By Mustapha Jallow
Mr. Ousman Jammeh, who served as a former deputy Minister of Agriculture in the government of President Yaya Jammeh, has now clocked 285 days in incommunicado detention at the Mile Two prison without any charge or court appearance.
When this reporter visited that family compound of the detained former cabinet minister in Kanifing South on Friday, 22 July 2016,to enquire about his situation and whether he is seen by any family member, one of his relatives maintained that none of them has seen him since his arrest in October last year. He admitted that the continued detention of their loved one who is denied access to his family is causing trauma and the suffering of his young family.
“We have made several attempts to visit him at Mile Two prison where he is said to be held but the officials always deny us access to see him or take anything to him such as food, clothes, etc.,” disclosed the brother.
He said they are pleading with the authorities to release him after this long period of detention without access to his family.
According to earlier reports, Mr. Jammeh was removed from the government of APRC on Thursday evening, 15 October, 2015 and arrested on the same day. A source revealed that the revealed that the arrest and detention of the deputy minister of agriculture came at a time when he had left his family residence on 15 October, 2015, to attend a World Food Day celebration in Basse. It was while the minister was on his way when he received a phone call from an unidentified caller who asked him to cancel his trip and return immediately. He was then picked up by men in plain clothes on his return. The arrest, according to the source, was revealed to the family by the two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) personnel who were posted to his compound as guards. The family then mounted a search and had eventually traced him to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul.
“We visited the NIA on the second time on Saturday, 17 October, with a basin of food, clothes, toiletries and other needs but were told on arrival that we are not going to have access to see him,”said the source.
However, Mr. Jammeh is reported to have spent 91 days at NIA before being finally transferred to Mile Two prison where he said is currently held.