The Nigerian top lawyer Femi Falana is also a member of Jammeh to Justice Campaign
A top Nigerian human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has petitioned the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission to investigate and unearth the truth about the alleged killing of 50 West African migrants in Gambia in 2005.
The top lawyer and advocate has also petitioned the Truth Commission to unearth the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh. Manneh was working for the Daily Observer newspaper who disappeared in the country in July 2006 following his arrest by “state operatives”.
Femi is one of the leading human rights lawyers in the region. He has represented Gambia Press Union in the cases of disappeared journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh and Musa Saidykhan, a victim of torture, at the regional ECOWAS Court of Justice.
Both cases were a success and Gambia Government was ordered to pay a fine of US$100, 000 to the family of Chief Manneh and US$200, 000 dollars to Saidykhan.
The administration of President Adama Barrow has paid the court fines in Manneh’s case and are currently negotiating with Saidykhan.
“I have two petitions before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission in respect to the disappearance or unlawful execution of Mr Ebrima Manneh and the massacre of 50 migrants including 9 Nigerians… These were young men who were going to Europe…,” Falana told Kerr Fatou.
Femi is on a 4-day visit to the Gambia. He is serving as a facilitator at a GPU training organized for lawyers and judges on campaign for freedom of expression.
The Union has started a coalition of Gambian professionals including lawyers and judges to back the campaign geared towards strengthening freedom of expression in the country.
But Femi is also an honored guest of the GPU annual national journalism awards which is slated for Friday, July 12.
Meanwhile, the two-day workshop on freedom of expression campaign with lawyers and judges have began at the Senegambia on Thursday.
The opening ceremony of the event was attended by Sheriff Bojang Jr, president of the GPU, Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou, Supreme Court Justice Gibril Janneh and President of the Gambia Bar Association Salieu Taal.
“Freedom of expression is not just the fight for the GPU. It is a fight for everyone. It is a fight for the market women, a fight for truck drivers and everyone,” said Bojang.
“Freedom of expression is the bedrock of all rights in a democracy…,” added Taal.