By Buba Gagigo
The Gambia government has accepted to prosecute former Junta member, Edward Sighnatey, former Junta Chairman and President Yahya Jammeh, Peter Singhatey and Yankuba Touray over the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay and subverting the course of justice by covering up their crime.
The White paper outlined that the Government has accepted the recommendation of the Commission and partially implemented with the conviction and sentencing of Yankuba Touray for his part in Koro Ceesay’s murder.
“However, others referred to are outside the country, as such the government will work with the countries they are residing for their extradition to The Gambia to face prosecution. Alternatively, where possible, arrangements can be made for them to be prosecuted in the countries they reside In. Yankuba Touray for his part has already been indicted for the murder of Koro Ceesay in his Individual capacity and was convicted of the murder of Koro in the High Court of The Gambla on 14th July 2021,” it stated
The paper added that ‘low-level perpetrators’ such as Alhagie Kanyi, BK Jatta, Pa Alieu Gomez may qualify for amnesty under the provisions of the Act, as noted by the commission.
“The government notes the recommendation of the Commission and will be guided by the Prosecution Strategy. For low level perpetrators such as Alhagie Kanyi, BK Jatta, Pa Alieu Gomez in the event that they are granted amnesty, the Commission recommends that they are banned from holding public office for a minimum period of 10 years.
“The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission. The government will explore the appropriate manner for the individuals identified to be lawfully banned from holding public office,” the paper stated.
The white paper also stated that the Government has accepted the Commission’s recommendation that the National Assembly should be given the power to initiate investigations into interference of the executive in the exercise of their Constitutional powers.
“The Government accepts the recommendation. The Government is committed to the principle of separation of powers and further notes that the powers referred to are already provided under section 109 of the 1997 Constitution, which empowers the National Assembly to appoint Committees to investigate or inquire into the activities or administration of Ministries or departments of the Government,” it stated.
The pronouncement by the government on Wednesday was preceded by the TRRC recommendation the 4 to be tried for the crime based on evidence gathered during its public hearings.
Ousman Koro Ceesay (Koro) was an economist viewed by many Gambians as a man of vast intelligence and integrity; who was appointed Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Chairman of the AFPRC government in March 1995 and later became the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and member of Council. However, Ceesay was found dead on June 24, 1995, barely three months after joining the APRC government.