#Article (Archive)

New director of special litigations post queried

Dec 7, 2010, 11:23 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Counsel Hawa Sisay-Sabally has said the constitution of The Gambia never provided for a Director of Special Public Litigations (DSL) to head a new unit created at the Attorney General's Chambers in Banjul.

Hawa Sisay-Sabally is counsel for the appellant, Youssef Ezzideen, who has filed an appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal against his death sentence.

Counsel yesterday told the Appeal Court that the constitution of The Gambia has not provided for the creation of the said unit.

H.S. Sabally said she was objecting to the right of audience with the state law officer, the respondent for the state, DO Kulo, citing the Legal Practitioners Act.

Counsel further submitted that the state counsel for the respondent before this court is not in any list of officers listed in the First Schedule to the Legal Practitioners Act, while also referring to the constitution of The Gambia.

The three-member panel of judges that section 166 of the constitution provided for the public service of The Gambia, she continued.

"The office of the Attorney General is not an authority of any particular public service, created in accordance with section 166 of the constitution, for appointing any public officer," counsel told the court.

"The appeal before the court is a criminal appeal. The constitution at section 84-85 recognises the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and not the office of the Director of Special Litigations Unit," she added.

Counsel was of the view that the DPP is responsible for investigation of criminal proceedings, as listed under section 85 of the constitution, adding that he does so with the consent of the Attorney General.

HS Sabally in support of her submission, told the court, among other things, that "we are not objecting to the procedure, but right to audience to a person before this court".

Counsel said the new Director of Special Litigations position was not created by any law, and is not in the constitution and the Legal Practitioners Act.

She, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the motion with substantial cost.

In response, to counsel's query, the DSL Daniel O. Kulo said issues of law and issue of his appearance have been raised.

DO. Kulo said his objection was within the Legal Practitioners Act, adding that he needed to prepare himself for instant reply.

He craved the indulgence of the court to grant him an adjournment so that he can bring his appointment letter which confirms his appointment as Director of Special Litigations.

At that juncture the case was adjourned till 8th December 2010.

Justice Joseph Wowo is sitting as the president of the Court of Appeal, along with Hon. Justice B. Kalaile and Hon. Justice Aminata Ngum as members.