The Constitutional Review Commission was established under Decree N0.33 of 1995 and a Constitutional Review Comissionheaded by a Ghanian justice who drafted the 1997 Constitution.
Members of 1995 of the Constitutional Review Commission of THE AFPRC Govt.
by Alagi Yorro Jallow.
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) of the then ruling Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (A FPRC) was established in March1995 under Decree No.33 of 1995. Its remit was to review the suspended; (abolished) 1970 constitution and recommend what changes should be made into the new constitution (1997 Second republican constitution) to come into force after returning to civilian rule.
However, CRC had a much smaller membership, Chaired by a Ghanaian High Court judge, Justice George Mensah Quaye, seconded to the Gambia. Justice Quaye was assisted by a British, American, and Malawian lawyer, prepared a draft new constitution in 1995. Other members of CRC included two Gambian female lawyers, namely; Ms. Amina Coker; State Counsel Ms.H.C Roche(later) Hon. Justice Roche, as secretary; a Christian Cleric, Bishop Tilewa Johnson, of the Anglican Diocese, a Muslim Cleric from Banjul Independence Mosque Road Imam Makumba Jaye, a traditional Chief, Seyfo Dembo Santang Bojang of Brikama, Kombo Central and one representative of civil society, educationist, Mr. Gabriel Roberts.
Since the political activity was banned under Decree No.4, individuals, few members, including politicians, former diplomats, individual members of the Bar (individual lawyers), and supporters of the junta, submitted proposals, Memoranda, and oral contribution. The CRC conducted open public hearings in Banjul. CRC submitted its report to the AFPRC government in November 1995 (it had originally been requested to do so by July). However, its report was not published until March1996, and some of its key recommendations were then rejected by the AFPRC government. The most significant of these was that the president is at least 40 years of age (this would have ruled out Yahya Jammeh) and that a president could only serve for a maximum of two terms.
A national referendum on the draft constitution was held in August 1996, and there were no representatives by members of the former Parliament, the Gambia Press Union, Medical & Dental Council, Gambia Teachers Union, Gambia Workers Union, National Women’s Council, or Youth Organization appointed to the Constitutional Review Commission.