If you think you have witnessed enough drama in Gambia’s out-of-this-world justice system, the Chief Superintendent (now former) at the Mile 2 Prisons, Lamin Korta’s story will boil your blood. It’s a case that epitomizes the idiocy, cruelty, and total disregard for the law you read about on a daily basis in Yaya Jammeh’s Gambia. The Jammeh regime recently claimed to have released 85 prisoners, a claim that was later debunked and has since then been established to be yet another lie and diversionary tactic by the man at the helm – most of the names on the list did not exist, some had already died in prison, and those they claim to have released were rounded up and sent back to prison due to what they claimed was a mistake in releasing those people.
Among those released was one Omar Manjang, a former Police Officer who was found guilty of murder during the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara era. When news broke that the released prisoners were being rounded up and returned back to prison, several went on the run and among them was Mr Manjang. He was able to escape to an unknown location believed to be somewhere in the sub region.
Lamin Korta’s luck ran out when it was discovered that he hails from the same village as Omar Manjang, Kartong Village in the Kombos. When the government could not catch Omar, someone they themselves released telling the whole world he was pardoned only to renege on their promise, which as we have discovered now has backfired, they grew desperate. Lamin therefore become the fall guy – he is accused of helping Omar abscond, a charge he vehemently denies. Making the matter even more interesting is that even the government is not claiming to have any evidence linking Lamin to the crime he is being accused of but rather only claiming that since Lamin is also from Kartong, he is the only one who will harbor sympathy for Omar to offer such help. If this whole notion of guilt by merely being from the same village with a suspect is incomprehensible to you, be rest assured; you are not alone. He has since been demoted to the rank of Private and detained at the Remand Wing of the Mile 2 Prisons were he used to serve.
Lamin continues to languish in prison. “Nothing New Under The Gambian Skies” indeed – another case of bizarre justice.