A former minister in the erstwhile government of Yahya Jammeh who is being tried for the murder in 1995 of Finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay had never participated in his killing, a former Spokesman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) has revealed.
Former Army Captain Ebou Jallo, who was the first person to give a detail account on the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Ceesay, said his former colleague had never ‘premeditated’ nor ‘participated’ in the gruesome murder.
State prosecutors in the Gambia have accused Touray of hitting Ceesay with a pestle like object and other dangerous objects, thereby causing his death in June 1995 in Kololi Village, West Coast Region.
But former Jallo, who had repeatedly expressed his willingness to give evidence at the ongoing truth commission ‘in the pursuit of the truth and justice in the Gambia in order to set the record straight about what really happened to Ousman Koro Ceesay’ but is yet to be invited, criticised the decision to charged Yankuba Touray with a crime he never committed in the hey days of former spokesman of the AFPRC, which toppled the Jawara government in 1994 and ruled the Gambia until 1997.
He said it is wrong to charge Touray when the people who actually murdered the former Finance minister are living freely and going about their normal businesses.
“Prosecute Yankuba with 50% chance of sending him to prison for life…Then what? He was present at the scene but neither did he premeditate nor participate in the murder,” Jallo wrote on his Facebook page.
“The real callous murderers Edward Singharteh, Peter Singhateh, Alagie Kanyi are all free and would lie their way with a gullible TRRC for some pathetic “amnesty”. Who lost…? We the Gambians and especially Koro’s Family. We shall never ever find out the whole truth about Koro’s death “and bring closure to one of the darkest chapters of our national history. Wrath is evil and it never heals.”
In another post, Jallo added: “The only person who knows why Koro was murdered was Edward Singhateh. He is the one that had an altercation with him before he was murdered.
“Edward Singhateh, as minister of Defense, procured some weapons around October 1994 from an Israeli arms dealer called Serge Muller, and there was a discrepancy that Koro realized when he was trying to reconcile the government accounts for the first budget after the 1994 coup. If you prosecute Yanks the truth will never ever be known to Gambians…”
Ceesay’s remains were discovered in a burnt out vehicle. Investigations by police at the time attributed it to a freak vehicular accident and ruled out any foul play.
Investigators said they believe the Sedan Benz he was driving had hit a little bridge on a country road behind Jambur village at speed before catching fire and killing him.
However, former soldiers who have appeared at the truth commission have alleged that Ceesay was invited to Touray’s residence in Kololi where he was set upon and killed by some other council members including Touray.
Gambia’s Attorney General and minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou had took it upon himself to charge Touray with the murder following his refusal to incriminate himself at the truth commission.
The minister has vowed to come down heavily on Touray and to make an example of him ‘so that those who are even imagining that they could do something like this and get away with it will think twice about it.’