“After extensive research on how Yankuba Touray’s story from 2019 until today unfolded, I decided to write this article about the biases and injustices that ensued throughout the fight for his freedom. We will start with the TRRC events, why he got illegally arrested and held in contempt and when those charges were dismissed, how the justice system decided to charge him with murder without any evidence except for the word of a person who lied multiple times about the events leading to Koro Ceesay’s death. We will be dissecting the events surrounding these issues to make a fair judgment and not assume ill intent on an innocent person due to how the former President of the Gambia ran his presidency.
First, the June 26th, 2019, TRRC event painted and portrayed Yankuba Touray as rude and disrespectful, but no one ever asked why he reacted the way he did during that event. Before going in Infront of the TRRC, Yankuba had multiple negotiations with the TRRC. He told TRRC that he wouldn’t mind testifying but, he does not want to be on camera and live TV. The TRRC agreed to this negotiation and told him to come by and deliver his testimony and statement. When Yankuba got there, he saw the cameras and the place full of people waiting. He realized that it was a setup and that the TRRC went back on its agreement. At this point, he was upset, and you could hear him say on live TV that “this is an ambush”. But no one ever took a second to ask why he said that. He decided to go to the private office where he would have given his testimony peacefully, but TRRC would not because they wanted to display that they had some type of power. Even though the TRRC was not a court of law and had no judicial rights, they tried to use the law to take advantage of Yankuba by forcing him to make a statement. He did not have to make a statement or deliver a testimony if he did not want to and when did, nothing should have happened but that was not the case.
To show that they are still in power and had the upper hand, the TRRC decided to paint the narrative that Yankuba Touray was uncooperative and rude even though they tricked and lied to him. They illegally got him arrested even though the TRRC had no type of judicial power to do that. He was held in contempt, but this case was dismissed due to not having any basis and because the TRRC is not a court of law. TRRC knew that if Yankuba was let to walk free, their credibility on upholding their committee or requesting people come in to testify would be worthless and their TRRC council would be rendered useless and probably dissolved. Because they wanted to hold on to this power, they decided to charge him with the murder of Koro Ceesay with no evidence whatsoever that he was involved. They used the word of the most deceptive and untrustworthy person, Alhagie Kanyi who has had different testimonies surrounding the death of Koro Ceesay to charge Yankuba with the murder. Kanyi’s first testimony was that Yankuba was not involved in this unfortunate event and was not even there. The second testimony was that Yankuba was there but when they started hitting Koro Ceesay, he ran away. And the third story was that they all hit Koro Ceesay to death including Yankuba Touray. The Prosecutors used the third story to charge him but what happened to all the other statements? Can you trust the word of this person or the prosecutors?
The second injustice and bias that happened to Yankuba were during the murder trial. First of all, how was Justice Jaiteh the judge of this trial? He should have never been judging due to his biases and should have stepped down due to conflict and his inability to fairly make a judgment. First, he was detained by the former president for days and after that, he openly voiced his hatred for the APRC regime on all his social media accounts. He should have never been the judge and this case should have been dismissed due to unfairly judging the accused. Secondly, their main “accomplice witness” Alhagie Kanyi, who confessed to the murder, was never arrested, charged, or a plea bargain entered and documented that if he helped during the trial, he would receive a lesser sentence, charge, or get immunity. This is against the law! How can we trust the word of someone who is wandering for free with no repercussions or consequences for his actions? He could have said whatever he thought we wanted to hear during the trial, or he could have been coerced by the prosecutor to say what they wanted him to. This won’t be the first time he lied multiple times. Due to this, the murder trial should have been dismissed. Thirdly, the Kanyi’s story of what happened the night of Koro Ceesay’s death was never corroborated by any of the witnesses called to the stand by the prosecutors. And if there is no corroboration, it is the law that the murder trial should have also been dismissed.
Finally, the injustices and bias during the appeal. The initial panel consisted of Na Ceesay Wadda, Haddy Ross, and Basirou Mahoney. During the final day of the appeal, Yankuba Touray and his lawyer, Ablie Sissoho, found out at the courthouse that the court deliberately replaced Haddy Ross with Kumba Sillah without their knowledge. Kumba Sillah and her family are alleged victims of the APRC regime who were detained and tortured by the former president. How would she be able to be impartial and give a fair judgment after her experiences? She should not have been part of the panel at all. The injustices that were mentioned took place during the murder trial and were brought up during the appeal process by Lawyer Sissoho. The panel dismissed the reasoning that Kanyi’s testimony has a high probability of being an utter lie and said that the story of the accomplice witness was corroborated by the witnesses, which is not true. None of the witnesses called by the prosecutor corroborated Kanyi’s story. They said they can use the accomplice witness’s story even though he was never charged or arrested and could have been coerced by the prosecution and again, this is against the law. Due to this, the case was denied instead of approved.
This article was written so that we can understand the facts and make a logical and reasonable decision about how these events led to the wrongful sentencing of Yankuba Touray. The narrative that he deserves this because he was rude or because he was not cooperative is the most outrageous thing to say or believe. Multiple reasonable doubts in every inch of this trial warrant a case dismissal. From no evidence to support this charge, to using an accomplice witness who was never arrested or charged and that has a high probability of lying, to using an accomplice witness’ uncorroborated story, to the bias and impartiality of the judges who handled this case. We as Gambians should be asking the questions why, how, and what before taking something at face value. The public briefs of the trials are out there for everyone to read to decide if Yankuba Touray’s sentencing was beyond a reasonable doubt.
We should also remember that during the APRC regime, Yankuba Touray is the only person who defied and disagreed with some of the initiatives that the former president had. He was detained, demoted, and fired numerous times due to having our Country’s best interest at heart and not putting his interests as a priority. He is also one of the few people who stayed in the Gambia after the APRC party lost the election and this is because he is dedicated to the Gambia and will never sabotage it. All his life work revolves around making Gambia a better country than it was yesterday.
Hopefully, this article reaches the supreme court before his next appeal so that they can do their due diligence to make sure that the injustices that surrounded Yankuba Touray can be rectified. His sentencing should be reverted, and he should be released! He is the victim and being used as a scapegoat in a politically charged environment.”
From a concerned citizen