By: Buba Mbaye Bojang
It’s obvious that formation is more tedious than actualization as laying foundation to any formidable structure require a bank of exclusive thinking beyond even ordinary just to get things right. In this case the formation of a new government and building the new Gambia. It’s crystal clear to everyone living in The Gambia or abroad that our country begins another era of a new dawn in our political history.
A dictator is booted out and a new president is taking charge of our affairs. This brings us to say that the very reason that takes us out to the polls to vote on December 1st is the very reason that gave us the right to hold our elected officials accountable and responsible from the VERY BEGINNING.
In this new Gambia we must be seen fulfilling our rights and responsibilities as citizens and thereby defend our vote and be full time players and not mere spectators. I became very much disappointed and perplexed by the people who tries to imply that our constitution is a Yahya Jammeh constitution and so it should be disregarded or be cherry picked as to which clause to abide by.
For crying out loud no matter what amount of bad laws we might have in our constitution, they must have find their way legally into our statutes book and therefore if we want to do away with any also, it has to be done legally too. We cannot afford the new government to start borrowing lines from the playbook of the tyrannical and repressive regime of Jammeh.
With such unconstitutional acts to be carried out without due process is certainly creating a very high tendency of dictatorship and disregards to rule of law from the new government.
With the above being said I am closely monitoring the developments coming from the new government with keen interest in them getting things right and always aligned with our supreme law book. It seems there is a trend of them making one missteps after the other in terms of referencing to the constitution.
- The VP issue is still pending without any clarifications and we saw her assuming state function without any public view of her taking the prescribed oath of office which contravenes the constitution.
- The constitution clearly stated in section 71 sub 2. That there shall be not more than 15 ministers, but a statement by the spokesman says 11ministers are appointed with 7 others to follow in about a week time, which makes a total of 18 ministers. This is not only misleading but unconstitutional too.
- The state broadcaster GRTS read a statement that from effect the NIA is no more mandated to make arrest, detained or torture any one. This brought about a great sigh of relief by anyone who gets to know how brutal and rogue this agency has been in the former Jammeh regime and it goes without saying how traumatizing their name was to the entire populace. With all their ruthlessness and rogue nature of operation, it was an agency established by the constitution. Any name change or redirection or designations of new functions will certainly require a constitutional amendment and a procedure in line with section 226 of the constitution.
By the provisions in our supreme statutes NIA is established. Section 191 sub (1) there shall be a National Intelligence Agency which shall be under the command of the president. (2) Subject to any act of the national Assembly and the provisions of this constitution, the National Intelligence Agency shall be governed by the National Intelligence Agency Decree, 1995.
With the above provisions in the constitution, no amount of presidential or executive directives can change a law that is already provided for in the constitution. The constitution clearly established the name of the Agency and the Decree cut out their functions.
Therefore what is required by law is for the president or the appointed Attorney General to table a bill for an amendment to such provisions before any name change or functions be legally binding.
In conclusion as per the 1997 constitution is concern it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE NIA OR ABROGATE THEIR FUNCTIONS unless and until there is an amendment to the law that established them and their name or it is repealed from our supreme statutes.
Let Mr. President know that he is voted for and sworn in by this same constitution and must be seen to defend and uphold it by the spirit and letter.
Any form of act to abrogate a part or the whole constitution is highly TREASONOUS and can billed up to an impeachment of The President.
LET THE DUE PROCESS BE FOLLOWED MR PRESIDENT. Section 226 offers a remedy and directives of what to do sir. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.
Author : Buba Mbaye Bojang