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Monday, September 21, 2020

GPU issues statement on anniversary of journalist’s disappearance

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In a press release issued last evening, the GPU stated: “Following the disappearance of Chief Manneh, the Ghana-based Media Foundation for West Africa instituted civil action against The Gambia Government at the Ecowas Community Court of Justice in Abuja. The Ecowas Community Court of Justice in Abuja, Nigeria, relied on evidence adduced by two plaintiff witnesses to deliver its verdict in the case.  According to one of the witnesses, a former staff reporter of the Daily Observer newspaper, Manneh was arrested by state security agents at his place of work. 

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“The other witness testified that he saw Manneh in a police station in Fatoto in the Upper River Region of the country. Given that the verdict of the court has not been overturned coupled with the fact the evidence of the witnesses remains uncontroverted, then this leaves the Gambia Government with the options of either complying with the judgment of the court or conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. 

“When the Ecowas Court delivered judgment in the case, the then Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Marie Saine-Firdaus, told lawmakers in response to a question posed to her by the former minority leader, Momodou Sanneh, that Manneh was not in state custody and that the state did not know anything about his whereabouts. This left people asking questions about the whereabouts of the missing journalist.  

“During a meeting with media chiefs on March 16 2011, the Gambian leader said his “Government has nothing to do with the death of Chief Manneh.”   

The former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr Edward Anthony Gomez, indicated in an interview with the defunct Daily News newspaper that Manneh is alive, but he refused to disclose the whereabouts of the missing journalist.

“The Inspector General of Police, Yankuba Sonko, in an interview with The Standard newspaper indicated that his organisation had received information from Interpol that the missing Gambian journalist was in the United States. The IGP however failed to state when exactly his organisation received the information from Interpol and the exact date the missing journalist arrived in America.

“It is our fervent belief that the evidence of the two witnesses that testified at the Ecowas Court could serve as a basis for beginning a progressive and conclusive investigation into the matter.”


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