By Salawudeen Olawale
Members of The Gambia Bar Association, GBA, have protested against the appointment of four High Court judges, which they claimed was not in line with the 1997 Constitution of the country.
The newly appointed Nigerian High Court judges are Justice Edward Ogar, Justice Mathias Olusegun Agboola, Justice Simeon Abi and Justice Matins U. Okoi.
In a statement signed by Secretary-General of the association, the GBA stated that the bar association shall proceed to file an action to challenge the said appointments, to seek an order quashing same and to seek necessary prohibitive relief.
The group said its members would commence a boycott of the courts presided over by the said judges until further notice.
It added that the senior members of the GBA, in collaboration with the executive, shall engage the Judicial Services Commission and executive of the government, through the Minister of Justice, to continue the necessary dialogue and consultation for the development and protection of the administration of justice system.
The GBA added that in line with the above resolutions, it had, through its Trustees, filed a suit against the Judicial Service Commission, JSC, and Attorney-General on March 28, 2017, seeking the necessary orders from the High Court, including the suspension of the letters of appointments of the said Judges, pending the hearing of the application before the court.
The GBA said it was saddened by the fact that its hopes and aspirations that a transparent mechanism would be put in place for the appointment of qualified, eminent, independent jurists that The Gambian people have yearned for so long, had not been respected.
The GBA also said true justice and independence of the judiciary should not be sacrificed for speedy and superficial appearance of a functioning judiciary.