The Gambia’s Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko, has been incriminated in a bribery scandal involving the release of a Senegalese inmate at Mile II Central Prisons in 2012.
The granting of amnesty to Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, former Minister of Information and Tamsir Jasseh, the former Deputy Director of Immigration in September 2012 followed an announcement granting presidential pardon to 27 prisoners, including one Ebrima Jallow. Mr. Jallow, a co-convict of Dr. Jammeh was jailed for three years on sedition charges. Mr. Jallow’s other co-convict, Modou Keita, was released on October 26, 2012.
Ebrima Jallow was waiting for his release, informed his family about the good news and even distributed all his personal belongings among cell mates, only to be told he was not pardoned. He served his full three-year term in prison. Jallow may be out of jail but his story has come back to the media limelight, with our sources insisting that “Ebrima Jallow’s pardon was real but that Ousman Sonko accepted a bribe from the family of a Senegalese also named Ebrima Jallow.
“Ebrima was indeed pardoned by President Yahya Jammeh. He was removed from his cell waiting to be released but was given the shock of his life few minutes later. Three Immigration officers informed him through a letter from Banjul that he was not pardoned. Jallow was sent back to his cell and by 7PM, Ousman Sonko came with three Senegalese to secure the release of the Senegalese prisoner st exactly 8:00 PM. Jallow was escorted out of prison by the Deputy Director of Prison.”
Dr. Janneh, Ebrima Jallow, Modou Keita and Michael Ucheh (late) were convicted and sentenced to three years in prison on counts three and four. The sentences were to run concurrently. The judgment brought to an end a seven-month trial, which started on July 18th 2011 by Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the High Court in Banjul.
In September 2012, President Yahya Jammeh pardoned Janneh along with Ebrima Jallow, Modou Keita, and Michael Ucheh (late) after the intervention of a renowned American civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson. Janneh and Tamsir Jasseh, who have Gambian and American citizenship, were expelled and quickly flown to the USA.