The key personality whose whereabouts extended the events of 14 April 2016 beyond unexpected frontiers leading to the incarceration and trial of top members of the UDP executive, including the Secretary General, Ousainou Darboe, is Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
On 14 April 2016, Ousainou Darboe was seen at the West Coast radio premises, along with Halifa Sallah, to respond to an invitation by the moderator of the Youth Parliament programme, who had invited opposition leaders to discuss their views on coalition building. This was after the incident of 14 April which occurred earlier on the very day and led to the arrest of Ebrima Solo Sandeng along with 25 others.
Currently, 13 of them have been released after making some undertakings with the Inspector General of Police. 11 others, who are yet to make the undertaking, are still on trial.
Ousainou Darboe and the UDP executive as well as other symphatisers got into the scene in response to the reported death of Ebrima Solo Sandeng. They are also on trial. Their bail application was denied and their appeal has been prolonged by the superior court technicalities. Judgment on the appeal for bail is on the 14 July 2016.
Whilst the trial is being diligently pursued, Ebrima Solo Sandeng has been evidently absent. Today, the facts of his whereabouts will be evident in the court. This will determine whether the State has handled his arrest and detention in a lawful manner or with impunity. This should have far reaching implications on how people have so far seen this case.
The position of the UDP leader is attributed to by us to be a demonstration of conscience in order to show and be seen to show sensitivity to the loss of an executive member of his party. The State should take note of this fact.
Foroyaa will follow the court sitting to inform the public of the court’s findings regarding the whereabouts of Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
In the meanwhile, Foroyaa has added its voice in calling on the State to treat this matter as a political conflict requiring political settlement which should witness the discharge and release of the UDP executive and their members.
Human relations should teach the State that the UDP leadership and their members are tied together. Some will find it very difficult to make undertakings while the leadership who showed sensitivity to their plight is still incarcerated. In such matters, authorities making decisions should put their feet in the shoes of those arrestees.