Monday, 4 March 2019

Why Is The SIS DG Sow Exonerated, Is He Above The TRRC Act, 2017?

Following the official launch of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) by President Barrow, on Monday, 15th October 2018, to unearth the alleged summary executions, disappearances, torture, rape and other crimes that purportedly happened during the Jammeh’s era, a lot of compelling revelations that are heavily linked to Jammeh and especially his fellow Junta colleagues were brought to light. They were either disclosed by persons who voluntarily headed to the TRRC or at places visited by the commission, such as the headquarters of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), the onetime infamous intelligence institution which was blamed for human rights’ violations.

Upon the commission visit to the SIS, it was very certain to every QTV viewer that members of the commission could not hide their dismay at the way and manner in which the management their managed to allegedly tamper with the evidence of torture by renovating the places that hosted these incidents.

The last time I checked, Section 13(a) of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, 2017 has it that the objective of the commission is to create an impartial historical record of violation and abuses of human right from July 1994 to January 2017.

Besides, Section 36 (1) of TRRC, Act 2017, reads. A person who – (a) threatens or interferes with an informant or witness or (b) willfully obstructs or otherwise interferes with work of the Commission in the discharge of its function. Commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million dalasis or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both a fine and imprisonment.

However, the TRRC was so quick to act on the case of ‘‘An ex-soldier and one of the ring leaders of the 1994 coup d’├ętat Yankuba Touray, who was arrested over the weekend and still in police custody for an attempt to tamper with justice. Meanwhile, police are searching for the former speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay (FJC), who is currently out of jurisdiction for the same offence’’.

Readers could recall that; on a similar note as reported by the Foroyaa Newspaper on its February 19, 2019, publication. That, ‘‘Counsel Faal on behalf of the Commission, requested that the NIA should Endeavour not to tamper with the pieces of evidence found within, and emphasized that all structures within the NIA that are not rehabilitated, should be left as they are; that the Commission should be provided with answers to the evidence and their whereabouts, of those that have been already rehabilitated’’.

“Any structures that have been restructured by the SIS (NIA), you should be in a position to tell us what had actually happened. You have to tell the Commission how they were and what happened to them,” the Lead Counsel Faal told DG Sowe. (Foroyaa, 2019).

Furthermore, Section 202 (1) empowers a Commission of Inquiry to:

“(a) Make a full and impartial investigation into the matter in respect of which the Commission is established; and

(b) Furnish in writing a report on the results of the inquiry, including a statement of the reasons leading to the conclusions of the Commission.”

Additionally, Section 203 highlighted that “On receipt of the report of a Commission of Inquiry;

(a) The President shall within six months publish the report and his or her comments on the report, together with a statement of any action taken, or the reason for not taking action.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist

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