Gambians react to police’s killing in Faraba

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gambian have reacted after two people have been reportedly killed in cold blood whilst many others including elderly persons maimed.

According to sources, some had their legs and arms broken, while others were seriously wounded.

This reporter went out and about to sample people’s views about what many described as an ugly incident just few days after the feast of Eidul-fitr was observed in The Gambia.

The case of Faraba Bantang is the newest in the country where some innocent and unarmed civilians were killed in cold blood simply because they were protesting against degradation of their environment.

Lamin Sanneh, a contractor said that Gambians cannot continue to encourage this kind of brutality from the paramilitary.

“Is this the Gambia we envisage under President Barrow’s government? Or did we decide this as it is in HASHTAG: Gambia has decided?”

Saikou Sawaneh a social analyst disclosed that President Adama Barrow cannot give an order to shoot somebody to death, even if he do give order for someone to be shot dead, that order is considered unlawful because it is only the law (court) that has the powers to do so after all the legal avenues have been exhausted.

He said Section 188 of the Criminal Procedure Code prescribed that a person convicted of murder shall be sentenced to death and Section 250 of the criminal Procedure Code directs the manner the convict shall suffer death.

“No person not even the president under the law has the power to order to shoot and kill anyone,” he argues.

“Then why killing our innocent or unarmed civilians by the paramilitary and why would the paramilitary be allowed to carry guns with live bullets. Who gave order to fire live bullets at innocent and unharmed civilians?” he inquired.

One Fatou Sanyang remarked that Gambians heard of the incident in Kanilai where an innocent civilian was shot death because of their protest against the presence of ECOMIG forces stationed there.

“Up to this moment President Adama Barrow has not appointed a coroner to inquire the death of Haruna Jatta and no one is investigated either,” she noted 

“This government promised to protect fundamental rights of all persons as enshrined in the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia,” she added.

She queried the rationale why the present government is prosecuting some former officials of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for allegedly killing Solo Sandeng, why would President Barrow government allow innocent persons to be shot by the police without the due process of the law.

Ebrima Susso argued that it is illegal to carry out an unlawful order and the shoot to death of unarmed civilian is a crime and the perpetrator must be held to account.

“Barrow government should also know that he would not stay in power forever and he would be called one day to explain to the Gambian people the unlawful and ugly incidence that have rocked this country during his tenure as commander-in-chief and president of the republic.”

Lala Bah said the president’s omission to take action as the commander-in-chief and the custodian of the Constitution is an offence.

She called on the National Assembly to hold the executive to account without fear or favour and with immediate effect summoned the minister of the Interior and the Inspector General of Police to give account of who ordered the shooting to death of unarmed civilians in Faraba Bantang.

“So Mr. president you must act now before your name and your government is dragged into the mud by some unscrupulous element in your government.”

Author: Bruce Asemota