By Yankuba Jallow
The Attorney General and the Minister of Justice, Hon A. Tambadou in a press conference held in his office in Banjul said the allegation made by Alagie Mamadi Kurang, the Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry probing the financial dealings of ex-president Yahya Jammeh and his associations are unsubstantiated.
The Commission commonly referred to as the Janneh Commission was established by President Adama Barrow to probe into the dealings of former President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh and his close associates.
Mr Kurang in a 7-page petition said Counsel Mrs Amie Bensouda has lost the moral authority to serve on the Commission. He made a host of allegations against her and called for her resignation. But the Attorney General disagreed. He said:
“Based on the information gathered is that Mr Kurang acted beyond the confines of his administrative authority which was principally to execute the orders or directives of the Commission and not to question the wisdom or the motivation underpinning those orders or directives. As a result of his actions and in consultation with the Commission, Mr Kurang’s position as the Secretary to the Commission has now become untenable under the circumstances. We wish to thank Mr Kurang for his services and wish him luck in his future endeavours.”
On the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC), the Attorney General said the nomination of candidates for Commissioners has begun and that nomination for candidates for Greater Banjul Area and the Diaspora has already been received whilst the filing process for regional commissioners will be completed this week. According to the Minister of Justice, the next step will be a review of the full list and identification of the eleven commissioners which shall be submitted to the Transitional Justice Technical Committee for their review and comments.
“The technical committee includes civil society, government representatives, some representatives of the diplomatic community and it is chaired by the Ministry of Justice. The final list of the eleven commissioners shall be published in the media through newspaper and radio announcements for the members of the public to subject objection on the eligibility of any of the candidates as per the TRRC Act,” the Minister said.
On the Constitutional Review Commission, Minister Tambadou stated that the Commission is independent and will do their work earnestly and independently. He indicated that all questions about the Commission should be directed to them and not the Ministry of Justice.
On the exhumed bodies of the presumed victims of human right violations, he said his office received a team of a forensic scientists with the support from Just Rapid Support, an international NGO.
“The Forensic Scientists in collaboration with the Forensic Unit of the Gambia Police Force conducted examinations on the human remains that were exhumed last year including the remains of Solo Sandeng. Preliminary results have identified the remains as Solo Sandeng and the three December 30th attackers who were Njagga Jagne, Lamin Sanneh and Alagie Jagge Nyass. However, these results are subjected to confirmation which he said they hope to receive soon.
On the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission, he said they have issued advertisements for the position of commissioners for the Commission.
“We will be submitting the list of applicants to the selection panel made up of representatives from TANGO, Gambia Bar Association, Gambia Federation of the Disabled, National Youth Council, the Female Lawyers Association of the Gambia and the Gambia Press Union in accordance with the Human Rights Commission Act. The selection committee shall shortlist 9 candidates for the Commission and shall be published in the Gazette for 14 days for possible objections. Ultimately, the shortlisted candidates will be presented to the National Assembly for the approval of 5 of them,” he said.
He said the Gambia as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has fulfilled its reporting obligation under the Covenant on 5th and 6th July 2018.