The Late Gibriel Ceesay

The family of a young man allegedly murdered by a Senegalese national in the coastal town of Sanyang are seeking answers from the authorities as to the fate of the suspect who is standing trial for murder in Banjul.

Gibriel Ceesay whose killing sparked unrest in Sanyang in March after angry youths went on the rampage burning tires and attacked a fishmeal company, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of several youths from the coastal community.

Now the family is seeking answers after reports emerged that the suspect, a Senegalese national accused of Mr. Ceesay’s death has not appeared in court since his first arraignment several months ago raising fears over  suspected ‘foul play’ amid delays in the case.

In an Interview with Alkamba Times, the mother of the deceased expressed shocked and dismay in how the state is treating her son’s case.

“I want justice for my son. To me it seems government values the Senegalese man’s life more than my son, a tearful Amie Jarra told the Alkamba Times.

On March 15, 2021, the community of Sanyang woke up to news alleging that a Senegalese national, Gana Sey who works as a fisherman in the coastal town killed Mr. Ceesay. A police station and Nassim fishmeal factory were subsequently vandalized and burnt down by angry youths in retaliation of Ceesay’s death.

The helpless  mother is now demanding swift justice for her son.

“Government has not done anything for us since the brutal killing of my son,” she said with tears rolling down on her face. 

Another local journalist and community youth leader, Yusupha jobe also raised eyebrows in the way and manner the case of Gabriel Ceesay is being treated by the state.
Community and legal sources also confirmed that since Sey’s first court appearance six months ago he has not reappeared before a judge raising further doubts about the states willingness to prosecute the matter.

The unfortunate scenes of reaction Ceesay death saw many Senegalese nationals living in Sanyang fleeing for their lives leaving behind boats and materials unprotected for fear of retaliation from the youths of Sanyang.

The Gambia Police, in a statement released a week after the incident said investigations into the violent protest in Sanyang led to the arrests of 50 individuals, who are currently helping Police in their investigations”.

The police further said Twenty-Two individuals among the arrested individuals have been charged with offences under the criminal code including Arson, Rioting demolishing buildings, Rioters damaging buildings, Unlawful assembly and Conspiracy to commit a felony.

When Sey first appeared before a lower court in the administrative capital of West Coast Region, Brikama, he was charged with murdering Ceesay but denied any wrongdoing.

Magistrate Sainey Joof who presided over the case consequently transferred the matter to the superior court in Banjul indicating the courts lack of jurisdiction to try such capital offenses.

Then rumors spread like wildfire in Sanyang and elsewhere that the suspect has left the jurisdiction, a claim Alkamba Times cannot independently verify during the publishing of this story.

“We don’t have confidence that the murder suspect Gibril will be arraigned before the courts. For months his whereabouts have been unknown. We have lost hope in seeking swift justice for our brother. We even heard that the suspect is not in the country or prison,” a community youth activist Yusupha revealed.

“We are confused right now because we don’t know anything about the case. This is a murder case, not a simple matter, he added.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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