29 October 2012

Gambia: President Jammeh Pardons Prisoners

President Yahya Jammeh, acting in accordance with the powers given to him under Section 82 of the Constitution, has on Friday, 26 October, pardoned 27 prisoners serving different jail terms after being convicted on charges such as concealment of treason, theft, and other felonies.

The names of the pardoned prisoners are as follows: Aziz Tamba, Mustapha Bojang, Ebrima Jallow, Abdoulie Ceesay, Omar Darboe, Momodou Bentang Keita, Adama Jallow, Solo Kuyateh, Samba Bah, Ousman Keita, Momodou Alieu Keita, Mustapha Bittaye, Mustapha Jawara, Yerro Baldeh, Thomas Jatta, Sana Bojang, Omar Kanteh, Ebrima Faye, Ousman Trawalley, Musa Kuyateh, Sainey Drammeh, Omar Sowe, Amadou Kah, Lamin Minteh, Mustapha Bah, Amadou Wan and Modou Keita.

Aziz Tamba, who used to claim to be related to the President, was at one time the deputy Youth Mobliser of the ruling APRC party and also the General Manager of the Kanilai Farms. He was convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by the Kanifing Magistrates' Court on 18 June 2007. Tamba was also convicted to another 8 years imprisonment by the Bundung Magistrates' Court for unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition.

Mustapha Bojang was convicted and sentenced to 14 years together with Aziz Tamba and Famara Colley on 18 June 2007 by the Kanifing Magistrate Court. They were accused of embezzling D19, 587, 779.34 being proceeds from the sale of Kanilai Farm produce. His appeal was dismissed, but sentence was reduced to 7 years by Justice Naceesay Sallah Wadda on Monday 14 December 2009.

Famara Colley also had his sentence reduced to 7 years by the Court of Appeal.

Corporal Samba Bah, a native of Brikama, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Thursday, 19 April 2007, on the charge of concealment of treason by a General Court Martial held at the Yundum Army Barracks. He was tried alongside Captain Pierre John Mendy, Captain Abdou Karim Jah, Captain Bunja Darboe, Captain Yaya Darboe, Captain Wassa Camara, 2nd Lieutenant Pharing Sanyang, Lieutenant Momodou Alieu Bah (released last year, reinstated and now promoted to the rank of Major), Lance Corporal Babou Janha and Private Alagie Nying. The sentences ranged from life imprisonment to 10 years.

Modou Keita and Ebrima Jallow, the duo was convicted along with the earlier pardoned former Information Minister Dr. Amadou Scattered Janneh on 17 January 2012, on the charge of sedition and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment by the Banjul High Court. Their Co-convict Michael Ucheh Thomas, a Nigerian national, died in custody on 30 July 2012, six months after conviction.

Thomas Jatta, said to be connected to the MFDC rebel group in the Southern Senegalese region of Casamance, was tried at the Banjul Magistrates' Court in 2007 and later by Kayode Olajubutu in 2008. He was tried, convicted and sentenced alongside several others to serve different prison terms. He later appealed against his conviction, but it was dismissed by the High Court.

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