President Adama Barrow has ordered for the immediate withdrawal of murder charges against five police officers who were incriminated in the death of three people in Faraba Banta.
The President ordered the withdrawal on Tuesday after appeal from the community of Faraba for the discontinuance of the prosecution of the officers of the Police Intervention Unit as well as the civilians standing trial for their role(s) in the unfortunate Faraba Banta incident in June 2018, a statement from the Office of the President on Tuesday said.
Faraba Banta was the epicenter of violent clashes last year where police shot and killed three villagers. Five police officers have been standing trial over the killings.
But according a presidency statement signed by director of press and public relations Amie Bojang Sissoho, “the Community, through the Alkalo of the village, Mr. Omar Kujabi, wrote a letter to the President, accompanied by a sworn affidavit requesting, among other things, for the withdrawal of criminal charges in the matter ‘‘to promote true reconciliation’’, peace, and stability in the village.”
The statement said further: “Additionally, the community stated that they were satisfied and appreciative of the responsible leadership demonstrated and acts of compassion that His Excellency, President Adama Barrow and his government had undertaken after the incident, such as the visit by the President to the community in the immediate aftermath of the incident, the setting up of a commission of inquiry and appointment of a coroner as well as his decision to act on the recommendations of the investigative commission, among other gestures.
“Based on the foregoing, the president has accordingly accepted to respect and grant the wishes of the community, particularly families of the victims, to immediately withdraw all the charges against the PIU officers and civilian perpetrators concerned.
“By the same token, His Excellency, the President has also accepted to lift the suspension meted out on the Director of Geology Department and the Executive Director of National Environment Agency.”