The Gambia government showered its praises on a Ghanaian high court judge on secondment in the country, Justice Alexander Osei Tutu. Last week, Justice Osei presided and handed down a fifteen-year sentence to a basic school teacher who was involved in recruiting a 21-year-old student into trafficking. Justice Osei convicted and sentenced Jerome Jatta, an intermediary of human trafficking to fifteen years imprisonment and a fine of D100, 000 or in default a further prison term of forty months. The accused person, Jerome Jatta, was a school teacher of the 21-year-old victim whom he deceived of helping him travel to Ghana for studies but sent her to Mauritania to be sexually abused for several months. This sense of fairness and professionalism exhibited by the Ghanaian high court judge earned him praises from the Gambian judiciary, the government as well as playmakers from the West African continent. According to counsel Rakey Duanda who represented the State, the judgment has instilled confidence in the Judiciary.
“The judgment is indeed a milestone and sends a clear message of government’s zero-tolerance approach to Trafficking in Persons,” he said.
The Solicitor General Hussein Thomas said: “We are delighted that we have been able to obtain justice for the victim of this gruesome act. To all traffickers and would-be traffickers, this is a warning to you; the long arm of justice will surely get you one day.”
Mr Thomas affirmed government’s continued commitment to the prevention, protection, and prosecution of all cases related to Trafficking in Persons, especially women, and children.
Alhagie Landing Kebbeh at the Gender and Child Welfare Unit of the Gambia Police Force said: “This is a great achievement. Thanks, ministry of justice, for this effort in securing a conviction. It will serve as a deterrent to others.”
Solo Gibba who works at the Special Court for Sierra Leone described the decision as a “wonderful move”.