Ndow family sues gov’t over Saul Ndow’s disappearance

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Nana-Jo Ndow, daughter of Saul Ndow, Founder & Executive Director of ANEKED (African Network against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances) and represented by Attorneys Elise Le Gall (lead counsel) and Deji Ajare (co-counsel) has filed a complaint before the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice against the Republic of The Gambia regarding the case of Saul Ndow.

Saul Ndow was a critic of the former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh and of his regime.

His forced disappearance in April 2013, together with a former Member of Parliament, Mahawa Cham, resulted in his alleged extrajudicial killing on the direct orders of Yahya Jammeh.

Since 2013 and despite the change of Government, the many appeals made by the Ndow family, the credible evidence that has surfaced through journalists investigating and testimonies, and persons involved being identified, no investigation has been conducted nor initiated by the Gambian government.

To justify this denial of justice, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of The Gambia, Abubacarr B. Tambadou has affirmed that any investigation regarding this case will be carried out under the direction of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), which was set up in 2018.

We contend that the TRRC’s role is as its name indicates “truth-seeking” and it is not a judicial body. Therefore, it cannot be prescribed as the only option for victims seeking redress, especially when it may lead to amnesties and/or some recommendations being ignored. Furthermore, transitional justice mechanisms are not intended to and cannot replace judicial investigations and prosecutions.

We argue that the Government’s failure to conduct proper and impartial investigations into the forced disappearance of Saul Ndow and subsequent alleged extrajudicial killing violates the right to life, the right to an effective remedy and the right to have a cause heard within a reasonable time.

Press release