DIEDRICH LAND OCCUPATION LEFT IN LIMBO AUTHORITY OF JUDICIAL POWER UNDERMINED

first_imgFurthermore, section 132 of the Constitution empowers the high courtwith original jurisdiction “to hear and determine all criminalproceedings” with the exception of proceedings for which the SupremeCourt has exclusive jurisdiction.On 2 October 2012, the high court entered judgment in favour of BerndGeorg Diedrich in his seven year civil suit. In his judgment, the highcourt judge declared that Mr. Diedrich is the rightful owner of thesuitland and that all transfers and allocations of land to thedefendants are null and void. The court ordered that the defendants beevicted from the suitland and granted “a perpetual injunctionrestraining the defendants from entering in, interfering with orbuilding on, developing or in any way interfering with the suitland.”However, according to Mr. Diedrich, on 23 December 2014, someofficials of physical planning department accompanied with about adozen fully armed PIU personnel ordered him to vacate the landdeclared by the court to be his own. The permanent secretary, ministryof lands indicated that this was the consequence of an executive orderand declined to make any further comment.Needless to say, the position of the Constitution on such matters isquite explicit. According to section 120 subsection (3) of theConstitution: “The Government and all departments and agencies of theGovernment shall accord such assistance to the courts as the courtsmay reasonably require to protect their independence, dignity andeffectiveness.”In short, what the president, ministers, permanent secretaries,department heads and police ought to do is to assist the courts inexecuting their orders not undermining the authority of the courts.In a democracy, it is the rule of law which prevails while in atyranny the rule of might takes sway. What Gambians cherish is to livein liberty, dignity and prosperity and which calls for democracy.It goes without saying that a leader has no moral authority to protestagainst oppression and exploitation by outside powers while injusticecontinues to prevail in his/her country.]]>last_img