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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Does Reed Brody understand what Gambians are complaining about Essa Faal?

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I think the forwarded publication I read this morning authored by one of our low-IQ Gambian reporters on his nauseating defense of Essa Mbye Faal’s bidding to be elected president of the Gambia in December 2021 deserves a little bit of my time for a befitting response. As much as I am not a fan of the so-called dictator-hunter Reed Brody whom the writer portrayed as a member of the International Commission of Jurists (for his double standard of focusing all his human-rights-violation energy more on African and less on Western leaders) one could nevertheless read that the reporter misled Mr. Brody into making incongruous remarks on the main topic in question. What relevance does Reed Brody’s reminder of Gambians that “victims have played a greater role in unveiling the crimes committed by the Jammeh regime” to Essa Faal’s unethical and illegal exploitation of his role at the TRRC to built a political career strictly forbidden by the rules of the commission? Brody was further quoted as saying that “The evidence aired at the TRRC speaks for itself.” That “it is true that Essa Faal did a masterful job in helping to bring out the evidence, but it was not Essa Faal who implicated Yahya Jammeh in murder, torture, rape and other terrible deeds”.

That is when the author finally linked his story to Essa Faal’s bidding for the presidency with these exact word: “The commission Lead Counsel Essa Faal announced Friday his candidacy for the December 2021 polls………..”

However, I don’t think Reed Brody was asked the “tsunami” of questions-borrowing the writer’s adjective-triggered by Essa Faal’s bidding for the presidency that were totally unrelated to his answer about whether or not Essa Faal was exclusively responsible for exposing the plights of Jammeh’s victims in his 22 years of governing the Gambia. In fact, as typical of some of our pseudo journalists, the reporter merely exposed his blind loyalty to his big-kahuna Essa Faal with nothing to justify his illegal participation in the TRRC and by extension his unlawful candidacy in the December 4th Presidential elections and therefore thought by misleading the so-called “American dictator-hunter” into saying anything would help boost Essa’s campaign effort and image. But given Brody’s inappropriate response you could tell that he was definitively asked an unsuitable question.

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I believe Reed would have responded differently if he was asked the questions we have been asking about Essa Faal’s deceptive attitude of compromising his principles-if he has any at all-that got him the TRRC Lead Counsel’s job in the first place. Would Reed have said what he said if asked whether Essa Faal should have been appointed Lead counsel of the TRRC for being a major supporter and financier of a Gambian opposition political party especially the notable anti-APRC government rival party the UDP when the TRRC Act had clearly disallowed any of its hired members of partisanship? Most of Essa’s critics like me were aware of his partiality as lead counsel of the TRRC and for very good reasons. For instance, since Reed Brody is under the microscope today, one may recall how he was seated behind Miss Toufa Jallow while she graphically testified at the TRRC about how she was one night brutally sodomized by Jammeh. She had mentioned witnesses to the crime that night such as one Landing Sanyang whom she attested had driven her by car to the StateHouse, where she was cajoled by another female enabler into a secret room where Jammeh had raped her. Apparently, I understand from the driver Landing Sanyang that he was soon after invited for the initial routine TRRC investigation before the public hearing who had disputed everything narrated by Toufa Jallow and had further told them the true story about what had transpired between President Jammeh and the young lady. What happened next? They refused to allow Sanyang to testify publicly. This writer was also  accused of torturing a Liberian-Gambian mercenary and murderer Balo Kanteh who had lied throughout his testimony while Essa Faal played an overzealous interrogator role to extract more incriminating evidence against me; but the TRRC wouldn’t let me appear publicly to prove to the world that Balo Kanteh was and is still a pathological liar and a coldblooded murderer.

By every indication of how the TRRC was conducted under the supervision of Lead Counsel Essa Faal, I could list several more cases where he would bend backwards to conceal witnesses’ inconsistencies, contradictions or brazen fabrications.

But what do you expect from a dubious character like Essa, a genius in manipulation and deception? By publicly confessing on TV last week that he was always a supporter and financier of the UDP, didn’t Essa Faal from the onset deceive his employers at the TRRC for acting as an apolitical counsel? And after an elaborate political underhandedness as lead counsel, what do we get? A politician with the wrong notion that the TRRC had gained him adequate ascendency in the pyramid of presidential contenders for Gambians to foolishly elect him as their first perfect president. Who is this kid kidding?

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I have indeed heard a lot from his critics including our erudite Fatou Jaw Manneh but was more captivated by the remarks of Mr. Abdou Willan another presidential candidate who grieved over the huge amount of money squandered at the TRRC for nothing other than what we ultimately got in Essa Faal who was the face, soul and heart of the commission; although he now absolutely denies that.

But I would still differ with Mr. Willan on his other argument that the TRRC after listening to the bad side of Jammeh’s legacy should have provided the opportunity to hear the good part  of his deeds. Mr. Willan, I am afraid the TRRC was establish to only hear the bad story about Jammeh’s government and nothing about the good things he did.

However, our primary contention is why the concealment of the contradicting or invalidating evidence of witnesses if their deposition has to be used against the so-called perpetrators and against Jammeh in particular? Witnesses lying under oath was the order of the day with no enthusiasm to prove them wrong.

Yet, we will continue to emphasize that Essa’s case is not just about his dishonesty on his CV to secure the lucrative job at the TRRC but the magnitude of “yabateh” in him to use his cheap popularity there to morph into an overnight politician, artificially insulated to discredit, demean and chastise the competence of the more honorable and honest contenders.

Googling his name lately, one could see how Essa updated his CV with self-promoting experiences, cherrypicking the best, discarding the worst and even lying about the eminent ones. For example in the illustrious trial and acquittal of William Ruto (deputy president of the Republic of Kenya) at the ICC, Essa put in his CV that he was the co-lead counsel for the defendant accused of committing crimes against humanity for inciting post election inter-tribal violence in 2005-2006 that took the lives of 1200 Kenyan civilians when the Lead Counsel and Co-counsel were British Lawyers Karim Khan and David Hooper respectively. No, he was co-counsel in another Kenyan defendant’s case, Francis Kirimi Muthaura and not Ruto.

He also completely expunged from his online CV his failed defense of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Col. Muamar Gaddafi’s son that landed both defendants on guilty verdicts of the crimes they were charged with and got maximum sentences.

Anyway when Fatou Jaw Manneh wondered where the likes of Essa Faal were in the two decade of “ the struggle to unseat Jammeh” his CV showed that he was busy during those most important 10 years hopping from Italy to Darfur, New York to East Timor, The Hague to no-man’s land playing prosecutor and defender on anyone rich enough to pay the highest price with no regards to who wins or loses his/her case. While on his fortune amassing he never for a day uttered a word about what was wrong with Jammeh’s government and why.

Who at that time would have been the Gambia’s best anti-Jammeh crusader with everything he had studied and understood about his former boss than Essa? The ICC instead, according to the court’s principal prosecutor Mrs. Fatou Bom Bensouda, had had nothing significant against Jammeh to warrant his indictment at the court until Essa craftily created the so-called hazy story of the “West-African-Migrant”. Oh yes, if Martin Kyere the Ghanian “lone survivor” cannot explain how he had survived the massacre of 56 to 67 of his colleagues that night, crossed into Senegal, received by members of the Senegalese security forces a day or two after, immediately taken to Dakar and subsequently flown to Ghana without President Wade’s government alerting the international community about the gruesome crime by Jammeh, then something must be fundamentally fishy in the story than Essa had made for the world to believe.

 Anyway, why was Mrs. Fatou Bom Bensouda never invited to the TRRC to bolster Essa’s ICC allegations against Jammeh? Inviting Mrs. Bensouda for expert advice on the legal contribution of the TRRC would have been as progressive as the initiative of inviting Dr. Abdoulie Saine for his expert input on its security dimension. Right?

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