Saturday, October 29, 2011

‘Ex-Deputy Anti Drug Chief Gave-out Cocaine for Sale’

Ex-Anti Drug Chief
Mr Karamo Bojang, ex-deputy director general of National Drug Enforcement Agency has connived with his boss, Ebrima Bun Sanneh and gave over 500 grams of cocaine to one Manjang Janko to market for them, the court heard on Thursday.See.p.3
State prosecutor Ebrima Jaiteh revealed further that Manjang Janko sold the said drugs for 9, 000 US dollars and shared the proceeds with the fired top anti-narcotics agents.
But when he confronted Mr Ousman Sanneh, former operations commander of NDEA, the embattled anti drug agent denied the allegations.
Sacked in 2010, the five former top anti-narcotic officials: Ebrima Bun Sanneh, executive director, Karamo Bojang, his deputy, Ousman Sanneh, operations commander, Seedy  Bojang and Mary Sanneh the only female are facing 30 counts of corruption and drug related charges at high court in Banjul. They all pleaded not guilty.
“It is correct that the second accused person gave you some money from the $9, 000” the prosecution asked but the accused person said, it is not correct.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ex Minister and Co’s Treason Trial Adjourned

accused persons
Justice Emmaneal Nkea yesterday withdrew his promise to proceed with the treason trial involving former minister, after defense lawyer, Lamin Camara made his medical reports available to show that his is ill.
On Tuesday, Justice Nkea had promised to continue with the trial with or without a defense lawyer after the lawyer for the accused persons, Lamin S. Camara was absent for the second time.
Lawyer Camara was reported to have undergone medical operation, but he presiding judge argued that, though he received a letter from lawyer Camara seeking for four weeks adjournment that he is sick, he said, no medical report was issued to court to confirm his sickness.
“Having read through the medical report sent to the court by Mr L.S Camara, and having listened to the learned DPP, I am minded in the interest of justice to further have the matter adjourned to November 1…” he however said yesterday.
Dr Janneh, former communication minister is charged with treason, conspiracy and sedition alongside Michel C. Ucheh Thomas, Modou Keita and Ebrima Jallow for allegedly printing and distributing T-Shirts bearing the inscription: ‘Coalition for Change The Gambia, End to Dictatorship Now.’
The accused persons could not however enter the plea ever since the matter was transferred to Special Criminal Court in June this year.

Witness: I Gave Money to King Colley

King Colley
Prime state witness against a senior police officer, Lamin King Kolley and co said, he has given money to Lamin King Kolley to process insurance and road tax for two vehicles for him.
Lamin King Colley, Ousman Manjang and Abdou William are charged with two counts: conspiracy and economic crime for allegedly making false declaration of license and road tax.
According to state prosecutor, Ebrima Jaiteh investigations into the allegations revealed that the senior police officer and the two men were involved in a D3 million scam.
They however denied the allegations when arraigned at Special Criminal Court on Wednesday.
“I paid over 16, 000.00 dalasi for the road tax and license for the two vehicles directly to Lamin King Colley,” Mr Omar Sallah, an insurance agent has testified.
The case resumes Nov. 3 2011.

Two Policemen Testify Against Anti-Drug Agents

Two policemen on Wednesday testified against the two anti-narcotic agents alleged to have tortured a drug suspect, Cherno Alieu Suwareh of Bakau to death in March this year.
Ebou Lowe and Eku Grant are standing trial at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul on allegation of murder, but they pleaded not guilty.
Testifying as state witness no.14, ASP Sereign Ndure, a police officer attached to Amdalaye police station said, Mr Lowe and Grant have been identified by witnesses as the anti-drug agents who unleashed torture on late Cherno Suwareh after they raided his house in Bakau.
He produced a report of the identification parade, which was then tendered as evidence.
However, when asked by the lawyer for Eku Grant whether the report indicates that the accused persons had tortured Mr Suwareh, he confirmed that the report did not indicate that the accused tortured the deceased.

‘My Client Didn’t Kill Her Baby’

Lawyer for a mother, who is accused of killing her baby after delivery on Wednesday made a tough argument in court in defence of her client, who she claimed is innocent of murder.
Kaddy Jabang, a native of Niani Kunteng village in rural-Central River region of The Gambia is charged with the murder of her newborn baby, who was found dead in a well. She however pleaded not guilty.
“No evidence has been established in court to show that my client killed her own child,” argued lawyer Oledi-Uduma on Wednesday at High Court in Banjul.
She made a submission of no-case-to-answer as the prosecution closed its case following the testimony of a lone witness, who she argued only tendered the picture of the baby.
Lawyer Uduma said, the prosecution has failed to prove that her client intentionally killed her baby.
She alleged that the state also fail to called other witnesses that were listed for fear that it will be an advantage for the accused person. “They have sealed information,” she added.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Police Still ‘Unaware’ of Soldier’s Alleged Killing of Old Woman

Police Spokeperson, ASP Mballow
Police in Banjul have continued to deny having any knowledge of the death of Mariama Ann, a retired civil servant, who died after a military officer, ran over her since Friday August 26.
The old woman, a retired cleaner at department of NGO affairs was knocked down at the outskirts of Mile 2 prison in Banjul where she went to visit her jailed son.
She died on the spot, said our sources, who could not identify the military officer, but suspect that he was from the newly established Hamza Barrack in Banjul.
But both the police and Ministry of Justice have denied knowledge of the incident.

“We are still not aware of her death,” police spokesperson Mballow told this paper at his office in Banjul, yesterday.
The deceased, Mariama Ann is a native of Sinchu Alagie village in West Coast Region of The Gambia.
One of her relative, Mr Antouman Gaye, a senior Gambian lawyer has confirmed that the imam of State House, Abdoulie Fatty, Imam Ratib of Banjul and two other military officers had paid condolence to the deceased’s family.
Yet, two months on, Gambia’s police spokesperson said, he received no information regarding the old woman’s death.
Lawyer Gaye has however assured that justice will be done. “We are not going to negotiate the matter,” he said.

Rural Women Deserve Better

The Gambia has though made some notable improvements in promoting gender equity in recent times, nonetheless, the reality remains that majority of Gambian women in general, rural women in particular continue to play a subservient role.
Their situation remains precarious – scratching poor quality soil with crude tools or bare hands in some instances for the survival of their families, yet they are considered second class family members. They are often battered and received barking orders to be served meals and provided other services as if they are slaves, not intimate partners.
As The Gambia joined the international community in celebrating International Rural Women day last Sunday, rural women say they deserve better. WOMEN’S BANTABA WRITES

Friday, October 7, 2011

WOJAG Prexy on Women’s Rights

“Today marks another milestone in the history of journalism in the Gambia because the female journalists in the country have decided to take charge of their rightful position in promoting gender issues.
 Let me begin by saying a big thank you to the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies for making this capacity building training possible. The WOJAG identifies your institution as a true collaborator, and we believe that you have advancement of women on this continent at heart.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, gender and gender related issues should be given high priority in our news media; we must make sure that all stereotyped cases are addressed clearly. We must promote/advocate equality in the eyes of the law and in our own social structure.
Promoting gender issues should be every body’s business, especially those who know what is right. Gender is not about fighting against each other; it is about fostering mutual understanding between partners.
It is our responsibility as gender activists to make sure that governments across the world are truly seen to promote and protect both practical and strategic gender needs.
Gender issues cannot be promoted without touching on the rights of women and these rights are crosscutting issues that require the attention of a wide range of stakeholders, including not only the women themselves but government, women’s rights organizations and human rights NGOs.
How much networking is there between the media and civil society organizations that deal with human rights? How much examination is done by the media of government policies and actions, the adequacies or implementations (or lack it) of legal provisions, the exposure of violations of women’s rights?
We women journalists have a big challenge; we should be in the forefront in educating, informing and advocating this rights/ issues affecting women in society.
It is common knowledge that women work longer hours than men. This is because of our gender triple roles which include community, productive and reproductive roles in our society. And still we receive no pay for our domestic chores.
As women we need to stretch our muscles and do more to defend ourselves  for  people to know that we are aware of the happening in our societies: women are being raped, forced to accept sex for a little paid job, and other discriminatory attitudes against us all in the name of she is a only a woman.
Women and Gender Inequities
In both developed and developing countries, women face gender-based inequities that often impede their ability to earn a living and better their lives and those of their families.

•    Women worldwide typically earn less than men for the same work, and their jobs are concentrated in lower paying industries and the informal sector. In addition family labor is usually unpaid.

•    Women tend to work longer hours under the double burden of domestic and remunerative labor.

•    Women constitute the majority of the world’s agricultural laborers, but receive only a small fraction of the available extension and support services.

•    Women have less access to and control over resources, benefits and opportunities, including land, assets, credits, training and household income.

•    Female-headed households are overrepresented among the poor and food insecure, and women and their children are the majority of refugees and displaced populations.
•    Women are further disadvantaged economically and socially because we often receive approximately half the years of schooling of men, and have less access to health care services and fewer legal rights.

Once again I must register my sincere gratitude to ACDHRS and GPU for building our capacities as women journalists.