Sheriff Tambadou

(JollofNews) – A group representing victims of the previous Gambian regime of Yahya Jammeh is putting pressure on the government to probe the meeting between the wife of the detained former spy chief and one of the special prosecutors.

Ndoura Badgie, wife of former spy chief Yankuba Badjie held a secret meeting with Lawyer Sheriff Tambadou during which the latter is alleged to have made some remarks about the arrest and detention of the former’s husband.

Yankuba Badjie is among nine former security officers currently facing trial for their role in the arrest and murder of opposition activist Solo Sandeng.

Although Lawyer Tambadou has since step down from the prosecution team, the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations said they found it reprehensible that a man of Mr Tambadou’s caliber has made such a gaffe.

“We are asking the government to recuse him from this case as we do not have the confidence that he will represent the victims in an effective manner,” the group said.

“The government should without delay, assign a new credible prosecutor who will have the best interest of representing the government and victims to keep the case moving forward. Yankuba Badgie’s wife has alleged that, only the Sandeng family has not forgiven their perpetrators and the rest of the victims has; this is a bold-faced false statement. Most of the victims have not even started court proceedings yet or even know the truth behind what happened to their loved ones to even start discussions on forgiveness. We are also asking the government to investigate the reasons why Mr Tambadou, an experienced lawyer, will reach out to Ms. Ndura on such an important case?”

The group added: “We the victims are hoping that the government will take these cases very seriously. Getting justice for all victims should be top priority of the Barrow government.

“Without justice, there will be no peace or reconciliation! We want to put it on the record that, President Barrow has not met with the victims yet, even after multiple efforts from the centre to his office and we continue to encourage him to do so as we believe the victims should be in the forefront of any discussions that involves Truth Justice and Reconciliation committee.

“We are gravely concerned about how the TRC is described on the tape as merely a covert operation which will end up freeing the perpetrators via a blanket amnesty which will be issued by President Barrow, once they are sentenced.

“We hope this is not true as this will falter any confidence we have on the TRC. We are asking the government to request for international assistance. This will allow them to have the proper capacity and infrastructure to effectively investigate and try these cases and once tried and justice is served, then on a case by case, reconciliation will be reviewed for those that deserves or qualify for it.

“Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violation’s main priority is to get truth, then justice. Reconciliation can only begin to happen if perpetrators believe they have done something wrong and are remorseful as well as being on a track to rehabilitation so that such events will never be repeated in the Gambia.”