DPP appeals VBI ruling to save face
In a show of arrogance, DPP Garvin Gaskin has appealed a Supreme Court decision that showed his incompetence.
Justice Deborah Fraser, in a decision last week, ruled that Assistant DPP David Bakibinga had no authority to sign the voluntary bill of indictment for Canes Villus, who’s charged with statutory rape.
Gaskin was responsible for the controversial hiring of Bakibinga, a Ugandan, and Nigerian Nikiruka Jones-Nebo, as deputy DPP in 2019.
The FNM insulted scores of hard-working Bahamian lawyers by claiming that no one in the office was qualified to fill the vacancies.
But it turned out that the foreign lawyers weren’t even qualified to be called to the Bahamian Bar.
This meant that the Africans cannot appear in court, although they both earn $100,000 per year including perks.
So, Gaskin assigned the Africans to sign off on VBIs, so it couldn’t be said they were being paid handsomely to do nothing.
But, it turns out that the country’s top prosecutor isn’t too well-versed in the law. According to the Criminal Procedure Code, only qualified legal practitioners can sign VBIs.
The CPC defines a legal practitioner as “any person admitted and enrolled as counsel and attorney under the Legal Professions Act.”
Justice Fraser dismissed the argument that the DPP can delegate whomever he chooses to sign a VBI.
To save face, DPP Gaskin has filed an appeal against the decision.
Gaskin’s bad decision to hire the foreigners has already cost the country big bucks.
Now, he’s blowing more public funds on an appeal. If that money were coming out of Gaskin’s pockets, it’s unlikely that he would file the appeal.
But the Africans’ days are numbered, as the PLP feels that there are more than enough qualified Bahamians who can fill the position.