By Yankuba Jallow

Abubacar Tambadou, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Gambia has on Tuesday said they have instructed the Gambia Police Force to prosecute three (3) persons in relation to misappropriation of fertilizer.

Minister Tambadou has declined to mention the names of the persons to be prosecuted saying it is now with the police and it is the police who are in position to disclose the names.

Also, the Minister said the five (5) Police Intervention Unit Personnel involved in the Faraba Banta Incident claiming the life of civilians will be prosecuted on the charge of manslaughter instead of murder. He told the press that the murder charge has been substituted with manslaughter.

He said this at his office on Tuesday the 7th May 2019 during a press conference. He said he has been appointed by the President as the chairman of the Steering Committee on Security Sector Reform.

On the Death of Haruna Jatta of Kanilai

The Minister indicated that he hasn’t received any correspondence from the ECOMIG/GAF joint investigation into the untimely death of Haruna Jatta of Kanilai during a peaceful demonstration by members of his community.

About the Prolonged Detention of Soldiers

He said the soldiers commonly called ‘junglers’ have been under custody for a very long time without appearing before any court. He said this is due to the circumstances surrounding the case and the nature of the crimes they have confessed to committing. He said the Ministry of Justice is in consultation with the TRRC to facilitate their testimony before the Commission.

Another Land Commission to be Established

Honourable Tambadou said a new Land Commission will be established soonest to deal with landed properties that were seized by the ex-President Yahya Jammeh from people unlawfully. He indicated the Land Commission that President Barrow set up is answerable to the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government providing that Ministry with an advisory role.

Tambadou said 2019 will be a year for legislative reform and this will be the focus of his Ministry. He indicated that the media law reform is at an advanced stage adding that the Media Service Act would be promulgated soon. Also, he said the Information and Communication Act will also be reviewed.

“Access to Information Act is being drafted at this moment,” Tambadou said.

He said the United Nations has hired three Gambia consultants to review the Gambia’s criminal law system and they have up to the end of the year to do their work.

Foroyaa: You appointed Gaye Sowe and Janet Sallah-Njie who are all commissioners working with the Constitutional Review Commission and Antouman Gaye who is currently having many cases to deal with including the prosecution of the NIA 9 case. Do you think they can complete the work before end December 2019?

Minister Tambadou: I did not appoint them – you could ask the UN about this. I am certain that these people would be ever ready to do this work. The applications were opened and they were the people who applied. This shows that they are ready for the job.

Amendment of the Electoral Laws

Minister Tambadou said his office has engaged all registered political parties with regards to the amendment of the electoral laws which according to the Minister derives its source from a decree by the defunct AFPRC government. He said there will be a workshop to be held in August 2019 to which all political parties will be invited.

On the National Human Rights Commission, the Minister said the five Commissioners were appointed by President Adama Barrow. He indicated that the process of reviewing the applications was done exclusively by civil society organisations.

On the reform in the Prison Sector, the Minister said a consultant has been hired who would do the work.

Read Foroyaa tomorrow for more on the Press Conference.

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