Dida Halake

This is the case for the prosecution presented by Halifa Sallah in Foroyaa and Lamin J Darbo in Kaironews:-

“The only available mechanism to amend the Constitution lies in the procedure delineated at Section 226, which states, at 226(1):- “subject to the provisions of this section, an Act of the National Assembly may alter this Constitution”.

According to section 226(2), “Subject to subsection (4), a Bill for an Act of the National Assembly under this section shall not be passed by the National Assembly or presented to the President for assent unless:- before the first reading of the Bill in the National Assembly, the Bill is published in at least two issues of the Gazette, the latest publication being not less than three months after the first, and the Bill is introduced into the National Assembly not earlier than ten days after the latest publication, and the Bill is supported on the second and third readings by the votes of not less than three-quarters of all the members of the National Assembly”

Halifa and Lamin conclude thus: “Considering the constitutional timelines stipulated above, a pertinent Bill in at least two issues of the Gazette, the latest publication being not less than three months after the first, and the Bill is introduced into the National Assembly not earlier than ten days after the latest publication, it will take at least a hundred days before the way can be cleared for appointing a currently unqualified vice-president.”

Serious omission in “educating the peope”!

Halifa Sallah in Foroyaa says “Subject to subsection (4)” Halifa gives no explanation of “subsection (4)”!!!!!

Lamin J Darbo in Kaironews says: “Subject to subsection (4) ….” Lamin J Darbo gives no explanation of “subsection (4)”!!!!!

Case for the defence

Dida Halake, presenting the case for the defence screams “what does subsection (4) says?????!!!!!”

This is subsection (4): A Bill for an act of the National Assembly altering ANY OF THE PROVISIONS REFERRED TO in subsection (7) shall not be passed by the National Assembly or presented to the President for assent unless …” (the 3 months Gazette Procedure).

BUT, what are the “provisions” in subsection (7) TO WHICH THE 3-months Gazette Procedure applies?

(7) Subsection (4) applies to –
(a) this section;
(b) section 1 and 79 (2) (which relate to the sovereignty of The Gambia);
(c) sections 4, 5 (1) and 6 (2) (which relate to the Constitution, as the supreme law of The Gambia;
(d) sections 8 and 13 (4) (which relate to citizenship);
(e) Chapter IV (which provides for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms);
(f) Sections 39 (1), 42 (1), 47 (3) (which relate to elections and the Independent Electoral Commission) ;
(g) Section 63 (1) and the first sentence of section 71 (2) (which relate to the term of the President and the qualifications for Secretaries of State);
(h) Sections 85 (4) and 160 (7) (which relate to the Director of Public prosecutions and the independent of the Auditor general);
(i) Sections 87 and 100 (which relate to the National Assembly and the legislative power);
(j) Sections 120(1)(a), (2) and (3), 121 (1), 123, 126 to 128, 130, 132, 133, 135 (1) and (2), 136 and 138(1), (4), (5) and (6) (which relate to the judicature (;
(k) Sections 149 (1) and 151 (1) which relate to taxation and the withdrawal of money from public funds);
(l) Section 193(1) (which relate to local government);

Concludes Dida Halake: “Members of the Jury, THE AGE AMENDMENT IS NOT IN THE “PROVISION” IN SUBSECTION (7) – and therefore DOES NOT require the 3-months Gazetting!”