• Dida Jallow-Halake

Dida Jallow-Halake: Lawyer Lamin J. Darbo And JOTNA Re-Arrest

Lawyer Lamin J. Darbo And JOTNA Re-Arrest


I thank Lawyer Lamin J. Darbo for his inspiration piece regarding the JOTNA ‘nolle prosequi’ and the ensuing re-arrest. Lamin J. Darbo arguments are legal and political and I will address them in that order.


The Legal Arguments


I agree that re-arrest, after a ‘nolle prosequi” is indeed in my Learned Superior’s words, is “against conscience”. But being a non-lawyer, I would ask:-


Even though a re-arrest after a ‘nolle prosequi’ is morally repugnant, is it actually illegal? I ask because I was also once a beneficiary of a “nolle prosequi” infront of Magistrate Buba Sawo (rip) – only to be re-arrested as I stepped out while the shameless and repugnant Lawyer Lamin Babandingding Jobarteh, ex-High Court judge and ex-Attorney General, was standing there smiling!


Is a re-arrest after a ‘nolle prosequi’ an “abuse of process” in the technical legal sense? My non-learned understanding is that bringing back the same charges (or same claim in civil matters) only becomes an “abuse of process” if a court has heard the case – and produced a judgment of the matter (res judicata). In the recent cases of Trump-pardons, a pardon also legally implying that the individual has pleaded guilty, US courts have rejected attempts to re-prosecute those with Trump pardons – “double jeopardy” not allowed said the US courts. As Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe knows, “double jeopardy” defence was abolished in UK some 30 years ago where compelling new evidence becomes available. I think this happened after a murderer, acquitted by the jury, went on TV to claim that he infact did commit the crime! Parliament changed the law – to apply retroactively!


The Political Arguments


Lawyer Lamin J. Darbo refers very briefly to the post-Jammeh political euphoria that ushered in the “New Gambia” and President Barrow’s 3-year promise. What Lamin J. Darbo does not mention is the fact that it was Lawyer Yanks Darboe’s own stance, amongst others, that initially killed the 3-year promise:-


Yanks Facebook, 15 April 2017:-

"President Barrow is doing great, loved and admired by his people!"


Yanks Facebook, 29 July 2017:-

"To advise Barrow to choose MOU over Constitution is like advising him to kill for honour, because it is moral but not legal!"

Those are clear statements from Lawyer Yanks Darboe, and at that point most Gambians agreed with him and Lawyer Ousanou Darboe who had called President Barrow “Our Moses” and warned that he would “take to court anyone who tried to force Barrow out of office before 5 years”.


Birth of 3-Years Jotna


3-Years Jotna was born for one reason and one reason only: President Barrow sacked UDP Leader Vice-President Darboe, and the UDP ministers from his cabinet. President Barrow sacked them because UDP would not adopt President Barrow as its 2021 Presidential candidate. The UDP wanted to keep the 2021 Presidential candidate slot for its leader Lawyer Oussanou Darboe. Once President Barrow and Vice President Darboe went their own ways, Lawyer Yanks Darboe, Lawyer Oussanou Darboe and others changed their views on the “3-year promise”. Now they said: 3-Years JOTNA (enough) – and planned to march to State House and force Barrow out through a demonstration once the 3 years expired!


The police reacted to this “attempted coup” and the 3-years JOTNA leaders were arrested as a result of the violence that ensued at the demonstration.


Seen in this light, the conflict cannot be “ ... a petty dispute with absolutely no national security implications” as Lawyer Lamin J Darbo puts it. An attempt to remove a sitting President unconstitutionally, as the 3-Years JOTNA tried to do, cannot be seen as a waging of “petty vendettas” - that is what the Republicans are saying in defence of Trumps attempt to overthrow the US Constitution!


Today, we have a video trending on social media and on Freedomnewspaper where Lawyer Yanks Darboe Jnr., a lawyer called to the bar in both Gambia and UK, is insulting President Barrow as follows:-


"Barrow is a stupid and clueless President"!


And he adds:-


“We Will Not Go Back To Any F***ing Court Again”!

Yet, it was the same Lawyer Yanks Darboe Jnr. who said this about President Adama Barrow before they fell out:

Yanks Facebook, 15 April 2017:-

"President Barrow is doing great, loved and admired by his people!"


Yanks Facebook, 29 July 2017:-

"To advise Barrow to choose MOU over Constitution is like advising him to kill for honour, because it is moral but not legal!"


In conclusion,


It is more politics and less legal, and Lawyer Yanks Darboe Jnr. is engaged in trying to convince his followers and the electorate at large to “UN-FOLLOW” President Barrow – as Yanks Darboe Jnr has done.


“The Art of politics”, said the wit, “lies in convincing the voters that your interests are the same as the national interest”.


And most people fall for it – even when they know that they will continue to starve whichever group of The Elite is in power!


Dida Jallow-Halake,

Notting Hill,

London, UK.


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