By Aji Fatou Faal
Members of the National Assembly last week unanimously considered and approved remunerations for members of the commission of inquiry into events that led to the deadly shooting at Faraba Banta, Kombo East on 18 June 2018.
Tabling the motion, Abubacarr Tambadou, Attorney General and Minster for Justice recalled that President Barrow established the commission on 1 July, 2018 and the following were appointed: Emmanuel Joof as member and chairman, Abdoulie Colley, Omar Cham, Lt Yusupha Jallow and Neneh Cham as members.
He said that the amount proposed is based on the intensity of the work carried out by the commission involving visits to Faraba and mining sites around the country; the full-time commitment of the members for a period of two months; the nature and complexity of the evidence adduced by the numerous witnesses before the commission and the fact that the commissioners had to suspend their professional careers to devote time to the work of the commission.
Minister Tambadou stated that his request was being made pursuant to Section 16(1) of the Commission of Inquiry Act, which states: “Subject to this subsection (2) of this section, commissioners appointed under this act are not entitled to any remuneration beyond the actual expenses incurred in holding the inquiry, unless such remuneration is specifically voted by the National Assembly”.
Reacting to the Justice minister’s request, the parliamentarians noted that the incident attracted huge attention nationally and internationally and that Gambians are eager to know the recommendations and whether they would be acted upon.
The National Assembly was critically involved in efforts to resolve the crisis before things came to a head and the police shot to death three villagers.