Gambia: Attempts to Invite Jammeh, Peter to Testify At Trrc Failed

Baba Galleh Jallow, the former executive secretary of the country’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has responded to reports suggesting that he (Jallow) and the TRRC’s Lead Counsel Essa Faal are attempting to form their own political party, saying “it’s not true that I am collaborating with Essa Faal to form a political party.”

“That’s definitely not true. That’s absolutely false. I feel happy that the TRRC work has gone well and that we have done a good job in terms of executing our mandate in a good way. I am very happy and I am satisfied with what we have done at the Commission.”

Speaking in an exclusive with The Point on Wednesday 16 June 2021, following his resignation from the TRRC, Dr. Jallow revealed that attempts to invite former President Yahya Jammeh and former Lieutenant Peter Singhateh to testify before the commission failed, while arguing that the Commission has enough evidence to recommend for the prosecution of Jammeh and his close associates.

“We couldn’t contact Jammeh for him to appear before the Commission. However, allegations suggesting that the Commission is bias are totally false. Everyone has seen what happened. The ‘junglers’ came forward, operatives of the NIA and people whose rights have been violated and those that commit right violations all came forward and testified.”

“So, there’s no way the Commission can be bias. Therefore, suggestions that the Commission is bias are false allegations. In fact, even if we bring the sky down, people that support Jammeh will say the Commission is bias but that doesn’t even trouble us.”

The Commission, he added, also made efforts to reach Peter Singhateh for him to testify but to no avail. Quizzed by this reporter on why former army captain, Samsudeen Sarr and other people were not invited by the Commission to testify, he said: “I don’t want to mention names here, but the Commission determines if a witness comes whether their testimonies will add value to the evidence we have. There are some witnesses who the Commission considered would not add value to the evidence we had, so we decided not to engage them.”

The government, he went on, never interfered with the work of the Commission. “The Commission has enough evidence to recommend the prosecution of former President Yahya Jammeh and his close associates based on the TRRC Act.”

“I can tell you that the Commission has gathered enough evidence to recommend those that bear the greatest right violation and that will certainly involve Yahya Jammeh.”

According to Dr. Jallow, he submitted his resignation letter to the President through the minister of Justice. “I gave them notice that I am leaving by July 31, which would be after the TRRC submitted its report to the President. The TRRC extension was until June. So the Commission is dissolved on June 30, but the Commission’s secretariat remains open for another three months. However, I wanted to give them notice that I will be leaving by July 31st and that my deputy and the staff will be taking over for wrapping-up so that I can move on to my career option for now.”

“The minister of Justice has acknowledged my resignation letter which I addressed to the President and thanked me for the service that I rendered to the Commission.”

“I believe people should insist that any recommendation that comes out of the Commission is implemented by the Barrow government or any government that comes after Barrow. If that doesn’t happen, then there’s a possibility that dictatorship will happen again and human rights violation can happen again but that’s entirely left to the Gambian people.”

“If the government fails to implement the recommendations of the country’s Truth Commission, then the Gambian people should hold them accountable. I am just happy that we did our work perfectly and the Commission has been hailed successfully both nationally and internationally.”

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