It has been exactly two years after Gambian president ordered the illegal executions of nine death row inmates. The widely condemned executions were carried out in secret. It all started when President Yahya Jammeh vowed to “drink alcohol and eat pork if he did not carry out the executions as planned.”
The Gambia government carried out the secret executions on August 23rd. But it took the government four days before it confirmed the executions. The confirmation followed widespread international pressure, especially by the Senegalese president Macky Sall.
In a press statement issued by the Interior Ministry, the Gambia government on August 27th, 2012, confirmed the execution of nine death row inmates on Sunday August 26th, 2012, following their conviction and pronouncements of death sentences by the Gambian courts of competent jurisdiction and further to the exhaustion of their appeals.
The government released the names of the executed inmates as follows: Dawda Bojang, Malang Sonko, Ex-Lieutenant Lamin Jarjou, Ex Lt. Alieu Bah, Ex Sgt. Lamin F Jammeh, Tabara Samba, Bubacarr Yarbo, Lamin BS Darboe and Gebe Bah were executed by firing squad.
The rule of law as regards the peace and stability and the protection of lives, property and liberty the release went on, will not be compromised for whatever reason and that all sentences as prescribed by law will be carried out to the letter including the death penalty.
Following the convictions and pronouncements of death sentences by the Gambian Courts of competent jurisdiction and further to the exhaustion of their appeals, the Ministry of Interior wishes to inform the general public that the following convicts were executed by firing squad on Sunday 26th August, 2012:
1. Dawda Bojang: Charged with offence of the brutal and gruesome murder of Ronald Stanley Ford a British National contrary to section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap.10 Vol. III of the Laws of The Gambia 1990. He was convicted by the Kanifing Magistrates Court on 29th August 2007 and sentenced to life. He appealed the life sentence which was dismissed and substituted to death, pursuant to Section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap. 10, Vol. III of the Laws of the Gambia 1990 on 30th July, 2010.
2. Malang Sonko: Charged with the offence of the murder of one Buba Jawara by hitting him with a wooden stick on his neck thereby causing his death. Contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap. 10, Vol. III Laws of The Gambia. He was convicted by the Brikama Magistrates Court and sentenced to death on January 30th, 2012. No appeal was filed by the convict.
3. Ex Lieutenant Lamin Jarjou
4. Ex Sgt. Alias Ex. Lt. Alieu Bah
- Ex Sgt. Lamin F. Jammeh
The trio were charged with two counts of treason, two counts of murder of Lance Corporal Kebba Drammeh and Private Bakary Ceesay, 4 counts of unlawful wounding with intent to do grievous harm, two counts of robbery and two counts of abduction contrary to Section 35, 187, 212, 273 and 236 respectively of the Criminal Code, Cap. 10, Vol. III of the laws of The Gambia 1990. They were convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court of the Gambia with three Judges sitting on the 27th of October, 1998. Their appeals were dismissed and there were no further appeal.
6. Tabara Samba: Charged with the offence of the murder of Ebrima Nyang her husband on account of marrying a second wife poured hot cooking oil on him at Jeshwang thereby causing his death, contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap. 10, Vol. III of the laws of The Gambia 1990. She was convicted on the 26th of September, 2007 and sentenced to death. She appealed to the high Court of The Gambia which appeal was dismissed.
7. Buba Yarboe: Charged for the gruesome and brutal murder of her biological mother Jainaba Jarjou at Busumbala by hitting her on the head with an iron rod thereby causing her death contrary to section 187 of the criminal code, cap 10, Vol. III laws of The Gambia, 1990. He was convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court on November, 3rd, 2010. He did not appeal against his sentence and conviction.
8. Lamin B.S Darboe: He was charged with the offence of the brutal murder of Muhammed Ould Faal, a Mauritanian National, by hitting him with a blunt object on the head on the 2nd April 1985 at Sinchu Alagie in Kombo North, contrary to section 187 of the criminal code cap. 10, Vol. III of the laws of The Gambia 1990. Pursuant to Section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap. 10, Vol. III, he was convicted and sentenced to death on the 3rd December, 1986. He appealed against conviction and sentenced on 13th day of June 1988 and the said appeal was dismissed.
9. Gebe Bah: He was charged for the murder of one Njuga Samba by causing him a deep stab wound on the left ear side of the head on the 18th December 1997 at Mariama Kunda Village in the Kombo North District, West Coast Region. Judgment was delivered on the 30th day of January 2004 in which the accused was sentenced to death. He appealed the conviction which was dismissed.
The general public is hereby warned that the rule of law as regards the peace and stability and the protection of lives, property and liberty will not be compromised for whatever reason. That all acts of violence, criminal activities and indiscipline resulting to murder, treason, arson, trafficking in drugs and humans and the likes of such offences attracting death sentences shall not be tolerated. Therefore, all sentences as prescribed by law will be carried out to the letter including the death penalty.
The general public is further called to respect the fundamental human right of all citizens and residents in the republic of The Gambia. The Republic of the Gambia is a sovereign state which, like other sovereign states currently implementing the death penalty, has the right to implement its domestic laws as stipulated in her constitution.
Meanwhile, the aftermath of the August 2013 executions were marred by protest and counter-protests. It also put the government on the defensive, with its officials putting their energy to convince the public that the secret act was in line with the constitution. It also re-energized Gambian dissidents to protest against the act in major cities across the world.
Despite hues and cries, the Gambia government is yet to give back the bodies of the executed death row inmates to their families. As a result, many people were convinced the bodies might have been used by a cult-believing President.