Impunity starts when the executive ignores the provisions of the constitution and disobeys the orders of courts. This nullifies the check and balance system in state administration. Justice must then become the casualty.

The courts in any democratic republic must be the guardian of justice. Where there is no respect for the courts there can be no justice.

Section 17 of the Constitution backs the argument that the executive is constitutionally required to respect the orders of the courts in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms

“The fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by all organs of the Executive and its agencies, the Legislature  and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in The Gambia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in accordance with this Constitution.”

This confirms that agents of the state should honour the orders of courts, otherwise they could be charged with contempt of court. Those agents who have Imam Ousman Sawaneh in custody but are not sure what to do should consult the the Ministry of the Interior and the Attorney General’s Chambers for legal advice. After the order of the court anybody who holds Imam Sawaneh in custody could be sued for unlawful arrest and detention.