By Muhammed Sailu Bah
The mass release of prisoners following a presidential pardon was received with joy by the concerned prisoners and their family members who came to pick them up at the Mile Two prison on Friday, 24 July 2014.
A very large crowd of elated relatives and even passersby getting down from passing vehicles converged both inside the premises of the administrative section of the Mile Two prison and outside on the Banjul-Serekunda Highway to receive and cheer up the pardoned prisoners an emotionally charged atmosphere. Amidst cheerful shouts and tears of joy, the pardoned prisoners were seen embracing and shaking hands with their loved ones and well-wishers.
Speaking to Mikailu Secka, a sibling of Ngorr Secka, the former deputy Director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and former diplomat, he said he cannot express his happiness for the release of his elder brother. He said they are thanking Allah for making this day possible for them to finally reunite with their brother who had been behind bars for some years.
“The family really missed him and we are looking forward to receiving him back home,” said the younger brother.
In a brief comment, Ngorr Secka expressed his longing to meet with his kids and wife after having been away for so long. He said he is thanking Allah for making the day possible and president Jammeh for the pardon.
Mr. Secka was serving a life sentence after the death sentence verdict on him was overturned by the Supreme Court.
“It is a great moment to see and re unite with my family again,” said Bo Badjie, former NIA Director and one of the pardoned prisoners serving a life sentence.
He also thanked the president for the pardon.
One of his relatives, Bubacarr Suso, also noted the happiness which the release of Mr. Badjie had brought to their family.
Salifu Baldeh, who said he is a nephew to former Lt. Col. Kawsu Camara, alias Bombardeh, said words cannot express his happiness for the release of his Uncle. He said their family welcomes the release.
For his part, the pardoned former Lt. Col. Camara, sentenced for life, said he missed his family very much and is looking forward to be with them again.
A sister to one of the pardoned treason convicts, Mr. Abdoulie Joof, a businessman, said they are very delighted by the release of their brother, husband and father. Ramou Joof said she is overwhelmed by emotion as her brother is now a free person.
Abdoulie Joof, another former life convict, said he is happy to re unite with the family at last.
The relatives of Lang Tombong Tamba as well as Njogu Bah, among others, have also expressed happiness for the release of their loved ones.
All the pardoned prisoners thanked the president for the clemency.