The case of the Taranga FM Manager could not proceed at the high court on Monday because of his admission in hospital.
Sheriff Dibba, the Secretary of the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA), is dead while remanded in police custody.
The manager of Taranga FM is remanded at the Remand Wing of Mile 2 Prison.
The courts have an obligation to administer and deliver justice. They have an obligation to protect life.
Bail conditions are provided for by law because of the principle of the presumption of innocence. Every accused person is presumed innocent until he/she pleads or is found to be guilty.
The principal concern of the court is to ensure that an accused person stands trial. Hence bail condition is designed to restrain an accused person so that he/she will not flee from justice but would appear on the appointed time to defend his/her innocence until proven guilty or acquitted and discharged.
Long prison detentions while on trial when one could satisfy reasonable and justifiable bail conditions constitutes a miscarriage of justice.
The bar and bench of The Gambia should hold a seminar on the issue of bail and the presumption of innocence. Legal minds should be encouraged to enlighten the judicial fraternity, in particular, and the public, in general. Young aspiring lawyers in the University should hold debates and invite legal luminaries to enlighten them on such an important subject.
Only a knowledge based society would enable the courts to administer and deliver justice with mercy so that it would not only be done but also seen to be done.
What is the fate of the Taranga FM Manager? The future will tell.
Words should be combated with words. Stories which hardly reach the Gambian population are not worth given the weight they do not have. A genuinely democratic system would encourage words to be combated by words. Once stories or claims are refuted, they are rendered insignificant.
We hope we will have a society where government officials, in particular, and the citizenry, in general, will develop the culture of refuting stories rather than putting the story teller in chains.