#Article (Archive)

Investigate Before Action

Sep 15, 2008, 5:09 AM

Now public officials are appointed, now they are dismissed, now they are reinstated again. What's next? The public is not in the know. Or as we say in most cases, no official reason was advanced for their dismissal.

The examples are many, but the recent report of the dismissal of nearly fifty security personnel who were posted between Barra and Amdallai in the North Bank Region following the reported escape of Charles Northfield, a British National who was standing trial at the High Court in Banjul for various crimes including economic crime, should not have come to pass.

Though we were told that investigations into the matter are ongoing, the investigators should left no stone unturned to first establish whether Barra-Amdallai is the actual route the man used to effect his escape and who was on duty at what particular time.

These endless dismissals and possible reinstating of public servants do not in any way reflect well on the office of the Secretary General and head of the civil service. Professionalism in any field is really vital.

Harming people's reputation or wasting their time and resources by sacking them only to reinstate them the next day should not be seen as fun by anybody. Before taking any measures to sack someone, enough investigation should be done to ensure that any action taken is justifiable. They need to get it all right before hitting the ground.

And considering the role of security agencies, there are certain requirements that are supposed to keep them, based on experience, distinct from other organisations. They are supposed to have set patterns for professionalism, thus this will enable them to be doing their work professionally and resist political pressures.

Though we are not in a position to say the circumstances surrounding the escape of Mr. Northfield, many are of the opinion that the circumstances surrounding his escape have not been thoroughly and faithfully investigated before coming to such a decision of sacking the said officers.

It is an undeniable fact that no society could exist if all people did as they pleased, without regard for the rights of the others. Nor could society exist if members did not recognise that they also have certain obligations towards one another. The law thus establishes the rules that define a person's rights and obligation.Recently also three Judges of the high court have been given their marching orders and if this trend should continue it can casta shadow of doubt on the independent functioning of the Judiciary.

It can also discourage potential Gambians who may be interested in taken up the proffesssion.

We therefore call on the authorities concerned to give the matter a second thought and have those officers dismissed reinstated forthwith as there might be innocent people that will be victimised in the cause. You can only hold someone responsible of crime if he or she is accountable for what happens.

"What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong?"