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The Ill-Merited Petition by Momodou Sabally

The Ill-Merited Petition by Momodou Sabally! The petition by one Momodou Sabally against the appointment of Alagie Barrow as Director of Research and Investigations in the TRRC is a malicious attempt seeking to settle personal vendetta than seeking best practices. Sabally is aggrieved by the comments attributed to Alagie in one newspaper that he would not have cared if the Tyrant Yaya Jammeh had beheaded this Momodou Sabally. 

Not only did I find the petition by Sabally weak and misleading, but it is necessary to put Alagie’s comments in context, so we are not misled by mediocrity. I would say that Mr. Barrow’s statements reflected the feeling of the majority of Gambians about Momodou Sabally. Certainly, neither Alagie nor any other Gambian would have wanted to see Sabally or any citizen beheaded by Yaya Jammeh, literally. But certainly, Gambians have no sympathy for Sabally in anyway that Yaya Jammeh treated him. This is because Momodou Sabally had, during the dictatorship, distinguished himself as one of the most unconscionable human beings who was ever ready and willing to sell his country and his soul for a mess of pottage. At a time when scores of Gambians were subjected to all forms of brutality, Sabally found no vocation other than to happily serve that Despot with all of his might and spirit just to maintain status and privilege. At the darkest hour of Mother Gambia, Sabally proudly accepted, without fear or shame to become a conduit for perpetuating disregard for law as he was illegally appointed to occupy the unconstitutionally combined positions of Secretary General and Head of Civil Service, Minister of Presidential Affairs as well as Administrator of APRC. This bizarre position was utterly against the Constitution of the Gambia and a blatant disregard of the sovereignty and dignity of Gambians. Yet Sabally cared less! Furthermore Sabally, one of Africa’s most dishonest intellectual prostitutes demonstrated a total lack of conscience and patriotism when the Despot once again used him to insult the people of the Gambia in that infamous statement he delivered against political opponents of the APRC in October 2013. That statement was one of the early seeds of bigotry sown in the public policy and institutions of the Gambia thus further entrenching tribalism, division and corruption in our society. Hence if there is anyone who has truly injured the dignity and sanctity of the Gambian Nation none can surpass Momodou Sabally. Never in the history of the Republic of the Gambia have we seen an intellectual display such blatant dishonesty and unpatriotism. Therefore, in that context, Alagie Barrow was right that he cared less if Yaya Jammeh had beheaded Sabally. That statement was to show the depth of indignity and disgust with which Gambians hold Sabally for the clear and direct harm he inflicted on Gambians. Sabally did not only aid and abet tyranny in the Gambia but he also gave it succour and vitality. He was the quintessential enabler! It was because of intellectuals like Sabally that hundreds of Gambians were summarily dismissed from their jobs or their properties and businesses illegally confiscated and destroyed, and their bodies tortured, and their lives killed or forced to flee or never to return to their motherland. If intellectuals like Sabally had stood their ground to defend their people or at least shun that despot surely dictatorship could not have flourished in this country even for one day. If only had Sabally given his unflinching allegiance to Gambians surely there would not have been D30 in the first place. Alagie Barrow gave everything to Mother Gambia while Sabally gave nothing but got everything from Mother Gambia only for him to become an intolerable liability to Mother Gambia! If anyone should be removed completely far away from the TRRC it is indeed Momodou Sabally and not Alagie Barrow! I hereby call on the Executive Secretary of the TRRC Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow to flush that Sabally petition down the toilet where it rightfully belongs. It is rather unfortunate and completely ill-thought-out that one Momodou Sabally has petitioned the TRRC asking the Executive Secretary Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow to rescind the appointment of Alagie Barrow on the basis of that Mr. Barrow is conflicted. Mr. Sabally’s main contention is that Mr. Barrow was a member of the D30 Heroes who will not be fair when he has to investigate his former adversaries in the Gambia Army. 

Conflict of interest is where a public official derives personal benefit from decisions and actions made in their official capacity. The question that we need to ask here is what is Alagie’s personal-capacity interest in his job? Is he to derive material or immaterial benefit by being the Director of Research and Investigation? What is this material or immaterial benefit? For example, as Director of Research and Investigations will Alagie obtain undue privileges such as fame, monetary or other material benefits? Does he have an interest or capacity to cover up a particular action or people? Is he going to seek revenge against some Gambian soldiers or officials for their response against D30? What is the decision-making procedure and hierarchy in the TRRC such that we may ask does Alagie hold the final decision-making position? An analysis of these issues clearly exposes that even if Alagie has revenge intentions by using his official position to cause certain officers and officials punished for December 30, it is clear that he lacks the capacity or authority to make that happen. This is because regardless of how he fabricates his investigations and reports, there is another higher quality assurance level to vet that report. More importantly those individuals against whom he might have harboured grudge would still have due process availed to them to clear their names. In seeking and exposing the truth about human rights violations TRRC will employ open sessions where testimonies will be heard publicly unless if a victim or the circumstances require the testimony to be in camera. In that regard a staff of the Commission cannot influence that truth unless if the Commissioners allow it. I want to believe that both the Executive Secretary and the Commissioners are men and women of integrity who will not allow a staff member to manipulate the Commission. How therefore could Alagie interfere with the truth? One can look at the issue from another perspective, that is, has Alagie himself committed any atrocity in the course of the D30 operations such that he could use his position to cover up his own trail. The available fact is that Alagie did not take part in the actual fighting hence he cannot be said to have committed any human rights violations such as torture or killing a human being. But even if he were to physically take part in that fight, it is left to his victims to tell their story before the Commission for which Alagie cannot stop that because he does not decide which victims should come before the Commission or not. Still one can argue that Alagie could seek to cover up the violations committed by his comrades. It is clear that Alagie was not a victim in the case of D30 but a protagonist. For that argument too, the fact remains that Alagie cannot still stop the exposure of the violations of his comrades because he will not be the one to speak for them. Their victims, i.e. the concerned State Guards soldiers would rather speak for themselves and their experience and Alagie cannot prevent that from happening or fabricate any investigation into that matter. Hence at the superficial level there might look like a conflict of interest in this appointment, but anyone familiar with the legal or technical meaning of conflict of interest would realise that Alagie’s official capacity cannot be manipulated to serve his private benefit. For that to happen it would take the full connivance of the TRRC Executive Secretary and the Commissioners. Certainly, that is a far-fetched possibility, if ever at all! Thirdly, conflict of interest rules allows an individual to either declare upfront issues of conflict or simply remove oneself from that particular issue or task just to allow credibility and integrity to prevail. It is therefore misleading for Momodou Sabally to apply the superficial meaning of conflict of interest in order to fight a personal battle with Alagie. Yes, Sabally is displeased with Alagie’s disparaging comment about him but Sabally cannot therefore take cover behind that to impugn his adversary and the TRRC. If he does that then Sabally’s petition in itself exposes his conflicted position as he is seeking to fight a personal battle through the right to petition. Hence his petition is not in good faith. In that regard I hereby demand the Executive Secretary of the TRRC Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow to flush that Momodou Sabally petition down the toilet where it rightfully belongs. For the Gambia Our Homeland! 

Editor’s note: 

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