A group supporting the exiled former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has claimed that Jammeh is “protected” from prosecution.

The group’s claim comes days after Jammeh’s former interior minister Ousman Sonko was jailed for 20 years for crimes against humanity.

Jammeh and his regime had passed laws to protect themselves against any form of prosecution. However, the National Assembly members have stepped up efforts to amend the law.

Speaking at a news conference in Lamin, Yaya Tamba, the de facto leader of the group supporting Jammeh, cited that the joint declaration by multinational bodies (Ecowas, AU, and UN) and the Gambia government which clearly spelt out why ex-president Jammeh could not be prosecuted by any court of law as it is binding on both parties.

“In fact, according to this declaration, the AU, UN and Ecowas will work to ensure that the host country [Equatorial Guinea] that offers hospitality to Jammeh does not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions. So, we want to set the record straight, the government’s decision to prosecute Jammeh is unlawful and unconstitutional and inconsistent with the provisions of the agreement. 

“Furthermore, there are legal provisions in the 1997 Constitution that protect any president after leaving office not to be prosecuted by either a civil or criminal court on any functions he or she has executed during his or her tenure of office.”

Tamba added: “We therefore call on the government to drop their malicious campaign against Jammeh knowing full well that the declaration is binding.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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