The family of former Finance Minister under the AFPRC transitional government, Ousman Koro Ceesay will have to wait for another unforeseeable opportunity to find an answer to a long-standing question as to who killed their loved one, following a total denial of responsibility by Edward Singhateh in his ‘brutal’ killing in June 1995.
This was the most anticipated part of his testimony by Gambians, particularly the family of Koro. With Yankuba Touray’s refusal to testify in June as one of the alleged participants in the murder, all eyes were on Edward as the last opportunity for people to get the truth about who, why and how Koro was Killed.
Dozens of witnesses who have testified before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) have consistently accused Edward of directly taking part in Koro’s killing. In his own account before the TRRC on Monday, he denied having any knowledge of the killing more so participating in it.
According to Edward, his last moment to see Koro alive was at the airport when they saw off the Chairman Yahya Jammeh who was embarking on an overseas trip. He said he went straight home from the airport, contrary to testimonies that he was dropped-off at Yankuba’s residence in Kotu where Koro was allegedly killed.
He told the commission that he only learned about Koro’s death the following morning when he was informed by the Secretary General, Mustapha Wadda.
“There are so many things wrong with that narration of events. I completely deny Sir,” dismissing the evidence before the TRRC that he participated in the killing.
Edward was confronted with several written and video testimonies of witnesses including two of his orderlies, Lamin Fatty and Ousman Marong, Yankuba Touray’s driver Lamin Ndure and one Jangum who all implicated him as a participant in Koro’s murder. Another witness, Alagie Kanyi who confessed to have participated in the killing of Koro said Edward hit Koro three times with a pestle and there was blood all over.
After his death, Edward told the commission that police were directed to investigate the matter. However, the interior minister at the time, Lamin Kaba Bajo testified that the matter was not investigated.
The other alleged participants in the murder of Koro Ceesay include Yankuba Touray, Alagie Kanyi, B.K Jatta, and Tumbul Tamba. Edward denied the suggestions of a rift with Koro and being envious of Koro Ceesay’s closeness to Chairman Jammeh which led contributed to the plot to kill him.