May 22, 2008, 6:30 AM
Mr. Almami Fanding Taal, a private legal practitioner, has been appointed as Judge of the High Court, according to a press release from the Office of the Chief Justice.
His appointment brings the total of High Court Judges to 15 (fifteen), with a record number of 11 (eleven) Gambians.
Mr. Taal had served at the Attorney General's Chamber and the Gambia Divestiture Agency for seven years before going into private practice. He will assume duties when sworn-in by the President.
The release continued that five Magistrates were sworn-in by the Chief Justice during the past two weeks. Among them are two Principal Magistrates, Mr. Emmanuel Azunda Amadi, Nigerian and Mr. Emmanuel Aleambong Nkea, Cameroonian. The others are Mr. Charles W. Sarr Thomas, 1st Class Magistrate and Mr. Momodou L.K. Bojang, CRG, and Mr. Abdoulie K.M. Jallow, 2nd Class Magistrates.
The release added that Mr. Ousman K. Sidibe, a young Gambian law graduate has been appointed as 1st Class Magistrate.
According to the release, the Provincial Magistrate has been strengthened to North Bank and Lower River Regions, which used to have one Magistrate between them, now got three, while the Central River and Upper River Regions which used to share one also have three Magistrates. These magisterial districts are now each covered by a Magistrate: Essau and Kerewan (NBR), Farafenni (NBR), Mansakonko (LRR), Kaur, Kuntaur and Janjanburay (CRR-North), Bansang, Brikamaba and Jarreng (CRR-South), Basse, Sare-Ngai, Diabugu and Fatoto (CRR). The move is intended to complement the decentralisation efforts of government and enhancing access to justice to the bulk of the rural population," the release stated.
In conclusion, the release revealed that two 1st Class Magistrates, Mr. Sheriff A. Tabally and Mr. Frederick C. Forster, will proceed on a year's study leave to pursue further professional training at Sierra Leone Law School.