The Constitution commands that any arrested person held in custody should be either released or produced before a court within 72 hours. It states in section 19(3)(b) that,
“Any person who is arrested or detained upon reasonable suspicion of his or her having committed, or being about to commit, a criminal offence under the law of The Gambia, and who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court and, in any event, within seventy-two hours.”
To hold a suspect in custody without due process is impunity and this practice must not be tolerated. Charging former Director General of Prisons David Colley, to court and producing Isha Jallow, wife of General Saul Badjie, before court are steps in the right direction.
The 10 NIA personnel now in custody have been held for more than seventy hours and their constitutional rights should be respected. The same applies to the military personnel still held in custody for months without trial.
Former president Jammeh used to hide under the smokescreen of security to hold suspects without trial. The Barrow administration should not do the same. New Gambia demands adherence to good governance and the rule of law.