Gambia: TRRC Tasks IGP Jobe to Produce Missing Diaries

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mamour Jobe has been tasked by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to produce July- August 2005 missing diaries from Bundung Police Station, Barra Police Station and the PIU Headquarters respectively.

Mr. Jobe was neither implicated nor adversely mentioned by any witness at the TRRC, but appeared to tender documents requested from the Police by the Commission.

Lead Counsel Essa Faal informed IGP Jobe his purpose of appearing before TRRC was for him to provide the documents the commission needs.

The Police boss took the opportunity to clarify what is meant to be the Police Station Diary, saying it's a book kept in the stations to record incidents recorded in a quotidian basis. He said the requirements for the records keeper of the diary include having the ability to write legible English, emphasizing that the writings must be very clear.

On the spacemen of a Station Diary, he said it should contain a serial number, incident time, by whom it was reported, and if the entries are completed, the supervisor of the stations from time to time is supposed to check to know whether the entries are correct.

On the rules, he said it is not allowed to scratch the station's diary and should in case it happens, there should only be a light stroke and the person that makes the stroke must sign on top of the stroke.

He further enlightened the Commission that during the first republic, officers were only allowed to use red and blue pens to write in their diaries. However, he said this subsequently changed under the second republic by using blue and black only.

According to the witness, one of the sections in the Standing Orders had given powers to the IGP to come up with certain Orders which if applied would be applicable to all police officers. The witness testified that under normal circumstances, arrests and detentions should be entered in the diary by using a red pen. Asked whether in The Gambia, the diary book could also be called an "Incident Book," Jobe responded in the positive.

Jobe said in one of his trainings with one British policeman, he was told that if it is called an incident book, then it is only incidents that are reported at the police which should be entered and not actions meted out by officers. Mr. Jobe testified that incident involving about 10 or more people should not escape the police and must be recorded.

On the issue of the West African migrants, the witness said authorities deliberately failed to enter the names of the migrants in the diary. Diaries from Kairaba Station and Major Crimes respectively were tendered to the Commission. Diary from Kairaba Station was in a terrible state which Jobe said was rather unfortunate. The Barra Station Diary started entry from 30th July 2005.

Faal told him that the Commission was interested in the diary that has entries up to 22nd July 2005. The Police boss was also asked to produce the diaries from Barra, Bundung and PIU Headquarters from July 2005- August 2005.

Faal told Jobe that the information received by the Commission was that these diaries were missing or they disappeared.

Jobe said he is not aware of that and it was not brought to his attention. He promised to find out.

Jobe is expected to reappear next week Wednesday to provide the said Diaries or give an explanation if not seen.

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