Justice Emmanuel Nkea
Justice Emmanuel Nkea

(JollofNews) – A former Gambian high court judge has praised President Yahya Jammeh’s handling of recent  political distubances in the West African nation.

The Gambian regime has come under international criticism after it launched a brutal crackdown on supporters of the opposition United  Democratic Party (UDP), who took to the streets last month to demand for electoral reforms and the resignation of President Jammeh.

Nearly 30 supporters were arrested and are currently charged with various criminal offences and denied bail. There are reports that the detainees were tortured by security officers resulting in the death of Ebrima Solo Sandeng, UDP’s national organising secretary, who led the protest at Westfield Junction.

But Justice Emmanuel Nkea, who served as high court judge from 2011 to 2014 and was accused of being a‘mercenary judge’ by critics and opponents of Gambian regime, commended the immediate measures taken by the Gambia leader to ensure the rule of law and respect for republican institutions.

In an open letter to Mr Jammeh, the judge emeritus wrote: “As an adoptive son of the Gambia, I cannot remain indifferent to these developments [recent political disturbances], and therefore found it incumbent to extend to you and your government these warm words of encouragement and moral support.

“We remain conversant with the gigantic strides you have made, and your continuous genuine efforts, towards transforming the Islamic Republic of The Gambia into a beacon of hope for Africa and the world at large.”

The former judge who was responsible for hearing almost all criminal cases

L to R: President Jammeh and Justice Nkea
L to R: President Jammeh and Justice Nkea

at the country’s high court, and was once labelled “a political wheeler-dealer” added: “We salute the immediate measures taken to ensure the rule of law and respect for republican institutions, and pray that the Almighty God in His infinite mercy and love, will continually grant you and your beloved family long life, good health and the right vision, to enable you register even more progress and prosperity for the peace loving people of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia.”

Justice Nkea started his legal career in Cameroon in 1999 after  he came first in the 1999 National Bar Exams of Cameroon. He worked as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Cameroon from 2001 to 2005 before moving to the Gambia in 2006.

While working as legal and administrative officer for a private company, Justice Nkea was appointed state counsel at the ministry of Justice of the Gambia from 2007 to 2008 where he served as the de facto head of the Civil Litigation and International Law Division.

A year later, he joined the judiciary as a principal magistrate before being appointed high court judge in 2011 where he was named ‘mercenary judge’ for  jailing opponents and critics of the Gambian regime including, Dr Amadou Scattered Janneh, the UDP’s treasurer Amadou Sanneh, former Chief Justice Joseph Wowo, Njogu Bah, Lamin Jobarteh, Pa Harry Jammeh and other high profile Gambians.

His surprised resignation on 6th February 2014 was greated with a sigh of relief by many Gambians.