Thursday, March 18, 2010

New police adviser calls for equal treatment for all

NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)-Lawyer Edward Anthony Gomez, who was recently appointed as an adviser to The Gambia Police Force has called on police officers to respect the right of all people to be given equal treatment, irrespective of their social statuses, noting also that police officers should at all times maintain exemplary comportment, higher sense of discipline and integrity at all times.

The new police adviser said this in an interview with TODAY Newspaper, held in his chamber. According to him, it is the primary obligation of police officers to conduct their duties with a profound and sincere sense of loyalty to the government of the day and to the Gambian people.

Mr. Gomez whose appointment as the new police adviser took effect from March 1, 2010 told TODAY that his new responsibilities would require a halt to his private practice. However, he said, he has obtained permission to complete cases still pending in court.

Speaking on his new appointment, Mr Gomez said this was a call for him to once more serve his country with an untainted and selfless sense of patriotism, honour, dignity and loyalty. He had earlier served as a cadet officer in the then Gambia Field Force, undergoing a military training at Mons officer cadet school in Aldershot Hampshire, England which he completed in 1966.

“A couple of years later, I returned to England to continue training at the School of Infantry in Warminster and upon my return, I was appointed ADC to Sir Farimang Singhateh, the then governor general of The Gambia. Upon The Gambia attaining republican status, I was again appointed ADC to Sir Dawda Jawara, the president of the first republic,” Mr. Gomez said.

He told TODAY that he was later sent back to England to undergo training and general police duties and upon his return he was posted to Western Division as the commanding officer. Then, he oversaw the area between Denton Bridge and Buruma Bridge in Kalagi.

He gained a scholarship to study at the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 1973 where he obtained an Honors degree in Law, thereafter he proceeded to London where he was called to the Bar after having passed the Bar finals.

“I came back to The Gambia and continue to serve in the force until 1984 when I took the decision to leave and set up my private legal practice.” Mr. Gomez said.

According to him, he left the force then because he could not bring himself to accept the prevailing conditions that seriously affected his rank in the police force.

He then noted that it is important that the police must bear it in mind to perform their respective duties in maintaining law and order without fear or favor, affection or ill-will.
Mr. Gomez said he is highly concerned about the rising crime rates in The Gambia. In his words, crime has “surged” to unacceptable levels, thus, it is a critical part of his duty as police adviser to formulate practical strategies to curb the crime rate in order to secure a stable society.

He finally thanked His Excellency the president Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhagie Yahya AJJ Jammeh and his entire cabinet, and his superior in the police service for the trust and confidence reposed in him by appointing him as police adviser. He also pledged to do his utmost best at all times to serve the interest of justice in his new capacity as police adviser.

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