Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ending 19 years of repression and impunity in The Gambia

July 22, 2013, marks 19 years of President Yahya Jammeh's rule of West Africa’s smallest country, The Gambia, after the 48-year old leader ceased power in 1994 through a military coup. 
The 19-year rule of President Jammeh has been characterised by brutal repression of citizens’ rights to free expression. Freedom of speech and media rights have remained stifled mainly through the application of inimical laws and the meting out of stiffer punishments after politically motivated trials. 
During the period, dozens of human rights advocates and journalists have been exiled, others have been killed and several others have disappeared. In The Gambia today, critical media reportage is literally outlawed, while other rights violations continue to be perpetrated by the government with gross impunity. For example, The Jammeh regime has refused to comply with two human rights judgements delivered against it by the regional community Court of Justice (the ECOWAS Court) since 2010.

“I only accept, and give orders’ detective Sowe tells court

Ex-NDEA PRO Abdoulie Ceesay
Detective Abdoulie Sowe has told the High Court in Banjul that he received an order and directive to join a panel at the National intelligence Agency regarding Benedict Jammeh and his co-accused.
Sowe who admitted the directives were in writing said “I cannot say the directives are written because I’m not the author,” I only accept order, and give order”.
Sowe was responding to questions  during a cross-examination with the 2nd accused person’s (Abdoulie Ceesay) counsel, Kebba Sanyang.
Ex-NDEA PRO Abdoulie Ceesay alongside Benedict Jammeh,  Foday Barry, former director of Intelligence and Investigations at Holgam of the NDEA and Commissioner Yusupha Jatta, former head of the NDEA in the West Coast Region are facing 90 counts of economic crime, false publication, false information, abuse of office, and fabricating evidence at the High Court in Banjul.

Former justice minister on bail: As fresh charges were preferred against him

Lamin Jobateh, former justice minister

 High Court in Banjul has released the former justice minister on bail to the tune of D3 million with two Gambian sureties.Jobarteh has moved one step toward his freedom.The former minister has spend several week behind bars until his bail yesterday.
Lamin Jobarteh was indicted yesterday July, 24, with fresh charges ranging from giving false information, economic crime, abuse of office, wrongfully retaking possession of land, forcible entry and operating a business without license before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Division.

He is accused of ordering and assisting the arrest and detention of Alieu Barry and Bernd Geoge Diedrich and also Mustapha Kanyi and Yerro Jamanka at Bansag police station.

GPPC Ex-Managing Director denies economic crimes charges, others

Kerbba Sanyang Attorney

The former managing director of the Gambia Printing and Publishing Corporation (GPPC) Cherno Gaye alongside Dodou Nasso has denied allegations causing economic losses, an act that is detrimental to the economy of the Gambia.
 Gaye, and Nasso were on  24th July arraigned before justice Abdullah Mikilu on nine charges of economic crime, abuse of office, disobedience of statutory and neglect of official duty at the High Court in Banjul.
According to charge sheet , the accused persons, failed to recover the sum of  D65, 362.00 being salary advances paid to employees of the corporation and D45, 000.00 being board advances paid to some members of the board.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Prosecution Given Last Chance in Ex-Justice Minister, Pa Harry Jammeh Case

The Magistrate court in Banjul has given a last chance to the prosecution to proceed with the case of the former Attorney General and minister of Justice, Lamin AMS Jobarteh, and former solicitor general and legal secretary, Pa Harry Jammeh.

 He made this ruling after both parties made their submissions. Superintendent Sainey Joof said the matter is still under investigation and urged the court to give last chance when the case resume Tuesday 2, July, for hearing

The duo are facing 10 criminal counts ranging from conspiracy to defeat justice, to abuse of office, official corruption, destroying evidence and neglect of official duty, allegations they denied.

Jobarteh and Jammeh are alleged to have conspired to defeat justice forcing Justice Joseph Wowo,

Two Additional Charges Against Ex-Justice Minister Jobarteh

Gambian Police Tuesday filed charges against former Attorney General and minister of Justice, Lamin AMS Jobarteh, for economic crimes allegations.  

Police said the accused between 2010 and 2013 in Bansang, deliberately fail to pay income tax and domestic and rate taxes on his lodge in Bansang, an act detrimental to the economy of the Gambia.
The charge further accused him of setting up a hoax committee to discreet the findings of a lawfully constituted, while serving at the Attorney General of The, Gambia without authority and with intent to injure the economy of the Gambia,

However, the accused did not take his plea but the prosecution has made an application for the case to be to transfer at the High Court. He also urged the court to refuse the accused person’s bail.

Anti-FGM Crusaders Penetrate Deep into Kombo East and South

Residents of Kombo South, in the West Coast Region are having their share of the intensifying sensitisation campaign that seeks to eliminate the deep-rooted cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia.

 Although significant gains have been made in the crusade against FGM, the practice is reported to be high at places such as Kombo East and South.  
After concluding a two-day training on Friday and Saturday for 200 participants in Brikama and Kafuta where both women and men resolved to join the campaign, GAMCOTRAP, a women’s rights advocacy group on Sunday July 7, 2013 wrap up a similar training workshop at Siffoe village, Kombo South.
The event brought together 100 community leaders, women leaders, religious leader, teachers s among others from various villages in Kombo South.
The project, from a health-based to a righ-based approach fighting against Female Genital Mutilation seeks to accelerate the abandonment of the practice. It is funded by Save the Children International.
Gamcotrap, have over the years been very active and effective in the promotion of women and children’s rights. Gamcotrap's agenda is to end discriminatory practices like  female Genital Mutilation (FGM)  and early marriage.

MFWA Take Action: 7years of disappearance of Gambia’s Chief Manneh; Justice delayed is justice denied.

 July 7, 2013 marked exactly 7years since Chief Ebrimah Manneh, a reporter of the pro-government newspaper, Daily Observer, in the Gambia disappeared. Chief Manneh was on July 7, 2006 arrested by officers of the Gambia National Intelligence Agency (NIA) following an attempt to republish an article he downloaded from the internet, which was critical of President Yahya Jammeh’s administration.
He has since been globally regarded as a victim of ‘forced’ disappearance because the Gambian government continues to deny custody of him and has clearly refused to conduct any investigations into his whereabouts.
Within the period (July 2006 – July 2013) Gambia’s senior government officials, including President Jammeh, Marie Saine-Firdaus, the former Minister of Justice, Edward Gomez, former Attorney General, Yankuba Sonko, Inspector General of Police have made conflicting statements about his whereabouts.