#Article (Archive)

Who is Not Doing Something Right?

Jul 10, 2008, 7:56 AM

Now a public office holder is hurled before the court, now he or she is discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence. Or as they say in law, the prosecution has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. The examples are many, but there are a few which are still fresh in our minds. Maimuna Taal stood trial for a long time for economic crime against the state. At the end, the court let her off the hook. Likewise Mam Sait Ceesay who was arraigned on a charge of false publication. Again, the prosecution made a mess of the case, and Mam Sait Ceesay is now a free man. Not too long ago, all hell broke loose when Momodou O. Njie, deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of State for Forestry and Environment was charged with impersonation. Though he denied the charge, the state went ahead nonetheless with the case. Like the previous ones, the state was laughed out of court. In each case, while the accused is out of court jubilant, the state crawls back home with its tail between its legs to lick its wounds.

These many defeats do not reflect well on the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General's office should be able to spare the state these embarrassments by advising it on the right course to take. Apparently, the Attorney General's office knows that these cases would end in humiliation for the state, yet they go ahead with them. Alternatively, the Attorney General's office is perhaps not doing its homework well enough before going to court.

If this is not the case, then there is an ulterior motive for taking these people to court and then have them discharged again because of poor evidence. Harming people's reputation, or wasting their time and resources should not be seen as fun by anybody. Before taking anybody to court, enough investigation should be done to ensure that they have a case to answer. The impression being given out by the state is that its evidence is based on hearsay, speculation, hunches, or even vendetta. And this does not speak well of the Attorney General's Office. It needs to get it all right before hitting the ground. That is the only way they can spare their own blushes.