‘Perpetrators of 44 Ghanaian victims still serving gov’t’

Friday, May 18, 2018

Marion Volkmann-Brandar, an international human rights lawyer, who worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and also did several commissions of inquiry in DRC, CAR and Mali, has disclosed that some of the perpetrators that were involved in the massacred of 44 Ghanaian and other West African nationals are still serving the government.

She made this remarks while responding to questions from journalists at a press conference held at The Gambia Centre for Victims and Human Right Violations in Kololi.

She thus called on Ghanaian government to launch an investigation into the case.

“I believed we have very good investigators for the fact that I read the Inspector General Police in Ghana tweeted and said that they will look at everything possible to look into the case. The Gambian government should also support them in their investigations. If they did have the means they could also call other experts and do a capacity building in setting-up case and building evidence.”

The International Human Rights lawyer expressed confidence that ‘if the political will is there, more evidence can be found just as much as they did in a stronger way’.

The programme manager at Tango, Madi Jobarteh, warned that when these kinds of individuals are still in state institutions, the potentials for them to interfere with evidence or wipe out evidence for the case of that nature is very high.

“Don’t be surprised in one year or two year’s down the line, we cannot even get The Gambian president to come and see this place.”

 “We cannot have enablers of such kind of nature still holding positions in our government” he quips.

On the so-called U.S. $500,000 humanitarian gesture that was extended to the families of the massacred Ghanaians, Jobarteh said that the money was from state coffers and they have no information of parliament approving such huge amount of money.

“We hope that at the Janneh Commission, we will know how that huge amount of money left The Gambia. So this constitutes one of that financial crimes committed by Jammeh, the use of our public money and spending it without due process.”  

For her part, Ayesta Jammeh, a founding member of the Victims Centre, explained that with regard to the monies given to the victims’ families in Ghana, some families denied receiving a penny. “We meet more than 20 families among the 44 Ghanaians massacred. However, others believed they never knew in fact whether money was given to their families. However, other families did received the money from the Ghanaian government. I cannot tell you how much amount of money was given to the Ghanaian government.”

Ms. Adama Conteh, widow of the late Lamin Tunkara, a Gambian national, who was part of the 56 massacred, in tears recalled that she was seven months pregnant when her husband was abducted by The Gambian security agents.

“Before I heard the death of my husband, he was detained at the Banjul Police Station for three days and later moved to Kairaba Police Station. That was the last time I heard from his dentition until I heard that he was dead,” she says with tears on her face.  

Author: Momodou Jawo
Source: Picture: Marion Volkmann-Brandar, an international human rights lawyer