At least six Gambians have been appointed as justices of the West African nation’s Supreme Court, the largest number of its citizens to be appointed at once.
Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow has been appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court; Justice Mary Mam Yassin Sey as Justice of the Supreme Court; Justice Naceesay Sallah Wadda as Justice of the Court of Appeal; Justice Omar Momodou Musa Njie as Justice of the Court of Appeal; Justice Zainab Jawara Alami as Judge of the High Court and Sainabou Wadda Cisse as Judge of the High Court.
Gambia’s Supreme Court mostly has foreign judges, who have been accused of corruption and being mercenary judges, used by former President Yahya Jammeh to jail political opponents, journalists, rights defenders and his perceived enemies.
Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow pledged to have experienced Gambians appointed to the courts during his campaign. He appointed a former UN prosecutor as his Attorney General and a former UN prosecutor for the Rwandan Tribunal as Chief Justice.
Attorney General Aboubacarr Tambadou said the justice department is going through reforms. The court systems need rebranding after the International Bar Association described it not independent.
Under Jammeh, executive interference in judicial proceedings was prevalent. At least two foreign chief justices left the country after they ruled against his government.
Gambia’s Supreme Court will starting sitting next month and may start by hearing an election petition by Jammeh, who had refused to cede power after losing the presidential polls.