By Bakary Ceesay
Femi Falana, Nigerian human rights lawyer, has petitioned the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) to investigate and unearth the truth about the alleged killing of 50 West African migrants in Gambia in 2005.
The veteran 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,” he told journalists on 10 July, 2019 during a two days training organized for lawyers and judges on campaign for freedom of expression, where he served as a facilitator.
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. however Femi is also an honored guest of the Gambia Press Union annual national journalism awards which is slated for Friday, July 12.