The Ghanaian Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has announced last week that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Department were “studying” the request “to ask for the extradition to, and trial of Yahya Jammeh in Ghana.”
William Nyarko, executive director of the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), who is coordinating the campaign in Ghana to have Jammeh prosecuted for the massacre, said that the testimony of Bai Lowe one of the Junglers, Jammeh’s hit squad, underscored the importance of Ghana taking up the case. “Forty-four Ghanaians were cruelly murdered in a foreign country. The gruesome killings as narrated by Bai Lowe should shock the conscience of Ghana to get to the bottom of what happened and ultimately bring the perpetrators to account.”
In a television interview on 16 May 2018, the spokesperson of the Gambia Government, Demba Jawo, said that the government will cooperate with any request from the Ghanaian authorities in relations to unearthing the truth about their nationals killed in the country in 2005.
Baboucar “Bai” Lowe, a former Gambian Army Warrant officer,who is now living in Germany, described the events in his 2013 interview with journalist Pa Nderry M’Bai of Freedom Radio based in North Carolina (USA):
“We got information that there were captured mercenaries … who were coming to attack the Gambia. So, we caught them, and we took them to the NIA [National Intelligence Authority] office. From the NIA headquarters, they were scattered, and [then] we took them to Kanilai [Yahya Jammeh’s home village].”
Following an order to kill the migrants:
“Two guys will just bring you to the well execute you and throw you in the well [in Senegal]. That is where I saw them use a pistol to kill people….. [T]hey hold you and shoot you, while they already had a plastic bag over your head, the one dalasi [= 10 Ghanaian Pesewas] black plastic bags, shoot you and throw you in the well.”
Regarding the escapee, Bai Lowe stated:
“Yes, one escaped, he was caught near Kankurang and Bambara. When he was caught, [Sanna] Manjang [a Jungler] went there and cut him into pieces like a Tabaski ram and put him into a sack. He even boasts about that, that nobody has done what he did for the Gambia because he has cut more people into pieces than any soldier in the Gambian Army. He said he has more guts than the kids because the kids cannot do what he did. He has killed people, cut them up, bagged them and threw them in [the bush]”
Bai Lowe, who was trained in Libya, served in the Gambian Presidential Guard and the Junglers for some 12 years before being arrested himself in 2012 and jailed in Banjul’s infamous Mile 2 prison. After his release, he participated in a December 2014 coup attempt.
Bai Lowe’s account squares with that of the survivor Martin Kyere, who jumped out of a pick-up truck and into the forest just before the other detainees in the truck were apparently shot and killed.
Kyere has been advocating for the Ghana government to prosecute the case. “We need to make clear that Ghanaians abroad can’t be tortured and killed with impunity. By prosecuting this crime, the government will be protecting and standing up for Ghanaians everywhere.”
In a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding between Ghana and Gambia intended to put the issue to rest , the two countries “pledged to pursue through all available means the arrests and prosecution of all those involved in the deaths and disappearances of the Ghanaians and other ECOWAS nationals, especially those identified as culprits in the report.” No arrests have ever been made in connection with the case, however.
The Ghanaian groups which have called for Jammeh’s prosecution include the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Perfector of Sentiments Foundation (POS), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), and Amnesty International.