By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
When she was appointed Chief Justice of Yahya Jammeh’s Jungle Republic of The Gambia, many were the shallow-thinking Ghanaian voices that heaped fulsome encomiums on this shameless opportunist. With Mr. Jammeh’s infamous human rights record, by any moral measure, it was only a fool that would have taken up his rather bizarre invitation to become the most powerful judicial authority in that riverine strip-mall of a country. Moreso, when the man who had been recently relieved of the job was a bona fide citizen of The Gambia whose undisclosed crime clearly appeared to be the fact that he would not be pushed around by the clinically demented former non-commissioned officer of the Gambian military.
Justice Agyemang also did not appear to have spent adequate time on the bench, relative to her Ghanaian compatriots in the profession, to have acquired the kind of experience required of the chief judicial light of any reputable country. That Jammeh’s Gambia is not a reputable country ought to have given Justice Agyemang a sobering sit-up before accepting to serve as the imported prime conscience of a lecherous rascal bereft of any remarkable modicum of conscience.
In essence, it well appeared that the quite young Justice Agyemang just needed a sinecure to boost her resume and future chances of securing a real job. Then also, it was almost certain that the money that came with the job may well have prompted this brazen social climber to snap it up. For those of us with ample gray matter underneath our skulls, though, it was only a matter of time before Justice Agyemang fell out of favor with the bloody Mr. Jammeh.
Now, we have just learned that Justice Agyemang’s replacement as Gambia’s Chief Justice is of Pakistani provenance. It may well have something to do with the Muslim thing, for Pakistan is not reputed for having the finest of judicial minds, at least not in practice, as occasionally witnessed in news reports around the world. In terms of what is printed on the sheepskins of the foremost judicial minds of that terror-wracked country, however, the Pakistani judicial lights are as good as any in our solar system.
I guess what I am trying to suggest here is that Gambia’s new Pakistani-born Chief Justice is far more likely to succeed in carrying out the neo-Darwinian bidding of President Jammeh than Justice Agyemang and her Gambian-born predecessor had been able to achieve. The Gambian strongman has also been widely quoted as calling Chief Justice Agyemang a “thief and a criminal” on Gambian national television. That the Ghanaian-born judicial maven, as of this writing (3/11/14), was widely reported to have sought asylum with the authorities of an unnamed Western embassy in Banjul, ought to serve as a profound lesson to all Ghanaians, as well as non-Gambians, out to getting their proverbial palms greased on the cheap by this mad dictator at the expense of the oppressed and suffering people of the Peanut Republic.
At any rate, I don’t see the Mahama government flexing whatever may be left of its largely domestic bully’s muscles at the Madman of Banjul. For Chief Justice Agyemang appears to have taken the job from which she was recently fired as a private citizen. The preceding notwithstanding, President Mahama has a bounden obligation to signal his erratic Gambian counterpart that should anything untoward happen to one of our citizens, he, Mr. Mahama, would not hesitate to run Mr. Jammeh out of town.
*Postscript: Since this writing, a second story has been published on Ghanaweb.com, sourced to Citifmonline.com, indicating that Justice Mabel Agyemang was already in Ghana and had, in fact, not been in hiding at any unnamed foreign embassy in Banjul, Gambia’s capital. The story goes on to further state that there are ongoing talks between Presidents Jammeh and Mahama, aimed at expeditiously resolving the impasse between the Ghanaian-born recently dismissed Chief Justice of The Gambia and the Gambian dictator.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York