Point Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ebrima Sawaneh Resigns
As Brikama Area Council Hires Sawaneh As Communication Officer
The Editor-in-chief of the Point newspaper, Ebrima Sawanneh has resigned from the company two days ago, sources here said. Ebrima Sawaneh, who is a prominent journalist in The Gambia, was arrested together with 6 other journalists following their condemnation of President Jammeh's statement on Deyda Hydara’s death. Sawaneh, and his colleagues were convicted and sentenced but later release on a Presidential pardon.
No reason has been advanced for his departure from the Point, but our reporter said the former political correspondent for the Point has laid down his journalistic tools. Mr. Sawneh has picked up an employment with the Brikama Area Council as a Communication clerk (officer), our reporter said. His new job responsibilities include: marketing the image of the council.
According to sources familiar with the Brikama Area Council’s operational system, Mr. Sawaneh’s appointment was facilitated by Ebrima J T Kujabi, a Gambian Diplomat based in Washington DC, who is also a longtime friend of the former Point Editor. Upon learning about an opening (vacant position) at the Brikama Area Council, Mr. Kujabi was reported to have asked Sawaneh to apply for it. He also asked Sawneh to use him ( JT Kujabi) as a reference in a bid to facilitate his appointment as Clerk. That’s how he secured the job, our source said.
Mr. Sawaneh had a naming ceremony two days after his resignation from the Point. It was a well attended party, sources said. He commences work at the Brikama Area Council today Monday October 11th 2010.
The following Point staffers: Pa Modou Faal, Baboucarr Senghore, Famara Jawnneh are said to be eying for the Editor-in-chief position. Mr. Sawaneh is yet to be replaced, our sources said.
Meanwhile, Editor Abba Gibba, who recently travelled to the United States to witness a conference is yet to return to The Gambia. It has been gathered that Gibba is contemplating not returning home, but he told his colleagues in the Gambia that he is likely to return home sometime in November. A competent source said Mr. Gibba is likely not to return to The Gambia in the short term given his fear for political persecution.
Mr. Gibba was recently summoned by the High Court together with another Point Reporter over a torture claim attributed to the former police chief Essa Badjie. The paper quoted Lawyer Borry Touray of having said that his client was tortured while in state custody.
The presiding Judge Justice Amadi said he was not aware of such comments made in court by the accused, and as such he issued an order instructing the Point journalists to show up in court to defend the story.
With the intervention of Lawyer Borry Touray, defense counsel for Essa Badjie, who corroborated the Point story, the journalists were unconditionally set free. They slightly missed going to jail. They could have been imprisoned if Lawyer Touray failed to confirm that his client complained about torture meted out to him by the NIA.