Wednesday, January 29, 2020

TRRC: Witness Suspects $35 Million Caused Koro’s Death


Mustapha Marong, ex Attorney General and Minister of Justice during the AFPRC regime suspects that the murder of late minister of finance in the junta regime, Ousman Koro Ceesay was aimed to exclude him from the $35 million negotiated by Ebou Jallow.

This according to him, was irregular as there was no amendment made to the Loans Act. The witness further said the irregular financial acquisition sum of $35 million was never discussed at cabinet level. The witness made these known to the public during his testimony before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) on Tuesday 16th April. Detailing the atmosphere of the AFPRC’s cabinet on the death of Ceesay, Marong said there was no cabinet meeting about Koro’s death until the 27th after the burial of the deceased that the ex-Chairman of AFPRC Junta, Yaya Jammeh in a cabinet meeting said the death was “an act of God.” Witness emphasized that Koro’s death was not the issue of concern for the AFPRC’s cabinet to discuss. “If it were an issue, it would have been discussed at the cabinet, not a single butut was paid to the family of Koro Ceesay,’’ explained the witness.

“Was a Coroner’s Inquest conducted,” asked counsel Faal. “No Coroner’s Inquest was made. Nothing was sent from the Ministry of Interior at the time to the Ministry of Justice,’’ he told the Commission.”

Marong explained that his ministry was never engaged for legal advice.

“Were you aware of any investigation on the death of Koro,” asked counsel Faal.

“Not to my knowledge, the DPP didn’t tell me and I received no communication from the Ministry of the Interior” the witness explained.

He described lack of investigation as reluctance on the part of the government adding:

“I went to collect the fax number, Kaba Bajo (ex-minister of interior for the Junta) came in and Yaya Jammeh told him to proceed with the investigation quietly,’’ said the witness.

According to the witness, Kaba did not respond and this suggests to him total unwillingness and denial to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Koro. Asked by lead counsel his suspicion on the death of Ceesay, the witness said: “I suspect the $35 million negotiated by Ebou Jallow…….. I believe his death must be linked to that,’’ witness told the commission.

The witness advanced that most of the civilian ministers in the AFPRC cabinet never believed that Koro Ceesay’s death was a natural cause. Commenting on the suggestion that Koro was killed at Yankuba Touray’s residence (ex-junta member), the witness said there was no evidence of that nature but he believes that Koro must have been taken to ‘Jambur’ Bush, killed and burned there.

He said Koro’s father, Master Ceesay had always believed that his son was murdered and had always wanted the incident to be investigated. Dilating further on the cabinet meeting after the burial of Koro, the witness said Edward Singhatey offered tribute to the deceased and asked whether any of the civilian ministers had anything to offer. In his conclusion, the witness urged the commission to get to the bottom of the facts and ensure justice takes its course. He opined that where there is no justice, there is no peace.

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