(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has rehired Mama Singhateh as the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice less than six months after her unceremonious removal.
Ms Singhateh, who was sacked from the post in August 2014 was reappointed on Monday to succeed Basiru Vassili Potier Mahoney, the very man who succeeded her. Mr Mahoney was fired from the post last week without any explanation.
Ms Singhateh (pictured), a former Gambia Court of Appeal judge and law lecturer at the Gambia Law School has a wealth of experience under her belt. Prior to her elevation to the Court of Appeal in April 2012, she served as a High Court judge for three years, during which she was assigned to the Land Division and subsequently to the Commercial Division.
Within the High Court, Ms Singhateh was also the project coordinator for the Government of the Gambia-UNDP sponsored project wherein a number of activities were implemented which not only improved the status of the judiciary but also contributed to improving the proper administration of justice.
Those activities include the establishment of the judiciary website, refurbishment of the judiciary library, the setting up of the monitoring and evaluation unit and the development of operational manuals for the office of the sheriff and registrars and clerks within the judiciary.
Ms Singhateh was also instrumental in enhancing the capacity of the Gambian Cadi (Shariah) Court system which was mainly supported by the UNDP assisted projects through training of cadis, preparation of rules of procedure for both the Cadi Courts and the Cadi Appeal Panel as well as the translation of the rules of procedure for the cadi court from English to Arabic.
Prior to joining the judiciary of the Gambia, Ms Singhateh was the company secretary and the head of legal and corporate affairs for a prominent bank in the Gambia. Before that she was the principal legal draftsperson at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Ministry of Justice where she was also the head and coordinator of the Child’s Rights Unit which was established within the Ministry to promote and protect the rights of children in the Gambia particularly the girl child working in close collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund.
Ms Singhateh also held positions as state counsel and later senior state counsel at the Criminal Division under the Director of Public Prosecution. She has also held the positions as the Secretary to the General Legal Council and was the legal adviser to the National Women’s Council.
She was between the periods December 2003 and December 2005 the chairperson of the board of directors for the Child Protection Alliance, an interagency institution on child protection issues in the Gambia and a registered coalition of over 60 national and international organisations and institutions.
The new Justice Minister has published a number of rights related articles on women and children. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Law and a Master of Laws from the University of Hull, United Kingdom. She fulfilled her bar requirements at the University of Cardiff, Wales and was called to the Bar of England and Wales and the Gambian Bar. She is a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, UK, and is also trained in legislative drafting, child rights advocacy, women’s rights and arbitration & mediation