The most recent training organized by WACAP and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) was the Training of Trainers on Adult Teaching Methodology on the law and procedure of International Cooperation on Criminal Matters intended to create dialogue and to proffer solutions on transnational organized crimes within the sub-region.
This has exposed us to the Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition methods and techniques involved in seeking assistance by way of information or extradition of alleged criminals. The Gambia has made the best out of the trainings and support rendered by WACAP to its Prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice in prosecuting crimes of international nature. This has positively impacted our work as Prosecutors and enhanced our network by meeting prosecutors, judges, magistrates and other personnel of other central authorities within West Africa through whom we could contact for any informal assistance should the need arise.
Therefore, the need for collaboration to prosecute organized and international crimes cannot be over emphasized. It is in this respect that the efforts and support given by WACAP is highly appreciated. The Gambia is currently working on having its first Mutual Legal Assistance Bill to be passed into law by the National Assembly.
In 2019, The Gambia has worked with the Nigerian authorities on a case of Trafficking in persons to repatriate a three-month-old baby back to Nigeria through communication and informal assistance. The suspects’ passports were confiscated and seized for further investigation. They have made applications in court to have their travel documents returned back to them, but they were unsuccessful.
In addition, the Gambia/Italy Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement was signed in December 2019 whereas the Gambia/Senegal Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement is still under consideration. These agreements are meant to create the avenue for the successful and effective prosecution and investigation of cross border crimes.