Government Spokesperson, Ebrima Sankareh

The Government Spokesperson has stated government’s position on the discontinuation of prosecutions of the Faraba Banta case, noting that the case has not been discontinued. The full text of the press release is as follows:
In the face of widespread allegations, innuendos and insinuations that the Presidency may have discontinued prosecutions of the Faraba Banta case, the public is hereby informed that the matter has in fact, not been discontinued and that police investigations are on-going. Meanwhile, the accused five officers of the Police Intervention Unit remain in state custody pending further investigations of the circumstances specific to their case.Significantly, while The Gambia Government respects and appreciates the magnanimity of the villagers of Faraba Banta in their resolve to bring about healing, reconciliation and closure to a very painful chapter of their life, it wishes to reiterate its commitment to, and respect for the rule of law and constitutional due process.Accordingly, while the government recognizes and empathizes with the sentiments and concerns expressed by the villagers, it is our policy not to interfere with the courts, legal procedures or prosecution of cases. Such matters are better suited to the competent offices of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.The Presidency wishes to emphasize its fullest commitment to the upholding of the Principles of Separation of Powers and noninterference in the operation of the judiciary; a fundamental attribute of a truly democratic society which remains the guiding principle of the Adama Barrow administration.Therefore, if the initial press release purported to have emanated from the Presidency had cast doubts as to the state of the Faraba Banta case, it is deeply regretted.For now, though, the passionate and humanizing plea of the villagers of Faraba Banta is before the Attorney General’s Chambers for review and at the conclusion of their evaluation, the public will be duly informed consistent with Government’s policy of transparency and accountability.Issued by Office of The Gambia Government Spokesperson, January 11, 2019.

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