Staff

Gaye Sowe

Executive Director (The Gambia)

LLM (University of Essex’s), LLB (Honours) (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), , BL (Nigerian Law School)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Gaye worked with the Gambia Judiciary as a Principal Magistrate and Acting Judicial Secretary and served as a Lecturer of Criminal Procedure at the Gambia Law School. He is currently an Adjunct Lecturer of Criminal Law at the University of The Gambia, an Expert Member of the ECOSOC Working Group of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; a member of the Constitutional Review Commission of The Gambia, and a member of a team of three lawyers currently reviewing and redrafting the criminal justice laws of The Gambia. At IHRDA, Gaye has risen from the ranks of Legal Officer, Senior Legal Officer to Director of Programs, and has spent more than twelve years in IHRDA. He possess a great wealth of experience in litigation, capacity building and advocacy at domestic and regional levels.

Edmund Foley

Director of Programs

LLM (University of Pretoria), LLB (University of Ghana)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Edmund served as a Lecturer of jurisprudence, ECOWAS, criminal, and human rights law. He also served as Project Coordinator for the Ghana Police Accountability Project of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, a researcher at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a Technical Advisor on Children at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana.

Edmund had previously worked at IHRDA from 2007 to 2011 as a Legal Officer, and took the lead on the Nubian children’s case which was the first case to be decided on the merits by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Edmund has also published several articles on human rights and legal issues.

Amie Njie

Head of Finance and Administration (The Gambia)

MSc in International Accounting and Finance (Liverpool John Moores University)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Amie worked with the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority from 1996 and rose through the ranks to the position of Director of Internal Audit.

She is a dedicated and result-oriented person with a wealth of experience in the Accounting/Auditing profession.

Eric Bizimana

Legal Officer (Burundi)

LLM - Human Rights and Democratization in Africa (University of Pretoria) LLB (University of Burundi).

Eric is a member of the Burundi Bar Association. Prior to joining IHRDA he served as a Legal Assistant at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and was a teacher of law, and a collaborator with Avocats Sans Frontières. At IHRDA, Eric played a key role in drafting and litigating the first landmark case in which the African Court on Human and People's Rights found the Malian Persons and Family Code inconsistent with the Maputo Protocol and other relevant treaties ratified by Mali. Eric brings with him an experience in litigation, legal research and drafting legal documents.

Désiré Bigirimana

Legal Officer (Burundi)

LLM (University of Dar es Salaam), LLB (Université Lumière de Bujumbura), B.A in English Language and Literature (Université du Burundi).

Désiré is a member of the Burundi Bar Association. Prior to joining IHRDA, he served as a Legal Advisor in the Ministry for Local Development in Burundi, as a Legal Assistant at the East African Court of Justice in Arusha/Tanzania; and has an Associate and Co-advocate at Rubeya. He also served as a Lecturer at Université du Burundi, Université Lumière de Bujumbura and Université du Lac Tanganyika. At IHRDA, Désiré has played a focal role in providing legal support to the Transitional Process in The Gambia and in drafting arguments for the IHRDA & Anor. v DRC (700/18) case. He brings with him an experience in litigation, training and drafting legal documents.

Oludayo Fagbemi

Legal Officer (Nigeria)

LLM, (University College London), LLB (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), BL (Nigeria Law School)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Oludayo has had stints working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS). He has also worked in private law practice in Nigeria at the Law offices of Adesanya and Akisanya, and R. A. Ogunwole SAN and Co. Prior to joining the IHRDA in February 2015, he was with the Rivers State Ministry of Justice in Nigeria.

Djeugoue Brice Martial

Publications and Communications Officer (Cameroon)

Master in Media and Communications (Global Media)

Brice worked for 9 years as Head of Communications and Programs at Centre for Assistance to Justice and Animation for Development (CAJAD, Cameroon), before joining IHRDA. He has a wealth of experience in communication/publication and program management within the context of human rights and development.

Fatmata Jangana

Finance and Administrative Assitant (The Gambia)

BSC in Accounting (North Carolina State University)

Prior to joining IHRDA, she worked as a Project Accountant at GIEPA and an Auditor at DT

She’s a seasoned Accountant with experience in both private and public sector accounting. Associates.

Modou Sowe

Finance and Administration Clerk (The Gambia)

IT Foundation Certificate (West African Educational Trust), Diploma in Information Processing (Gambia Technical Training Institute - GTTI)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Modou worked at Emkay Stores. At IHRDA, he handles the day-to-day financial transactions and acts as a liaison with our service providers. He also assists the staff with filing and coordinates the security of IHRDA premises.

Penda Sowe

Receptionist / Records Clerk (The Gambia)

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Banking and Finance (Management and Development Institute)

Prior to this position, Penda served for about 2 years as Finance and Admin Fellow at IHRDA.

Cheikh Omar Bassene

Messenger/Cleaner (Senegal)

Cheikh (fondly pronounced as an elongated ‘sheeeee’), personifies patience at IHRDA. Adept at working the bureaucracy of many offices, Cheikh weathers through the drudgery of long queues and frustration of bureaucracy to ensure IHRDA’s written communications reach appropriate desks in Banjul.

For a first time visitor or new staff, Cheikh’s bright smile and endearing helpfulness will welcome you at Yundum Airport. Together with Fatou and Tamba, Cheikh forms an important part of our institutional memory.Cheikh speaks French, English and some Spanish.

Tamba Conteh

Office Attendant/Cleaner (The Gambia)

Having joined Alpha and Julia in 1997, Tamba is currently the longest serving staff member, even predating the formal founding of IHRDA. Tamba serves as messenger and maintains our alternative power systems, and keeps our documentation centre clean and tidy. Tamba is an innovative support staff member and was instrumental in the building and follow-up of two of IHRDA’s cases, 249/02 IHRDA (on behalf of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea) v Guinea and 292/04 IHRDA (on behalf of Esmaila Connateh and 13 others) v Angola. Tamba speaks an astounding 7 languages: English, his native Sarahule, Wollof, Mandinka, Jola, Fula and Bambara.

Fatou Faye

Cleaner and Cook (The Gambia)

Fatou has been instrumental in keeping IHRDA clean and comfortable. She is the main architect behind one of IHRDA’s most cherished traditions: the 11:00AM break at the Bantaba (traditional Gambian gazebo). Fondly called Aunty Fatou, she keeps a healthy dose of coffee and tea available for staff and visitors at IHRDA.

Ashu Hailshamy

Legal Fellow (Cameroon)

LLB - Hons (University of Buea (Cameroon), BL (Gambia Law School)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Ashu was the most outstanding student of his batch at the Law School, where he received the best prize for Legal Drafting and Conveyancing and the prestigious Presidential Prize. He has also been a youth activist for change in Cameroon, and one-time President of the University of Buea Students’ Union (UBSU) where he represented over 18,000 students. He has a passion for International Human Rights Law, legal practice and advocacy.

Maria Saine

Legal Fellow (Gambia)

LLB (University of The Gambia), MA Laws (Trinity College, Dublin)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Maria served as Programmes Manager for “Safe Hands for Girls” in The Gambia, an organization that works on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, she has a developing expertise in human rights law and constitutional law. and a growing portfolio of skills and experience covering domestic human rights issues such as Child Marriage. She currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia. At IHRDA, Maria assists in preparing documentation on the EU Project on Enforced Disappearances and Extrajudicial killings in The Gambia.

Sukuta Manneh

Gardener (The Gambia)

General Agriculture (Gambia Technical Training Institute)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Sukuta worked with Radville Farms for 11 years. At IHRDA, Sukuta is responsible for the landscaping of the Office premises by creating a more peaceful and fresh surrounding that brings out the unique beauty of nature, and the core essence it plays in human development. Sukuta knows his plant varieties by name, sight, texture and optimal seasons and serves as compound overseer.

KINDE Damsou

Legal Felow (Chad)

LLB (Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh), MA Laws (Abdelmalek Essaadi University of Tangier, Morocco)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Damsou worked as an Associate Legal Officer within the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission (AUC), he also worked as an International Consultant/Junior Specialist with United Nations Development Program Regional Service Centre for Africa under Governance and Peace-building Project. He has also worked as a Legal Expert with the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission in Chad, and as a Legal Consultant with the Project of Renewable Energies in Chad. At IHRDA, Damsou assists in conducting legal research and drafting arguments for cases, including the Kaditou Case against Mali and the Fadi Mohammed Case (Slavery case) against Niger.

Gabriel Bangura

Communication & Legal Intern (Sierra Leone)

LLB (UTG)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Gabriel represented the University of The Gambia in an Inter-Universities Speech contest in Ghana, and at the 24th All-African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Zambia. He also served as Team Coach for The Gambia at the 25th All-African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in South Africa. At IHRDA, Gabriel has worked extensively on preparing texts and documentation for the African Human Rights Caselaw Analyser and also maintaining IHRDA's website and social media platforms. He has a great wealth of experience and skills in photography and audio/visual editing

Bernice Asante

Publications and Communications Intern (Ghana and Rwanda)

Final Year, BA, Comm (Grand Canyon University, US)

Bernice is a final-year student at the Grand Canyon University in Arizona, United States pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications, with plans to enroll into law school. Prior to joining IHRDA, Bernice was one of the photographers and graphic design students in her high school’s media team that created the school’s magazines and yearbook. She also previously participated in the annual Model United Nations simulation, and later co-founded a Model United Nations group franchise at the Dakar Academy School. At IHRDA, she assists in preparing documentation for the Sexual-and-Gender-Based Violence Database

Ubongabasi Obot

Legal Fellow (Nigeria)

MA Development Studies major in Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies; Social Justice Perspectives ( International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, The Netherlands), LLB (University of Uyo, Nigeria), BL (Nigeria Law School).

Prior to joining IHRDA, Ubongabasi worked in Private Law practice as a Legal Associate in Nigeria with Nwoko and Co. She also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Erasmus University and conducted research for Nuffic, The Netherlands. Ubongabasi has volunteered for Justice and Peace Nederlands and The Amsterdam Youth Force. She has also volunteered for the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria and other organisations. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Brokline Foundation in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. At the IHRDA, she will be involved in legal research, and assisting in litigation work, bringing along her experience as a Human Rights Specialist and Development Practitioner