Ceesay, former constable of The Gambia Police Force has said that despite
‘leads and dots’ directing to specific people well placed in the [Jammeh]
system, the police were obstructed at every level to get to the bottom of
“The arrest and detention of the then IGP and his replacement with a person of interest was indeed troubling …,” he said last week as Barrow government announces funds allocated for the families of murdered journalist through the ECOWAS Court.
“Having been among the first responders to the killing of Deyda and being the first officer to enter his vehicle to pull his body out, my heart never stopped bleeding to this day,” Ceesay said, recalling the “innocent and pious look on his bloodied-face from the gunshot wound.”
Hydara, a regular critic of President Yahya Jammeh’s harsh policies, had received multiple death threats in the months leading up to his death. His murder still remains unsolved.
“A panel of three justices in the ECOWAS Court of Justice declared that Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency, tasked with investigating Hydara’s murder, did not carry out a proper investigation and cited its failure to carry out ballistic tests on the bullets and weapons recovered from suspects,” Washington-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in 2014.
The court said the Gambia’s intelligence agency was “not an impartial body to conduct the investigation” but that there was no evidence linking the Gambian government to the murder.
However, ex-Police constable. Ceesay said all leads and dots directed the Police, under the leadership of ex-IGP 13 Badjie, to specific people well placed in the system.
“I hope they will soon institute a truth and reconciliation commission where they will be told every fact leading to the brutal killing of these and many innocent citizens of our land,” Ceesay added.
From the onset of the investigation, Ceesay said he had noted and reported that every indication and clue points to professional assassins’ involvement.
“The preciseness of all the shots despite being a moving target indicates high level of marksmanship. The selection of the site as well showed good amount of planning, while the timing of just-after-10 p.m. indicates some level of assurance and believe that nothing was going to happen to them for the killing even if they were seen as common criminals would normally strike so early,” Ceesay analyses.
“Removing his (Deyda’s) mobile phone from his pocket while ringing before turning it off on my boss’s order, I can only imagine how the caller was feeling at the other end. But what could I do or say?”
He described the experience of sitting next to Deyda’s body while it was transported to the RVH as “the longest journey I ever took”.
He added: “My worst heart ripping came upon our arrival at the hospital as we were met by the wailing and screaming of the anguished family and friends, some hitting the ground... Oh Lord, how I wished I was never there to witness such a sorrow!!”