by Assan Sallah –
The former Commissioner of Prosecution and Legal Affairs of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) Landing Kinteh has been appointed as the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Gambia Police Force.
He replaces the longest serving IGP, Yankuba Sonko, who has been redeployed to the Foreign Service.
The newly appointed IGP Kinteh holds an LLB in Law from the University of Dan Fodio in Northern Nigeria and a Master’s Degree, LLM in Human Rights and Criminal Justice from the University of Essex in Uk. He is also a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of The Gambia.
Landing Kinteh grew up in Serrekunda, London Corner. He studied in Dan Fodio University in northern Nigeria where he bagged his LLB Degree in Law. He attended this same University in Nigeria together with Lawyer Mboge but Mboge graduated before him.
Shortly before his appointment to the police top job, Landing Kinteh who was on an international appointment at the UN came back to The Gambia almost two months ago and was appointed as Commissioner of the Police Training School in Yundum.
Upon his return to The Gambia sometime in 2005/2006, he was recommended by Tamsir Jasseh, former Director General of The Gambia Immigration Department (GID) through the Personnel Management Office (PMO) to serve as a Prosecutor and Legal Adviser at the Prosecution Unit of the Gambia Police Force.
Burama Dibba was Officer Commanding the Prosecution Unit during this period but the GPF badly needed a Legal Adviser at the time.
In 2011-2012, the new IGP Landing Kinteh did his Bar at the Gambia Law School and was called to the Bar on January 18th, 2013. During this period, Kinteh was employed at the Attorney General’s Chambers under the Ministry of Justice, to head the ‘Anti-Trafficking In Persons’ Unit. By this time he was also at the GPF as a Legal Adviser. Kinteh served at the Anti-Trafficking Unit until he got his UN job.
While heading the ‘Anti-Trafficking in Persons’ Unit, two former security officers; namely, one ex-NIA officer alias ‘Mandas’ and Cadet Ousman Colley, who was dismissed from the police force in 2007 by former President Yahya Jammeh, both worked under Landing Kinteh.
Kinteh has also worked with veteran police officer Pa Amady Jallow, former CMC of the GPF, who is now on a UN job in Darfur, Sudan. They worked together at the Police Headquarters in Banjul and in Sudan as well. He served two tours of duties in Darfur, Sudan; first with the African Union and second as an International Staff serving as the Reform and Restructuring Coordinator for the UN Police Component.
Despite his vast knowledge in Legal Affairs and police job, one major challenge that the newly appointed IGP has is his lack of knowledge on ‘Basic police training’ such as Police Duties, Foot Drill and Weapon Training.
Landing Kinteh was supposed to go to the Police Training School together with three (3) other Cadet Officers, namely; Cadet Sulayman Jeng who is now in UK, Cadet Ebrima Bah and Cadet Ousman Colley, who is currently in Darfur. These Cadet Officers were at the Training School but Kinteh did not go to the Training School for basic Police Training such as police duties, foot drill and weapon training, etc. Therefore one can say that he is not a seasoned police officer.
Kinteh needs the support of all members of the senior management to be able transform the police force as expected to get a more professional and world class Gambian force.
Congratulations and good luck to IGP Kinteh.
About the immediate-past IGP, Yankuba
Yankuba Sonko is the immediate-past IGP of the Gambia Police Force. He is the longest IGP to have served in that position for the past 22 years under former President Yahya Jammeh. He is now replaced by Landing Kinteh and redeployed to the Foreign Service.
Yankuba Sonko joined the Gambia Police Force in 1982 and was promoted to the rank of Corporal in 1984, and to Cadet Officer in 1988. He studied at the Nigerian Police Training School in 1990 and upon his return in 1991, he helped to found the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) and was posted to Barra Police Station in the North Bank Region. He was appointed as the Gambia Police Force’s first Public Relations Officer (PRO) in 1993 and was posted to Kanifing Division as second-in-command in 1994. In 1995, he became the officer commanding Kanifing Division.
In 1998, Sonko became the Officer Commanding Fraud Squad Unit, and the following year he was appointed as Crime Management Coordinator (CMC) at the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). In 1999, he was also deployed on a United Nations Mission in East Timor, where he was Regional Commander of one of the Mission’s 13 Regions. He returned in 2000 and became the Commanding Officer of the PIU.
In 2001, he was reassigned as Officer Commanding Kanifing Division. In 2002, he left The Gambia to study law in the UK and returned in 2007. He was posted as the acting Commissioner of the PIU, and then became Officer Commanding in the Prosecution Unit of the GPF. In 2008, he was appointed as the Crime Management Coordinator again.
On 18th December 2009, Yankuba Sonko was promoted to Deputy Inspector General of Police. He served as Inspector General of Police from March 2010 to 2014. He was replaced by Benjamin Wilson but was reinstated, in turn, to replace Ben Wilson on 13th July 2015.
GOD BLESS THE GAMBIA.