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New Supreme Court judge sworn in

May 26, 2011, 2:11 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

The Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, Monday presided over the swearing in ceremony of a newly-appointed judge of the Supreme Court of The Gambia.

Justice Alouma Mariam Mukhtar, a Nigerian, took the oath of office, allegiance and secrecy at a ceremony held at State House in Banjul, attended by cabinet ministers, the Chief Justice of The Gambia, senior government officials as well as judicial officials.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice President thanked the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their support to the Gambian judiciary through the provision of judges, as well as other Commonwealth countries including Ghana.

She underscored the Gambia government’s resolve to ensure that justice reached the doorsteps of each and every Gambian, stressing that justice delayed is justice denied.

“President Jammeh wants to ensure that every Gambian and non-Gambian alike in the country have access to justice in the country,” the Vice President said.

While commending the Judicial Service Commission and the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice for guiding the judicial process in the country, VP Njie-Saidy noted with gratitude that a lot of backlog of cases have been expedited thanks to the efforts of the present Chief Justice.

“We really value the expertise that we have from the Commonwealth countries, especially those that share with us the same socio-culture. Justice itself has to be put in its proper socio-cultural perspective and context; that is why the Gambian leader values representation in the judiciary from our sub-region and region as a whole,” she added.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Edward Anthony Gomez, in his speech underscored the importance of expediting justice, which he said, is a sine qua-non in any meaningful democracy.

While assuring the newly-sworn in Supreme Court judge of government’s support, Justice Minister Gomez described the swearing in ceremony as a manifestation of the importance government attached to the justice delivery system of the country.

Also speaking at the ceremony was the Chief Justice, Justice Emmanuel Agim, who highlighted the important role the Supreme Court plays in the justice system, noting that it gives direction and lays the pathway for all other agencies of law enforcement to follow.

According to him, the Gambia judicial system has a peculiar nature or is a hybrid in the sense that the members that constitute the Supreme Court come from different jurisdictions.

“Based on that reason, it has more quality as people bring in different ideas that give it more strength than the one with a uniform panel,” he added.
Justice Alouma Mariam Mukhtar thanked the government of The Gambia for the confidence reposed on her, assuring all that she will work diligently to fully discharge her duties without fear or favour.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, a sanitary and phyto-sanitary specialist at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on the same day called on the vice president Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy at State House.
Dr Ian Goulding, who is also working with the West African Quality Programme (WAQP) was at State House to discuss with Gambian officials about the Food Safety and Quality Bill, a piece of legislation that UNIDO under the WAQP has been helping the government of The Gambia for enactment by the National Assembly.

Dr Ian Goulding told reporters, shortly after meeting with the Vice President, that they discussed issues relating to the next steps, and what will be needed to be done to put this new bill into practice, particularly in relation to setting up a Food Safety and Quality Authority for The Gambia.