Pap Cheyassin Secka

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Pap Cheyassin Ousman Secka
Born Cheyassin Ousman Secka
June 1942
The Gambia
Died 29 March 2012
The Gambia
Nationality Gambian
Education University (Law)
Occupation Barrister at Law
Known for Law and politics
Title LLB
Parent(s) Ousman Secka and Neneh Jobarteh

Pap Cheyassin Secka or Pap Cheyassin Ousman Secka (June 1942 – 29 March 2012) was a Gambian lawyer and politician.[1][2] He was the minister of justice and the former Attorney General of the Gambia.[2][3]


Pap Cheyassin Secka, more commonly known as Cheyassin Secka was born in the Gambia in June 1942 to Oumie Secka and Ndondy Secka. He is the maternal nephew of the Gambian historian and politician Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof. He was educated at the Methodist Boy's High School in colonial Bathurst now Banjul (the capital of the Gambia).[1] By 1962, he became a qualified teacher and taught in the Gambia for many years before pursue his education in the United States. He attended the Hall Academy in New Jersey in 1964 before proceeding to the American University in Washing D.C. where he obtained a BA in 1968 and an MA in 1969.[1] It was in the United States where he first became active in politics, as one of the radical political students.[1] Having obtained a fellowship at Columbia University in 1970-71, he was called to the English Bar in 1973. Cheyassin Secka returned to the Gambia in 1973 to set up his law practice.[1]


During the administration of president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara (the First Republic), Cheyassin Secka became the leader of the defunct National Liberation Party[2][3] formed on 4 October 1975.[1] However his political career was merred by the country's 1981 coup d'état instigated by the revolutionist Kukoi Samba Sanyang.[2] According to sources, "he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his alleged participation into the Koukoi [Kukoi] coup attempt against Jawara's regime."[2] Having spent nearly 12 years in prison at Mile Two (the country's top prison), he was later granted amnesty.[2][3]

Cheyassin Secka became the Gambian Attorney General around 2000, appointed by the Gambian president Yahya Jammeh.[2] On 10 and 11 April 2000, Gambian students held a demonstration against the regime of president Jammeh.[4] In this demonstration, many student were massacred by the Gambian forces.[4] President Jammeh was accused of giving the order to open arms against the students, although he denied the accusation.[4] Following this massacre, Cheyassin Secka "read out the April 10 Commission Report, which indemnifies the April 10 student killers to the local press." After reading out this report, he was relieved from his post by president Jammeh on 30 January 2001, following "the indemnification of the student killers".[2] He was a barrister at law and one of the renowned barristers of the country.[2][3] He joined the legal profession in 1973 as a practicing barrister.[5] He was a member of the Gambian Bar.[5]


Pap Cheyassin Secka died on 29 March 2012 in the Gambia. According to sources, he is reported to have complained about a "minor illness" and was taken to hospital. He later died having suffered a "heart attack".[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hughes, Arnold; Perfect, David, eds. (2008). Historical Dictionary of The Gambia. Scarecrow Press. p. iii, 156, 202–203. ISBN 9780810858251.  [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j M’Bai, Pa Nderry (29 March 2012). "EX Justice Minister Pap Cheyassin Ousman Secka Dies!". Freedom Newspaper. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d The Point Newspaper  : "Lawyer Pap Cheyassin Secka passes away" (Retrieved : 17 July 2012)
  4. ^ a b c By Alieu Darboe [in] the Gambia Voice [2] (Retrieved : 17 July 2012)
  5. ^ a b Foroyaa News : "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2012-07-17.  "Legal Fraternity Bid Farewell to late Pap Cheyassin Secka"] (Retrieved : 17 July 2012)
Government offices
Preceded by
Fatou Bensouda
Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Gambia
Succeeded by
Joseph Henry Joof