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Statement By Solo Sandeng Foundation On Sentencing Of Former NIA Officers

Fatoumatta Sandeng
Founder/President of Solo Sandeng Foundation

On Wednesday 12th of July 2022, Honorable Justice Kumba Sillah Camara, Justice of the court of appeal presided over and read out a judgment sentencing to death the former NIA officers who participated in the gruesome killing of Ebrima Solo Sandeng, in April 2016. Solo Sandeng foundation welcomes the news of the death sentence with great relief and wishes to commend the court for establishing the facts and doing the needful.

In the six years period, the family of Solo Sandeng had undergone a turbulent emotional journey marked by immeasurable sorrow and despair over the loss of a legend who did not deserve his untimely death. But even in the face of such adversity, they have never lost faith in God and continue trusting our judicial system that justice may be delayed but can never be denied.

Several years since Solo Sandeng and his patriotic colleagues were brutally tortured and murdered for exercising their constitutional rights for what would later give us a new Gambia, the cause for which they took to the street still remains a mirage; electoral reform. Solo and his compatriot statesmen deeply believe in the ideals of democracy, political freedom, and the principles of constitutionalism.

For the body and soul of Solo Sandeng and his compatriots to ultimately rest in eternal bliss, their liberation efforts in seeking electoral reforms should be considered by the state. Additionally, the government should ensure that there is an effective Security Sector Reform that will reorient our state security apparatus on good governance, crowd control mechanisms and other alternative policing techniques that can prevent future grotesque atrocities and human rights violations meted on innocent people by those whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and properties of all citizens. These are what will complement and give meaning to the collective desire of all persons with whom Solo shares similar beliefs and ideals.

Our foundation believes that this judgment is a manifestation that our courts are the final bastion of hope, and that no citizen irrespective of your status and position is above the law. The law remains a significant accountability mechanism that is necessary to ensure that state officials act accordingly and responsibly.

The foundation therefore receives this judgement as a win for all victims of malfeasance and human rights violations perpetuated by Yahya Jammeh and his henchmen. We are very hopeful this court ruling will be fully enforced without mercy and further serve as a harbinger for more prosecutions against other murderers who have innocent blood on their hands and freely walking in our streets. It may be another five years or even a decade, but the long hand of justice will always bend on the right.

Source: Solo Sandeng Foundation, 16th July 2022

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