AG keeping close eye on case involving foreign lawyer
Attorney General Ryan Pinder is keeping a close eye on a case that questions the decision of DPP Garvin Gaskin to allow an African lawyer to sign VBIs.
The AG logged into the Court of Appeal Zoom hearing at which Gaskin struggled to defend his choice to permit David Bakibinga to sign the VBI for Canes Villus, who’s charged with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Supreme Court Justice Deborah Fraser ruled last month that Gaskin broke the law when he allowed Bakibinga, who is not a qualified legal practitioner, to sign the VBI on his behalf.
In defiance of the ruling, Gaskin is still letting Bakibinga and Nigerian Nikiruka Jones-Nebo sign VBIs.
Gaskin told the court that he has the power to let anyone sign the legal document that commits defendants to the Supreme Court for trial without a magistrate holding a preliminary inquiry.
However, the Justices of Appeal didn’t appear to buy Gaskin’s ridiculous argument.
The Court’s President Sir Michael Barnett said by that logic, Gaskin could have the janitor or messenger sign VBIs for him.
Even Gaskin agreed that this would be outrageous.
The Court has reserved its decision on a case that will ultimately assess Gaskin’s competence to head the prosecution’s department.
While at the helm, scores of lawyers upset with his management style have either quit or asked for transfers.
The FNM, on the advice of Gaskin, renewed the contracts for Bakibinga and Jones-Nebo although they can’t appear in court as their applications for admission to the Bahamas Bar were denied.