Thank you, Mr. President – but please stop Yankuba Badjie!
M r. President, first of all it is wonderful to create SIS and bury the NIA. Secondly, it is even more wonderful that the SIS will not have power to arrest or detain anyone. Arrest, as you stated earlier, is a matter for the police only – not the Security Service (SIS) nor the Army (I once had a soldier arrested by his Commander at Fajara Barracks when the soldier tried to arrest the Daily Observer’s Sports writer!). Now these powers of the State and the rights and responsibilities of citizens need to be codified in law – in due course. Citizens have responsibilities too – a UK citizen just went to jail for manslaughter because he saw someone drown and waited for some 3 hours to call the police. He was not responsible for the drowning, just failed to call for help for 3 hours. So citizens have responsibilities. Which brings us Mr. President (and fellow Gambians) to the reported plans by the NIA’s Yankuba Badgie to run away from the jurisdiction of The Gambia.
Mr. President, Gambians, Yankuba Badjie is the one man with all the information about the tortures under Yahya Jammeh in recent years. He was in-charge of the NIA when Solo Sandeng was arrested, tortured and murdered by the NIA. When all the UDP women were tortured by the NIA. The proposed Truth Commission will require Yankuba Badjie’s testimony. Any future prosecution will require Yankuba Badjie’s testimony. So Mr. President, Gambians, please stop Yankuba Badjie from fleeing.
Clearly, we cannot just dump Yankuba Badjie in the NIA torturer chambers, nor dump him in Mile 2, nor put him in some secret prison – as his NIA and Yahya Jammeh did with so many Gambians. But what we can lawfully do is a) arrest him b) take him to court the same day and charge him with unlawful arrests and disappearances c) bail him to his home the same day – minus is passport and any other travel documents. He does not need to spend even one night in a cell.
If he then does leave the jurisdiction of The Gambia, we can issue an Interpol Red Notice for his arrest and return to The Gambia. If is foolish enough to run, he would have to hide for the rest of his life.
By the way, Mr. President, we could issue an Interpol Arrest Warrant for Yankuba Badgie’s former boss, Ousman Sonko, who is now under arrest in Switzerland. These two have a lot to tell the Truth Commission.