By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
Human rights activist and political commentator Pa-Samba Jow has frowned at the Gambia government’s decision to reject the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation (TRRC) recommendation to impose a ten-year ban on the current Director-General of the State Intelligence Service, Ousman Sowe, describing it as ‘disconcerting’, adding that no serious country will have Sowe as its director of the intelligence agency.
DG Sowe was alleged to have tampered with the TRRC evidence at the NIA in May 2017. The TRRC recommended that the government ban Sowe from holding any public office for a minimum of ten years.
The government, however, rejected the recommendation pointing out that the said interference happened outside the commission’s mandate which starts from July 1994 to January 2017.
Reacting to the decision Pa Samba argued that the government’s decision to rely on technicalities in the recommendation is disconcerting.
“Even if one were to accept the technicalities, common sense would dictate that Mr Sowe’s actions as alleged by TRRC makes his position as DG of NIA untenable. No serious country will have someone like Mr Sowe lead its national intelligence agency, especially given the serious allegations against him,” he told the Fatu Network.
Pa Samba added that the actions of DG Sowe have already put his office into disrepute. He further argued that DG Sowe is too compromised to oversee an impartial investigation of crimes committed under Jammeh and all that took place at NIA.
On the issue of Dr Tamsir Mboob, Pa Samba explained that it is only in Africa that Dr Mboob will be allowed to practice medicine after his involvement in the former president’s phoney HIV treatments programme where lives were lost. He said he supports the decision of the government to accept the recommendation to TRRC to revoke his medical license.
Pa Samba also praised the government for accepting over 90% of the recommendations despite President Barrow’s recent relationship with former Jammeh enablers.
“To be honest, I am surprised that the government of Adama Barrow accepted almost all the TRRC recommendations, given his hobnobbing with the APRC. I am however elated beyond belief that finally, justice for the victims is on the horizon,” he told the Fatu Network.