Abubakar Tambadou, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has welcomed the withdrawal of his brother Sheriff Tambadou from the prosecution team at a press briefing held at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Banjul.
“I welcome the decision of my brother (Sheriff) to withdraw from the prosecution team in the NIA 9 Case. I believed it is the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Justice Minister Abubakr Tambadou said.
Minister Tambadou went further to say his brother’s withdrawal would hopefully allow the prosecution team to focus on the more important task of establishing criminal accountability for the unfortunate death of Solo Sandeng. He asserted that the selection of Sheriff as co prosecutor was the exclusive decision of the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Antouman Gaye.
“As Attorney General, I have strictly limited all my communications on the case,” he asserted.
The Justice Minister commended the appointment of Antouman Gaye as the Prosecutor General in managing the case and selecting the prosecution team of his choice. He said he was made aware of the defense proposal to commence negotiation towards a plea bargain. He added that he gave his approval in principle to proceed.
Notwithstanding, he said he has come to the conclusion in view of the entire circumstances of the meeting between Sheriff and a representative of the first accused person (Yankuba Badjie) and having listened to the audio recording that the said meeting could reasonably interpret that his decisions as Attorney General could be influence by extraneous factors.
“I wish to state for the record that all the decisions I have taken since my appointment as Attorney General and Minister of Justice have been base purely on professionalism and the best interest of the nation without any undue influence from anyone including family members,” Minister Tambadou interjected.
The Justice Minister further said his personal commitment to ensure justice for all the victims of human rights violations and abuses for the past 22 years is much only with the zeal and enthusiasm which he has to embrace the call to come home to serve his country.
“I have demonstrated my commitment to justice in the Solo Sandeng case in particular by appointing a senior and very experience criminal law attorney as the Special Prosecutor in the person of Antouman Gaye and I continue to give him all the necessary support necessary to conduct his prosecution,” he stated.
Minister Tambadou reiterated his confidence in the ability of the Special Prosecutor to diligently and professionally prosecute this case as the case for the prosecution is strong. He said he has set the goal to restore public confidence in the justice system and setting high standard of integrity in public office. He further stressed his commitment to this objectives.
“These are difficult time for my family and I thank all those who tried to reach out to show support,” he said.
Responding to questions, the Attorney General was asked about his proposed resignation that was reportedly rejected by President Barrow but he referred the journalist to the office of the President. He was also questioned whether he really told his brother that he does not want to prosecute the NIA 9 case as stated in the audio recording of his brother and representative of the first accused, Yankuba Badjie. He refused to comment but relate to his brother’s press statement.
Meanwhile, the Justice Minister has disclosed that the prosecution team were contracted for D5 Million instead of D51 Million as reported on social media.