By Ousman A. Marong
Kehinde Enagameh, a Nigerian national and brother to Paul Omozemoje Enagameh, who was part of the West African migrants alleged to have been massacred in the Gambia in 2005 has expressed surprise that such atrocities would happen in the Gambia.
Giving evidence before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on Tuesday that the Gambia is not a country of atrocities. “After spending 24 hours in the country I came to realize that Gambians are not that type of people who will commit such atrocities,” he stated.
Enagameh said his junior brother Paul Omozemoje Enagameh travelled to Senegal in 2003 with the sole intention of going to Europe. He said when he read an article published in the Gambia on the killing of some migrants he wept, adding that his family was also devastated. He said from 21st July 2005 he never heard from his brother again.
According to him, while searching for his brother, he was advised to write to the Nigerian ambassador in Senegal, and the Nigerian minister of foreign affairs informing them that his brother was part of those arrested in the Gambia and killed on 22nd July 2005. He said at the time, he met other Nigerian authorities who intimated to him that they heard about the killings and they were investigating it too.
However, Enagameh said there was a sign of encouragement when he heard about the report of the joint investigations by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) with the Gambian government denying killing the migrants.
The witness said he later heard that a human rights activist based in Nigeria came up with a press release concerning those killed and as a result, he decided to visit his chambers to discuss the issue. He said during his discussions with the activist, he was told that there were other activists in Ghana working to ensure that former President Yahya Jammeh would be brought to justice.
Enagameh stated that a list of 51 victims were released on the matter before the ECOWAS Court in Abuja but his brother’s name was not in that list. On the impacts of his brother’s disappearance, he said the gruesome and heinous manner his brother and his colleagues were killed is very sorrowful and difficult to comprehend.
“The commission’s investigation is still ongoing and we hope that we would be able to establish evidence in the matter. We hope family members will be consoled, healed and reconciled,” TRRC lead Counsel Essa Faal said.
Counsel Faal put it to the witness that the commission did not exactly know what might have happened to his brother but there is suspicion that he might have died in the Gambia in a gruesome manner.
In his intervention, TRRC Chairman, Dr. Lamin Sise expressed condolences to him and his family and expressed hope that the commission would be able to find evidence regarding his brother, which will also help console the family.
Enagameh also went on to urge the commission to do all they can to ensure justice prevails before any reconciliation. He added that victims’ families should be adequately compensated.