No-nonsense Magistrate Impels Colleagues To ‘Step Up’ And Restore Confidence in Gambia’s Criminal Justice System

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By: Ousman Saidykhan

Principal Magistrate, Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrate Court has stressed the necessity for justice administrators to step up their game and work towards reviving the lost confidence in the country’s justice delivery system, which has been one of the main causes of citizens taking laws into their own hands.

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“The issue of mob justice has resulted in the death of so many thieves because of society’s loss of faith and confidence in the criminal justice system of this country. This is why the need for criminal administrators to step up and put an end to all these unfortunate issues.

“If society regains trust and confidence in our criminal justice system, the issue of mob justice will be wiped out. Also, when thieves know that it will not be an easy ride for them in the courts, stealing will be wiped out or significantly reduced to at least make people feel at ease with their properties,” Magistrate Jabang said.

The no-nonsense Magistrate made such remarks on Tuesday, 23rd of August 2022 while sentencing one Momodou Bah who was convicted of breaking and stealing over D250,000 from a forex bureau.

“The society is so terrorized and helpless that they are even now resorting to mob justice. Stealing has resulted in the death of many. So many lost their lives to thieves who stabbed them to death for failing to surrender the items they tried to steal from them,” he added.

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Just like how easy it is to hear people talk about the improvements in the justice delivery system as opposed to the Jammeh regime; it is also not uncommon to hear someone in the Gambia say they have little or no hope in the justice system of the country. Some say they are frustrated with the “deliberate” delay in criminal trials and others still believe there is a lack of independence in the Judiciary.

However, Magistrate Jabang has always talked about the need for restoration of citizens’ confidence in the criminal justice system, stressing his court will not be used as a sanctuary for criminals.

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