An Ivorian-Senegalese woman, whose dead body was found laying on the streets of a suburb outside the capital, Banjul was strangled to death, postmortem revealed
Vanessa, 26, whose last name has not been released was said to be at a bar with a 34-year-old man, who she was also last seen with at a lodge before her body was found on the streets of Manjai Kunda.
Gambia’s police have arrested Sheikh Hydara, the main suspect in Vanessa’s killing. Hydara told investigators that Venessa decided to take a shower and fell. He admitted to putting her into a car and dumping her on the side of the road.
Vanessa is staying with her extended family in the Gambia and her Senegalese mother has traveled from the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan to make arrangements to have her daughter’s remain flown home for burial.
Police Deputy Spokesperson Foday Conta said that they suspected “foul play.” Hydara could be facing murder charges, a crime that carries the death penalty or a life sentence in The Gambia.
The Gambia has pledged to abolish the death penalty in a clean break with the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, giving activists hope that more African states will follow its example.
The country recently signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment in a move to remove fear and promote rule of law for citizens to express their civil and political rights.
But a recent rise in murder cases and mob beatings have fueled the debate around the removal or keeping of capital punishment in the country’s penal system, a contest that has been on since a moratorium on executions was placed half a decade ago.