Jammeh’s Home Coming Dream Dashed as AG Vows His Arrest and Prosecution
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Tambadou has declared that the ex-Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh will be immediately arrested and charged if he returns to The Gambia anytime.
Jammeh was recently heard on WhatsApp audio influencing his APRC interim leaders to mobilize the party’s supporters to conduct peaceful protest in demand for the United Nations and ECOWAS to implement the so-called agreement which facilitated his relinquish of power and leave the country for the sake of peace and stability.
The party was subsequently granted the police permit and they held the protest where they handed over a petition to the African Union country offices in Bijilo. In their thousands, they chanted and demanded for their exiled leader’s return.
However, on Sunday, as the country observed the Legal Year 2020, the country’s justice Minister strongly reacted to such demand. He indicated that Jammeh was found wanting in several rights violations amounting to crime against humanity as probed by the ongoing Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).
“I sympathize and understand the frustrations of some victims and their families over the perceived lack of accountability for perpetrators, frustrations often expressed in the saying that justice delayed is justice denied. But I say that sometimes justice has to be delayed so that it will not be denied. As leaders, we cannot simply follow public opinion all the time. We have a responsibility to occasionally lead public opinion especially when it comes to matters of justice and the rule of law,” said Tambadou.
He predicted that the road to sustainable peace and democracy in the country will be a long and bumpy ride, but it will not fail. He restated that the TRRC is only a fact-finding investigative process, but with a mandate to identify for prosecuting those who bear the greatest responsibility for the human rights violations and abuses.
“After a year of public hearings, and as we enter into the second and possibly final year of hearings, it can no longer be ruled out that crimes against humanity have been committed in The Gambia, between July 1994 and January 2017, under former President Yahya Jammeh, and that those who will be identified by the TRRC will face certain prosecution in the most serious form.
“There will be accountability of the highest order for these crimes and I assure the victims that it is now only a question of when, and not if. Make no mistake about it, barring any findings or recommendations of the TRRC to the contrary, if former President Yahya Jammeh, ever comes back to this country, he will face immediate arrest and charges of the most serious kind, and no amount of irresponsible idle talk or political brinkmanship will prevent this from happening. He will be subjected to an accountability process like any ordinary accused person in this country,” the Minister emphasised.