A democratic government must ensure transparency, accountability and probity in all its undertakings. It is widely circulated in the media that the high court has not only ruled that a property claimed by GHOMM is owned by them but the state’s attempt to reverse the ruling was dismissed. Hence in the public mind the property has been lost by the state. The state is not issuing any press release that would explain why the security forces are still securing the said premises.
Foroyaa would want the victors in the court case to alert their minds to section 22 of the Constitution and should engage competent legal practitioners to determine their rights under the Constitution. Section 22 of the Constitution states:
“(1) No property of any description shall be taken possession of compulsorily, and. no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of The Gambia, except where the following conditions are satisfied –
(a) the taking possession or acquisition is necessary in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town and country planning, or the development or utilisation of any property in such manner as to promote the public benefit; and
(b) the necessity therefor is such as to afford reasonable justification of the causing of any hardship that may result to any person having any interest in or right over the property; and
(c) provision is made by law applicable to that taking of possession or acquisition –
i) for the prompt payment of adequate compensation; and
(ii) securing to any person having an interest in or right over the property, a right of access to a court or other impartial and independent authority for the determination of his or her interest or right, the legality of the taking of possession or acquisition of the property, interest or right, and the amount of any compensation to which he or she is entitled, and for the purpose of obtaining prompt payment of that compensation.”
Foroyaa will follow this case to ensure that impunity is not rewarded or condoned without exposure. Those who are aggrieved should also know how to fight their right under the law in a dispassionate manner so as not to fight right in the wrong way only to lose one’s bearing and fail to achieve one’s purpose.