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.