I invite reference, to a very interesting and thought-provoking article titled:-“Mai Fatty: ‘I will be the next President’”, written by one Omar Bah, published in the Monday 14th October, 2019 publication of The Standard Newspaper. The article started thus: “The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has said he will remain relevant in Gambian politics, and that he will succeed President Adama Barrow.”
The Gambia Moral Congress (G.M.C.), is a Gambian Political Party, which has been legally registered by The Independent Electoral Commission (I.E.C), whose present brave, patriotic and God-fearing Chairman is, Honourable Mr. Alhaji Mommar Njai. But “To call a spade a spade” (ie “to say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”), as The Judicial Oath says, The G.M.C. is indeed not a political force to be reckoned with, because it is a mickey mouse and a politically impotent political party, which has not won even one seat in our National Assembly/Parliament, presently under the able leadership of, My Learned Friend, Honourable Mrs Mariam Jack-Denton, The Speaker Of the said Assembly, and the first Gambian Female Lawyer. “Vel Primus, Vel Cum Primus” (Latin; ie either the first, or among the first). It is therefore very mind boggling, and highly provocative, to hear Mr. Fatty bogusly saying, that “…he will remain relevant in Gambian politics…”,
Actually, from the dawn of “New Gambia”, after the downfall of Ex-President Jammeh, his aforesaid political party, was almost 100% irrelevant, because his G.M.C was merely one of the seven Political Parties, that came together to wisely form “Coalition 2016”, which clearly defeated Ex-President Yahya Jammeh, in the 1st December, 2016 Presidential Election, ending 22 years of dictatorship. The able Chairperson of “Coalition 2016”, is Honourable Mrs. Fatoumata Jallow–Tambajang, our former Vice President. In terms of the total votes, which the said Coalition collectively won from The Gambian electorate, under the dynamic and visionary leadership, of the then Honourable Adama Barrow, the Flag Bearer and Presidential Candidate, Mr. Fatty’s G.M.C has not won any additional vote for the said Coalition. “Nemo Dat Quod Non Habet” (Latin; ie “no one can give away anything, what he or she does not have”).
Mr. Mai Fatty’s bogus claim that he will succeed H.E President Barrow
This bogus claim is clear evidence, of the fact that, Mr. Fatty is a political day-time dreamer. People normally have dreams (good or bad, otherwise called “Nightmares”), at night when they are sleeping, but in Mr. Fatty’s case, his bogus dream of succeeding His Excellency President Adama Barrow, actually occurred during the day, since his aforesaid Press Conference on his resignation as a Presidential Adviser, took place in daytime. Joseph in The Holy Bible, called Yusuf in The Holy Quran, had wonderful dreams, at night, when God told him many things in his sleep, and all these dreams, came to pass, at God’s appointed times, because they had been decreed by God Almighty. In The Holy Bible, God Almighty authoritatively says :- “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words, will never pass away.”
Is Joseph’s/Yusuf’s dream applicable To Mr. Mai Fatty’s dream, of becoming the next Gambian president, after His Excellency President Adama Barrow? The obvious answer to this Theological and Political question is “NO”, because God actually spoke to Joseph in a dream, at night when he was sleeping. But God has never spoken to Mr. Mai Fatty, the leader of the G.M.C. On the contrary, this bogus claim emanated from a blind monumental political ambition. If his political party (G.M.C.), cannot even win a single seat in our National Assembly/Parliament, which is a very useful yardstick or barometer, to assess, both him as the head of The G.M.C., and the aforesaid party itself, in the opinion of right-thinking registered Gambian Voters, then there is no way, Mr. Mai Fatty will win a Presidential Election in The Gambia.
The famous Greek Philosopher, Plato, in his masterpiece book titled:- “The Republic” wrote :- “The price wise men pay, for not taking part in Government, is to be Governed by foolish men.” As the former Vice President Of The Gambia, Honourable Mrs. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, rightly said a few months ago:- that the level of political consciousness among present registered Gambian Voters, is so high, and consequently, for the next 50 years or so, The Gambia will be ruled by a Coalition Government. One does not have to be a Senior Lecturer or a Professor of Political Science, in any University, to know this. This bogus claim of Mr. Mai Fatty, is a monumental insult on the intelligence of registered Gambian Voters. It is simple logic, if those sensible Gambian voters, blatantly refused to give him their votes in National Assembly/Parliamentary Elections, what magic can Mr. Mai Fatty now use, to get them to suddenly change their political minds, to vote for him, as a Presidential Candidate? What now comes surfacing, to the landscape of my mind?, is the famous adage:- “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” (Google authoritatively explains this famous adage thus :- “If wishes could make things happen, then even the most destitute people, would have everything they wanted”)
Does Mr. Mai Fatty have locus standi to assess himself?
The obvious answer to this important moral and legal question is ‘NO’. Mr. Mai Fatty bogusly said :- “I will also state that, my ambition for the presidency, has never influenced my professionalism at work, and I do not take political considerations, in the performance of my duties…” Mr. Fatty, does not have any locus standi (Latin :- ie Legal Standing), to assess himself. I am sure Mr. Mai Fatty, My Learned Junior at The Gambia Bar, fully well knows this famous principle, of The Doctrine Of Natural Justice :- “Nemo Judex In Causa Sua” “ (Latin:- No person can be a Judge, in his or her own cause).”
William Shakespeare, the erudite “Bard Of Avon”, authoritatively corroborates, the aforesaid sacrosanct and inviolable principle of The Natural Justice Doctrine, when he authoritatively wrote, in Act 1, Scene 1 of his masterpiece Play/Tragedy titled :- “Julius Caesar”, :- “….The eye sees not itself, but by reflection by some other things…” This means that, in life, we should not always “blow our trumpets”, because by so doing, there is a high tendency of biasness, and blowing our achievements out of proportion. In some cases, it is better for others to do it for us. But the problem is, those who we expect to do it for us, if they are jealous of us (as it was the case with Joseph/Yusuf and his brothers), they will never ever blow our trumpets. In the masterpiece poem titled :-“Desiderata”, the erudite author Max Ehrmann, an American Poet, wrote :- “……If you compare yourself with others, you will always become vain and bitter, because there will always be, persons greater and lesser than yourself.” “Desiderata” in Latin means :- “Things desired.”
For how long, must Mr Mai Fatty keep the Oaths he took at State House, concerning his political appointments, made by H.E. President Barrow?
Mr. Fatty also said :- “As a lawyer, maintaining confidentiality is a cardinal principle, that cannot be compromised. What happens at State House in the course of my duties stays at State House. The President trusts me and that was why he brought me closer, where I have been subjected to tons of privileged information. I will never betray that trust, no matter what…” As My Learned Junior at The Gambia Bar, Mr. Fatty is fully aware, that when one takes an Oath at The State House, in the presence of either His Excellency The President, or H.E The Vice President, administered by The Secretary To The Cabinet, that Oath does not only bind the Presidential appointee, whilst he/she is holding a certain Political Office. On the contrary, it indeed binds him/her for a lifetime, until the entry into the grave. Therefore, if Mr. Mai Fatty has the guts, audacity and temerity, to violate any of the said Oaths, he can be arrested by the police, and Charged, for violating those Oaths, contrary to The Oaths Act (1965), and
also rightly Charged, for violating The Official Secrets Act (1922). The only two legal occasions, when a former Presidential Appointee, can justifiably fail to conform with those Oaths, or the said Act, are :- when he/she is either testifying as a witness under Oath, in either a Court Of Law, or a Commission Of Inquiry, because such an important testimony, will be made Pro Bono Publico (Latin :- ie for the good of the public).
Mr. Mai Fatty’s wrong legal opinion on the Three Years “Jotna” matter.
Mr. Fatty also said :-“ I will not be out on a three –year agenda. Those who want to do so, have their Constitutional rights to disagree, and I will support and uphold their right to protest. They must be allowed to protest. Nobody can deny them that right. If they deny them, I will be the first one to go to Court to defend them.”
Firstly, Mr. Mai Fatty said :- “I will not be out on a three-year agenda…”, of course, meaning, when will-be protesters go out to the streets to protest, he will not be among them. This is cowardice of the highest order. William Shakespeare, in his masterpiece Play/Tragedy titled :- “Julius Caesar” wrote :- “…Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death, but once…”. Mr. Fatty doesn’t want to physically join the will-be demonstrators, because he fully well knows, that to demonstrate publicly in the streets without a written clearance from the Inspector General of Police(I.G.P), Mr. Mamour Jobe, is a heinous Criminal Offence, contrary to The Public Order Act (1961). By this bogus statement of his, he can be rightly Charged :- “For inciting violence”, contrary to The Common Law. Mr. Fatty went on to say :- “Those who want to do so have their Constitutional Right to disagree, and I will support and uphold their right to protest…” I am putting it to Mr. Mai Fatty, the Constitutional right to disagree, should be confined to an oral or written disagreement. But if that disagreement, should spill over to the streets, by way of public demonstrations, what the law stipulates, is very clear.
Mr. Fatty, My Learned Junior at The Gambia Bar, is fully aware of the recent Supreme Court Case (The Mr. Ousainou Darboe Case, concerning The Westfield Junction Demonstration, vis-à-vis The Public Order Act). In that locus classicus (Latin :- ie best known) Case, The Gambia Supreme Court, under the able leadership of the Learned and Honourable Gambian Lord Chief Justice, Mr. Hassan B. Jallow (C.R.G.), made it abundantly clear in its Judgment, that the provisions of The Public Order Act, are still valid and legally enforceable, under Gambian Laws. Mr. Fatty also said :- “I will support and uphold their right to protest.”
Mr. Fatty as a Lawyer, should know, that all the rights, that are protected in Chapter 4 of The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution, are indeed subject to two things stated in Section 17 (2) of the said Constitution (ie (1) “The rights and freedoms of others”, and (2) “The Public Interest.”). Also in Jurisprudence, there exists what is called “The Correlative Theory” (ie for every right, there is a corresponding obligation or duty). “Concerning the right to protest peaceably, and without arms”, guaranteed by Section 25, of the said Constitution, this must be cross-referenced with Section 25(4) of the said Constitution, which clearly says, that the said right, is not absolute. Section 25(4), in Legal Drafting terminology, is called “A Claw-Back Clause” (ie when the Law gives a right with one hand, and then takes part of that right away, with another hand, although it is a sacrosanct and inviolable principle of Law :-“You cannot approbate and then reprobate”.) One of the tripartite principles of The Doctrine Of The Rule Of Law, ably propounded by A.V.Dicey, is :- “No Person Is Above The Law.”
If prospective protestors are denied a clearance by the I.G.P, and they are arrested and charged with “unlawful demonstration”, can a lawyer do anything about this?
Mr. Mai Fatty finally said :- “…Nobody can deny them that right. If they deny them, I will be the first one to go to Court to defend them.” Firstly, I am putting to Mr. Mai Fatty, My Learned Junior, that if prospective protestors are denied a clearance to demonstrate publicly, by The I.G.P, and they are arrested and Charged for “Unlawful Demonstration”, contrary to The Public Order Act, neither him nor any other lawyer, can do anything about this. The relevant Equity Maxim here is :- “He who comes to Equity, must come with clean hands.”
If he or any other lawyer, attempts to defend such alleged Offenders/Violators, the Criminal Case, will be lost woefully in Court. When lawyers go to Court, for a contentious legal matter, the legal criteria, concerning who will win that Case, is not the lawyer who first goes to Court, but rather, it is the one on whose part the preponderance of evidence lies. The late Fr. Matthias Murphy (an Irish Priest), and my excellent Bible Knowledge (B.K.) Teacher, at St. Augustine’s High School, always liked quoting this adage :- “Fools rush in, where angels fear to thread.”
Recent bogus and illegal calls for abolition of the Public Order Act
Recent calls, in the both the social media and National Newspapers, made by My Learned Junior, Mr. Gaye Sowe, Executive Director Of Institute For Human Rights And Development In Africa (I.H.R.D.A), and The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization, for example, in The Standard Newspaper publication, of Monday 28th October 2019, for The Gambia Government to abolish The Public Order Act (1961), because “…it has often been used to restrict the rights to peaceful assembly….”, are bogus and legally unfounded, because the said rights, is not absolute. Section 25(4) of the said Constitution, rightly says :- “The freedoms referred to in Subsections (1) and (2) shall be exercised subject to the Law of The Gambia, in so far as, that Law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the rights and freedoms……which are necessary in a democratic society, and are required in the interests in the sovereignty and integrity of The Gambia, National Security, Public Order, Decency or Morality, or in relation to contempt of Court.” I am vociferously putting it to all of them, that even in the finest of democracies (U.K, U.S.A etc), they all have A Public Order Act. In the absence of Public Oder in any Society or Nation, the alternative is :- “The Law Of The Jungle” (ie the survival of the fittest). “Order, is the first law in Heaven”, as the adage goes.
Finally, let me reiterate: Mr Mai Fatty’s press conference on his resignation as presidential adviser was bogus, illegal and unconstitutional. I rest my case.