Opinion: Edward Singhateh and his missed opportunity
When news got out that Edu was sighted in town for a possible appearance at the TRRC, the whole country was drowning in euphoria.
This elation was borne out of our collective expectation of finally closing that chapter on not the WHO or HOW questions surrounding Koro’s death but instead more poignantly of WHY Koro Ceeaay was murdered and the motives for his brutal assassination insofar the man overwhelmingly identified as his killer was on the “hot seat”. This was suppose to be a moment of great hope especially for the family of Koro Ceeaay in getting that final closure.
But again Edu denied them that right. Bloods had been shed, lives lost but by God, how Edu deliberately took us on a wild goose chase laced with his tasteless macabre jokes. You see, we would have found them funny if the TRRC was a morbid soap opera, sadly it isn’t, and should not be treated as such by any witness. At times I'd be enraged by the horrifically unprincipled misrepresentation by Edu, but get calmed by Faal’s well understood and accepted absence of any credibility in the witness before him. Some of us who knew Edu were listening to him from the onset with some degree of suspicion as he craftily took us through his not so carefully choreograph testimony, desperately seeking popular validation and approval of his lies , afraid to be caught out in them hence occasional playing “ victim” of Lead Counsel Faal’s no nonsense truth extraction.
Sadly, true to our Gambian character, the plainly emotional and ignorant amongst us were pandering to his use of the Queen’s English and in complete disregard of the facts presented to us, but instead, making this a point scoring match between Lead Counsel Faal and Edu as if Mr Faal is also standing accuse of crimes against ordinary Gambians. Pathetic! The answer to who killed Koro was a given that’s known to us a long time ago, which is no other than Edu and Co. Thus what we were expecting from Edu was for him to come and be man enough to say why they did it and seek forgiveness from the Ceeaay family in particular but all Gambians in general.
Did I hear anyone say how dare I prematurely accuse Edu of being the killer? My answer is simple. It’s the objective statement of fact. There was evidences, there was proofs and all we expected from Edward was the truth. A man stands charged with biting the finger of another man during a fight. A witness for the prosecution takes the stand, and the defence lawyer asks: "Did you see my client bite off that man's finger?" "No," says the witness. "Aha," probes the smug lawyer, "How then could you be sure he did it?" Well, I did see him spit it out." Did I see Edward Singhateh killing Koro? No I did not, but one thing is for sure, we all damned well heard it from the people who were with Edu on that fateful night. It’s ironic how easily he remembered the insignificant and inconsequential events in his life some forty odd years ago-scaling the fence of Lawyer Darboe to steal food- but conveniently forgets the one “where were you” moment he was confronted with.
We all remember exactly where we were on that fateful day of July 22nd, November 11th, April 10th & 11th, the day Deyda Hydara was gun down, the day Yahya Jammeh was booted out, the day Sir Dawda died, and for most not so young Gambians the death of Koro Ceesay was one of those “ where were you” moments too. And for Edu to claim that his driver, his orderly, as well as other witnesses therein present has mistaken the day they dropped him or saw him at Yankuba’s house is just the final stab in the back for the Ceesay family. He wants us to believe that everyone bar Edu suffers from collective amnesia. He ridicule his aides, who truthfully reveal his intrigues and thuggery and went as low as making Alagie Kanyi a scapegoat to save his own head from greater scrutiny and responsibility. What a coward! Why should anyone now even believe Edward’s claim of forcing Jammeh into a car on July 22nd? Here is a man who based his whole testimony around his personality or of others who testified against him with claims such as “ask people who know me” yes people may know Edward the noun but how about Edward the function as a verb, That’s the elusive character. It’s about what one does, not merely what one is.
You see, think about this for a moment, who is the sadist here, Alagie Kanyi who Edu claim “betrayed” his friends and went on a rampage or Edu torturing people he referred to as “uncle” MC who gave his family shelter during their struggles and as if that isn’t sadistic enough also have the son of -Sanna- someone he nearly tortured to death to stay over at his house during holidays and pretends all is ok. Who is the sadist? Edward is such a malevolent force with the heart of Jack the Ripper, cold as ice. Effectively disclaiming individual responsibility for all things and he expect us to believe him? Really? In fact there is very little remorse shown if any and absolutely no ownership of individual transgressions. However his general ability to abuse the TRRC’s goodwill in bad faith was the most disturbing part for me.
Let us all take a moment today to question how history will look back on this chapter of Edward’s testimony. Do we believe or are we sincerely convince that after hearing this man’s testimony given the flimsy arguments he presented, that we can definitely now say he has nothing to do with Koro’s death? Or better still, will Koro’s family now be doubting whether Edu did play any role in their loved ones death. The answer is, absolutely not! If anything his testimony only brought the truth into focus and this period of his lies and complicity will be studied by generations to come. Alas all was not lost on the final day of his testimony. The day also represents courage in the face of tyranny. As he slumber in his seat seemingly exhausted by a witness who has no desire to confess, but has got all the energy to go into trivial nonsenses like “ it wasn’t raining heavily”, “not on that day” “not stupid enough to be drop at a crime scene etc.
Even if this spurious claim were true, they are not a con sequitur. Understandably, lead counsel Faal has disgust written all over his face towards a witness who chose to play smart rather than be truthful, a cue picked up by Imam Sey when he bravely told Edward Singhateh “all lead counsel was expecting from you when you come here was the truth and that seems to be lacking and not forthcoming” finally the person who spoke for the whole nation was commissioner Amie Samba when she sombrely look at Edward and said “ all the killings that took place during Jammeh’s rule are all now solved bar that of Koro’s. The perpetrators has confessed to their crimes but in the case of Koro everyone is running away from taking responsibility and no one confesses to his murder and that surprises me a lot.
How would Koro’s family find closure not knowing for certain who killed their relative. There is a Mandinka adage that says “Kuu tang fan-na batatijeh” loosely translate as there is no difficulty in empathising. She went further to address Edward telling him “your coming here created an exuberant vitality for finding out the mystery into Koro’s death and we thought that after over fifty witnesses has incriminated you which you denied all and refuse to accept any individual responsibility for those incidents. The whole county was banking on the believe that if you appear before the TRRC you will do the decent thing and shed light on the truth as our slogan say, only the truth shall set you free. Just like Sanna Sabally we were all expecting you to just say the truth. When we were expecting you to fly high, instead you decided to sail low in a canoe.” She concluded.
At this moment I felt numb as I prayed for Koro’s family. I said to myself this is your moment Edu. The opportune moment to confess and concede to a woman, a mother, and a sister and if you so wished, save your face from the delusional scorecard keeping you thought you was having with the lead counsel. What did he do instead? He again missed this opportunity for atonement by defending his indefensible character.
May the Good Lord have mercy on Edward’s soul.
Sutay Kuta Sanneh
Editors note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Gunjur Online. Got an opinion article? send it to us at GunjurNewsOnline@gmail.com