Foroyaa has been in touch with many families of detainees without trial to find out whether they had been released and whether the dead bodies of the 30th December insurgents had been handed over for burial to close the chapter of that historical episode.
The president has power under Section 82 of the Constitution to exercise prerogative of mercy when it comes to people convicted of a crime.
Section 82 reads:
“(1) The President may, after consulting the Committee established by subsection (2)-
(a) grant to any person convicted of any offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions;
(b) grant to any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for any offence;
(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any person for any offence;
(d) remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on any person for such an offence or any penalty otherwise due to the Republic on account of any offence.
(2) There shall be a Committee on the exercise of the prerogative of mercy consisting of the Attorney General and three other persons appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.”
Detainees who are not taken before a court within 72 hours are not kept in custody based on any law. They have done nothing wrong to be pardoned or given any amnesty. They only deserve to be released.
Foroyaa hopes that all other detainees, especially Abdoulie Ceesay, the latest detainee who has clocked one week so far would be released and the Chapter of detention without trial closed.