By Muhammed Sailu Bah
Family sources have confirmed to Foroyaa that the corpses of their relatives, who were reported to have died during the attack on state house in Banjul on 30 December 2014, have been released to them by the authorities for burial.
Immediately following the incident, the state reported that some people died during the said attack namely Lt. Col. Lamin Sanneh, former Commander of the Presidential Guard, who is alleged to be the coup leader, Alagi Nyass and Capt. Njagga Jagne, a former officer in the US army.
Foroyaa also reported the dead, during the incident, of one Bakary Bojang, alias ‘Gosso’, a mentally deranged young man from Banjul.
The corpses have been kept at the mortuary of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul for more than five months under armed guard.
Some of the families of the dead persons particularly that of ‘Gosso’ have been making frantic but unsuccessful efforts to get the authorities to release the corpse of their loved one for a fitting burial in keeping with Muslim religious rites.
One of the sisters of Gosso told this reporter that they were called on Saturday evening around 8pm to come to the mortuary the following morning to collect the corpse of their late brother.
The nephew said when the family members and elders in the neighbourhood went to the mortuary yesterday morning (Sunday) to prepare the corpse for immediate burial, it was discovered that the ice preserving the body has not yet melted to allow for it be washed in accordance with religious rites. “We discussed and agreed to allow for more time and then do the burial at 5pm,” he said.
This reporter was told that the corpse was handed to the family through the mayor of Banjul who also confirmed it.
The prayers were eventually held at the Independence Drive Mosque in Banjul and the corpse later taken to the Old Jeshwang Cemetery for burial.
Foroyaa is yet to confirm from the other families whether the corpses of their relatives were returned to them for burial.
Efforts to contact the Public Relation of Officer of the Gambia Armed Forces were not successful before going to press.