OPINION: This Is Not A Game Or Politics, Gunjur Native Tells Government
As the ongoing Gunjur - Golden Lead Factory saga intensifies, citizens and residents continue to express their frustrations on the government's" so-called " Out of Court settlement. "This is not a game or politics, we need a closure to this chapter in the interest of people of Gunjur. The courts are above the office of the Presidency and as such, they should be left to operate independently for justice to prevail" Mr. Ousman Manjang wrote on his Facebook wall recently. He further adduced that Gunjur is definitely not short of legal experts and will come to her aid when their service is required. The Gunjur born American resident suggested that the officials reconsider their position with regards to this case to avoid what he called a national embarrassment to them as individuals and their offices. "This in itself is an offense being committed by government in negotiating for this settlement by the officials with The Golden Lead Company and we are closely watching the developments from this out of court settlement",he queried. Manjang explains that the officials must understand that once a defendant is charged in the court of law and the case is being prosecuted, they have no right to intervene in that process, otherwise, it becomes an abuse of power or office, or what is called defeat of cause of justice. " The only time that the Executive power could be exercised in cases are instances once the defendant is found guilty, the President could exercise his prerogative of mercy as powers vested in him in the form of pardon", he emphasized. This, he added is a criminal case since it is a case between an agency of The State and a defendant, in this case,the Golden Lead Company. "Therefore, we expect no interference and cannot be settled out of court, he noted. According Ous Manjang, some unimpeachable sources informs them that, the National Environment Agency, responsible for the protection of our environments, who in fact dragged The Golden Lead Factory to court is unaware of this out of court settlement between the Government and Golden Lead. Mr. Manjang calls on government to close this chapter in the interest of the people of Gunjur because this he said is not a game or politics but about people's lives. He was however, quick to add " We understand that it could be confusing sometimes, and we are still a young democracy, however, as Citizens, our expectations are high on the side of the government of The Gambia and her officials especially on the side of the law."