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Germany charges former Gambian President Jammeh’s hitman with crimes against humanity

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The German authorities have charged a member of Gambia’s former leader Yahya Jammeh’s “hit squad” the junglers, Bai Lowe with crimes against humanity.

The former member of the army unit was charged for being part of the squad that carried out assassination on behalf of former Gambian leader.

Lowe – an ex-military – was arrested on March 16, 2021 on the basis of an arrest warrant from the investigating judge at the Federal Court of Justice and has been in custody since then.

Pp federal prosecutor announced that the country has filed charges against Lowe on suspicion of crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder.

Lowe is alleged to have been involved in three “liquidation orders” and driving other Junglers to attack sites.

Among those targeted were the prominent newspaper editor, Deyda Hydara, a critic of the Jammeh government who was murdered in 2004, an alleged opponent, Dawda Nyassi, who was killed in 2006, and a lawyer, Ousman Sillah, who survived a murder attempt a year earlier. Lowe himself described his participation in these events in 2013 and 2014 radio interviews.

According to the indictment, between December 2003 and December 2006, Bai Lowe was a driver of the so-called “Patrol Team” of the Gambian Armed Forces (also known as “Junglers”).

The German prosecutors also accused Lowe, who was living in the city of Hannover, of having notably driven his accomplices to various crime scenes between December 2003 and December 2006.

“This unit was used by the Gambian president at the time, among other things, to carry out illegal killing orders. The aim was to intimidate the Gambian population and suppress the opposition. Against this background, the accused was involved in a total of three such liquidation orders,” German federal prosecutor said.

The prosecutor added: “At the end of December 2003, the accused’s unit was ordered to kill a lawyer in Banjul, the capital of Gambia. In his capacity as driver, the accused transported the other members to the scene of the attack. There, a member of the unit fired several shots at the lawyer who survived the act with serious injuries. A year later, the Patrol Team killed a Gambian journalist critical of the government. To this end, the unit, with the participation of Bai Lowe, stopped the journalist’s car on a street in the town of Kanifing. Two members of the unit then killed him with multiple shots, with Bai Lowe transporting one of the shooters in his vehicle.”

The prosecutor argued that in the aftermath, probably in 2006, members of the unit shot dead a suspected opponent of Jammeh near Banjul Airport.

According to Philip Grant, Executive Director of TRIAL International, who has provided evidence to the German authorities about this case, “the charges will lead to the opening of the first trial based on universal jurisdiction to judge the atrocities committed under Jammeh’s regime, and it would allow to shed light on the paramilitary unit of the Junglers and their ties to the former president, further preparing the ground for his prosecution.”

“The long arm of the law is catching up with Yahya Jammeh and his accomplices around the world,” said Reed Brody, a Commissioner with the International Commission of Jurists who works with Jammeh’s victims. Jammeh’s henchmen have been arrested in Germany, Switzerland and the United States, and the Gambian truth commission has called for the prosecution of his accomplices in The Gambia, and of Jammeh himself, now in Equatorial Guinea.”

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Nigeria won’t bleed to death under my watch— Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu has once again assured that Nigeria won’t “bleed to death” under his watch as he will do everything to make sure the country comes out of its present economic crisis.

Tinubu, who gave the assurance when he received a delegation of the Yoruba Leaders of Thought at the State House in Abuja on Friday, emphasised that governance must be transformative and must address the critical needs of citizens.

The Nigerian President also emphasised the need for a more effective local government system that promotes community development and delivers essential governance within a robust federal framework, warning that the local government administration was must not be suffocated so that effective governance can be felt at the grassroots.

Tinubu admitted that the past 12 months had been fulfilling for his administration despite the presence of some challenges that were being addressed frontally.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the President noted said;

“Yes, it has been challenging; it has been fulfilling as well. We took over, and we stopped the bleeding.

“I can say categorically now that Nigeria is no longer bleeding. And it will not bleed to death, but rather will now move to prosperity.

“That is the promise that I made to you all, and it is also the charge that you gave to me.

“We are managing to swim through the pond. The current is not a good one. We will turn the tide. We are turning the bend. This I assure you. I am being very careful. The worst is over for Nigeria. We will prevail.

“I thank the team that has been working hard. All I can promise is that we will do whatever it takes. We are determined, and we will work so that all Nigerians can feel the impact of good governance.

“My administration would ensure Nigeria gets value for every kobo spent. My government will leave a lasting legacy of prosperity to future generations,” he emphasized.

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Chief Mnukwa says history of libel suits by govt officials scares citizens from freely expressing themselves

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Chief Mnukwa of the Ngoni people says individuals are afraid to speak out on matters involving government officials due to a history of lawsuits against those who have voiced their opinions.

Mnukwa noted that individuals in government positions command a level of respect that discourages citizens from freely expressing their opinions.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Eastern Province, the traditional ruler claimed that some individuals in power exploit citizens.

“We have been observing in government circles, whoever says something about someone, they sue, they take you to court,” he pointed out.

He added that this practice prevented many people in rural communities from voicing their grievances.

“He may want to say something, but he will think twice, ‘I may be sued and what do I have,” Mnukwa stated.

He urged that this element of fear must be eradicated from people’s minds.

Mnukwa further added that abolishing the law of defamation must be prioritised so that people can freely oppose the government.

“We need to open up on those, to give the people the freedom to comment on government issues and any public figure’s actions,” he encouraged.

He further urged government officials to step up and fight for media freedoms, freedom of expression and digital rights on behalf of the Zambian people.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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