Barrow’s Faraba Banta Volte-Face Prompts Pushback

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By Lamin Njie

Gambians have taken to social media to react to a decision by President Adama Barrow to scrap a murder case involving five police officers.

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President Barrow announced Tuesday that he has ordered for the immediate withdrawal of murder charges against five police officers who were incriminated in the death of three people in Faraba Banta.

The president said the ukase was because of an appeal from the community of Faraba “for the discontinuance of the prosecution of the officers of the Police Intervention Unit as well as the civilians standing trial for their role(s) in the unfortunate Faraba Banta incident in June 2018.”

The country director of Westminster Foundation Madi Jobarteh in a Facebook post said the president “has no authority to discontinue any court case in anyway.”

“The power to discontinue a criminal case lies with the Director of Public Prosecution under Section 85 of the Constitution. Hence if the president did enter to stop the trial of PIU officers on the recommendations of the Faraba Commission then his decision constitutes a violation of the Constitution,” Jobarteh said.

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Sidi Sanneh commented on Facebook: “It is called obstruction of Justice. This decision must be challenged in court. Ba Tambadou must resign over this.”

Sulayman Ceesay said: “Can he actually do that? I thought this was a law enforcement matter and what the hell is he doing interfering with the judiciary. Somebody has to pay for those loss of lives, it is either the foot soldiers or their bosses who issued them ammunition.

“Anyway let barrow does what he wants but his future commission for him is already all set up nicely to commence the moment he steps down, he will be among the first order of business of any new government.

“Does he think we are going to let law enforcement get away Scot free after spilling the blood of so many innocent gambians? Well, he can think again, somebody will be paying a price as we will not allow reasons or events that bring forth the birth of the TRRC now to ever happen again in Gambia.”

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Daniel Jabbi, on his part, said: “Clueless president… He might as well welcome evil Jammeh back and killer jugulars…”

Humbleman Bahpullo said: “No nobody is above the Law, this mean he is empowering other Police Officers to short innocent Civilians.”

Ousman B Jallow commented: “This is bad. Those officers should face the full force of the law. The innocent killed civilians deserve justice.”

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