to imprison his perceived enemies, mostly political activists, rights defenders and journalists.

Gambian lawyers boycotted the courts during the ‘unfair’ trial of UDP leader and a senior member of the bar, Ousainou Darboe and during the political impasse.

Jammeh was left without a Supreme Court after filing a petition in court to have the election results nullified. Nigeria refused to send judges to preside over the case and instead sent its Air Force to help West African troops enforce the results of the elections in which Jammeh was defeated.

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