By Mustapha Jallow
Ex- agent of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Madikeh Faal, a resident of Sinchu-Alagi, is still in detention for 257 days at the maximum security wing in Mile Two prison. According to close family source, Faal, since his arrest is neither released nor taken to a court of law or have access to his wife and relatives.
When contacted yesterday, 30 October, to find out the situation of Faal, his wife, Mrs. Fatou Mboob-Faal told this reporter that since her husband was called by the NIA for the second time on 17 February 2016, he never returned home and is currently detained at the said prison.
‘‘Few days ago, we visited the prison again where we were told by some of the prison officers that my husband is held at the maximum security wing and they wouldn’t allow any family member to visit him there, until they get order from the top to do so. I have tried all means at my disposal to see him or know his conditions at the prison, but all my efforts proved futile,’’ she disclosed.
However, Mrs. Mboob-Faal is still calling on the authorities who arrested and detained her husband to secure his release or summon him before a court of law for justice to be done. She described him as the only breadwinner of their seven (7) children who are presently going to school and need financial support from their father as she is no longer working due to some reason.
It was earlier reported that Mrs. Mboob-Faal, said it all started on 15 February 2016, when her husband received a phone call from the NIA director asking him to go to their headquarters in Banjul to submit some court documents. She said her husband then complied and that after submitting the documents he returned home on that same day.
She added that two days later, her husband again went to the mechanic to repair his taxi which had a breakdown and it was from there around midday that he was invited again by the previous caller to the NIA. Madam Mboob Faal noted that her husband, before leaving for Banjul, came home to inform her about it in the presence of their children.
At around 10 pm the mechanic came with the taxi and asked for him. “I also asked the mechanic about the whereabouts of my husband as I was thinking that my husband was with them,” she explained.
She said she immediately reached for her cell phone to call her husband, but to her surprise all his numbers were inaccessible as the phones were switched off. She explained that it was an agonising and sleepless night for her as the whereabouts of her husband was not known.
She said in the morning of the following day, she went to the NIA head office in Banjul to find out from the director general where her husband was and upon arrival, she was told at the reception that he was not there but that when she persisted, she was finally told that he was under detention but could not be seen. She said when this information was conveyed to her, she requested to see the director general who invited her husband, but was again denied access by those at the reception to see or talk to him.
Before joining the NIA in 2006, Mr. Faal had served in the Gambia Armed Forces for twelve (12) years. He then served the NIA for eight (8) years before he was arraigned in court in 2013 and subsequently sentenced to serve 10 months in prison. Following his release, he bought a vehicle and started working as a taxi driver to earn income to support his entire family.
Mrs. Mboob-Faal disclosed that she and their young children are being traumatised by the long detention and denial of access to her husband. According to her, this is not only affecting them psychologically but economically, as well, as he is the main economic pillar of their family. She further disclosed that his absence has affected them so much that they have to move out from their home in Sinchu Alagi to her mother’s compound in Latrikunda in order to get support for the sustenance of the young family as she is not working and does not have the means to independently support their upkeep.