Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gambia: Most Peaceful Country in the Sub-Region- Chief Justice

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB- Chief Justice of The Gambia Emmanuel Akomaye Agim has said that The Gambia" is the most peaceful country " in West Africa. Chief Justice Agim was delivering his remarks during the opening of a seminar for economic and financial crimes for judges in english speaking countries in West Africa yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel and Spa in Brufut. The seminar was organised by The Inter Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) with support from the Commonwealth Secretariat. "You are all welcome to The Gambia, the Smiling Coast of Africa. 
"It is my opinion to say that and records has shown that The Gambia is the most peaceful country in West Africa". He also cited the latest Global Peace Index which rates the country 63rd most peaceful country in the world. Chief Justice stated that The Gambia has been ranked as the world’s 63rd most peaceful country in the Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2010. 
According to the Global Peace Index, released Tuesday, The Gambia ranks behind Ghana (48th) and Sierra Leone (53rd), Burkina Faso (57th) in West Africa, and ranks higher than Senegal (79th), Liberia (99th) and Nigeria (137th). Other West African countries rated are Mali (109th), Cote d’Ivoire (118th), and Mauritania (123rd). According to him, The Gambia is the best country in the region because of its democratic origin adding that it's provision of effective mechanisms guaranteed the power and ability of citizens to hold public officers accountable for their actions and ommissions through public intrest litigations. 
However, the actual and effective vesting of sovereignity in the people is followed by the express provision that all organs of government derive their authority from the people and in whose name and for whose welfare and prosperity the powers of government are to be exercised in accordance with the constitution. 
This he went on is clearly and expressly making the right to petition the executive and to resort to the court for redress and the right to vote and be vote for stating that fundamental rights of citizens and provisions guaranteeing the protection of the independence of the judiciary.
"I am glad to inform this august gathering that Gambia has zero tolerance for corruption, money laundering, terrorism, economic and financial crimes." Gambian Chief Justice explained that the Money Laundering Act 2003 that was enacted by the parliament, the Economic (Special) Crimes Decree and others are some of the legislative measures to combat these crimes. 
Justifying his statement, Chief Justice says "Cases of corruption, money laundering, terrorism, economic and financial crimes are treated as matters affecting national security and are dealt with swiftly with top priority by law enforcement agencies, including the judiciary". In fact, in the recent past years, all public officers were compelled to appear before the Public Officers Assets Commission of Inquiry to explain the source of assets acquired and owned by them. 
"Gambian judiciary is corruption free as our judges are oriented to be content with their legitimate earning", revealed Agim. He thanked GIABA under the leadership of Dr. Abdullahi Shehu for what he describe his passion for and commitment to the fight against money laundering and other financial and economic crimes and his many illuminating writings on money laundering.

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