The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is today expected to deliver its judgment in the case of Gambian journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh, a senior reporter with Daily Observer Company who disappeared some 16 months ago. The Media Foundation for West Africa, who earlier on filed a suit at the ECOWAS Community Court, is demanding the release of Journalist Ebrima Manneh.
The court, according to reports dated November 26 of last year, heard testimony from three witnesses, one of whom testified that he witnessed the arrest of Chief Manneh by personnel of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on July 7th 2006 at the Daily Observer premises. Another witness testified that he saw Chief Manneh in December 2006 at Fatoto Police Station, situated some 500 kilometers away from the capital, Banjul.
The Gambia government, the report went on, has failed to appear before the courts to answer to allegations on all three occasions even though it was duly served with the hearing notice at its High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria. The case therefore proceeded without representation by Gambia government.
Femi Falana, a Nigerian Human Rights lawyer and President of the West African Bar Association (WABA), is the legal representative of Chief Manneh.