Gambian international lawyer and ex-chief prosecutor at the Gambian Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) Essa M. Faal has announced his bid for the coming December 4th presidential election this Friday.
Essa Faal was little known to many Gambians until his public appearances as Lead Prosecutor at the TRRC that conducted hearings, investigated, and documented all the gross human rights abuses under the regime of Yahya Jammeh between 1994 to 2016.
There is no doubt that Essa Faal came under the Gambian political projectors from his position at the TRCC. Nevertheless, supporters of the incumbent President, Adama Barrow, and Yahya Jammeh’s APRC have begun firing shots at Essa Faal months ago, accusing him of using the TRRC to occupy a center stage politically.
Notwithstanding in announcing his presidential bid, Essa Faal promised to restore sanity, end corruption in the management of the State and public affairs. He also promised to be a leader who unifies and brings development to Gambians.
Before his position at the TRRC, Essa Faal served as co-lead defense counsel for many cases in the ICC relating to Kenya, Liberia, Libya, and the Philippines.
Individuals Essa defended include Mohammed Hussein Ali, William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Francis Muthaura. He has also served as counsel for Charles Taylor, who he has represented pro bono, and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
A holder of an LLB from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and an LLM in legislative drafting and public law from the University of the West Indies, the new presidential aspirant served as counsel to the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Activities of Public Corporations in the early days of the Yahya Jammeh led junta regime. In 2002, he was made Acting Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes and later was promoted to Chief of Prosecutions.