Campaigners seeking to extradite former president Yahya Jammeh from Equatorial Guinea to Ghana to face justice for his alleged involvement in the murder of 44 Ghanaians in the Gambia in 2005 are set to encourage Ghana to take the leading role.
The Executive Director for the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Mr. William Nyarko stated that for extradition to happen, the state would first have to be encouraged in taking the leading role by establishing the facts and evidences that have been put forward by the campaigners. He was speaking with the BBC’s Thomas Nardi.
“First, we will encourage the state of Ghana to try to independently establish the facts which have been put forward, and then after that, based on the evidences they [state] will also uncover, they will seek an extradition request from Equatorial Guinea”, Mr. Nyarko said.
The Executive Director was optimistic and sounded positive in the extradition process. He noted that should an extradition request be sent to Equatorial Guinea, they will be under an obligation to comply because Equatorial Guinea has ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).
“Torture was involved and under the Torture Convention to which Equatorial Guinea has ratified, the state of Equatorial Guinea, if an extradition request is sent to them, will be under an obligation under International Law to extradite or prosecute”, he added.
Leading campaigners, the Human Rights Watch has debunked the outcome of the previous investigations in 2009 by a team of investigators from the United Nations and Regional Group, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Lead Counsel for the Human Rights Watch Mr. Reed Brody stated that the new evidences they have found are on par with the findings of UN and ECOWAS investigators.
“We have found new information and it is clear that the migrants were not killed by rogue elements, but they were murdered by a paramilitary death squad who took orders directly from Yahya Jammeh”, Mr. Brody narrated.
The said report by the ECOWAS and UN report exonerated Mr. Jammeh and his government from any wrongdoing in connection with the murder of 56 migrants of whom, 44 were Ghanaians. It was reported that they were mistaken for coup plotters.
According to Mr. Nyarko, the president, Nana Akufo-Addo has already been engaged, hoping that the president will oversee the matter.
The Gambian Government returned eight bodies to Ghana and paid $500,000 to cover the cost of burial for the victims. Then Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration Mohammed Mumuni received the money in 2009.
- If Yahya Jammeh and his government were not responsible for the murder, why must they pay such an amount to cover the cost of burial of the victims?
- Were the UN and ECOWAS investigators prevented from visiting crucial sites which could have aided in their investigations? OR
- Were they bribed by the Jammeh regime to exonerate them from any wrongdoing?
- On what basis did successive Ghana government accept the UN and ECOWAS findings? OR
- Did some Ghana officials benefit from the $500,000 “victims money”?
- What was the cost of the entire burial of the eight bodies?
- How much did each family received?
- Is there any concrete report which states how the monies were disbursed?