Ex-President’s Nephew Arrested, Wife Evicted

By Mustapha Jallow

A nephew of the former President, Staff Sergeant Abdoulie Jammeh, was arrested and detained at the Guards Battalion in Fajara Barracks since the 16th of September 2017, at about 10am, military sources confirmed to this medium.

The sources further revealed that the serving member of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), was arrested at the Farafenne Camp upon arrival from the Kombos, then briefly held in a military cell before being transported to Fajara Barracks the following day, Sunday 17th September, 2017.

“On Sunday morning, he was led into a waiting military vehicle and escorted to Fajara, where he is currently held,” sources confirm. Ssgt. Jammeh’s arrest and subsequent detention coincides with his wife’s delivery of a baby boy. The nephew of the former President was residing in one of the AU villas for years, but months after the change of government, he received an eviction letter ordering him to vacate the apartment with immediate effect.

On Saturday, 23rd September 2017, this reporter visited the villa and saw armed officers of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) in riot gear, moving from apartment to apartment and asking residents to vacate the premises as indicated in their eviction letters. It was also indicated to this reporter that those residents who had the capacity to leave, left the premises before the arrival of the force, who came to carry out the eviction order.

Mrs. Tida Baginka, wife of the detained soldier and nephew of former President Jammeh, could be seen in tears whilst holding her new born, together with her children. Mrs. Baginka Jammeh, with mounting pressure from the officers for her to vacate before 2:00pm, lamented that they have no place to stay at that short notice and besides, she had no one to assist her park all her belongings because her siblings were very young. This reporter who waited for the deadline that was given to Mrs. Bajinka Jammeh, witnessed four officers including their senior Commander return to see if she had complied. Mrs. Bajinka Jammeh with assistance from neighbours, removed all her belonging and placed them under the veranda and handed over the keys of the apartment to their Commander.

When questioned on their actions by this reporter, the Commander of the eviction unit said they were given orders to execute, which they did; that they do not give orders but obey commands and execute whatever command is given to them to execute. An eviction notice signed by the Solicitor General and Legal Secretary at the Attorney General’s Chambers, was also showed to this reporter, by the unit Commander of the PIU evection team.

Mrs. Bajinka Jammeh who pleaded with the eviction task force, said: “I begged the officers to postpone the eviction order until Saturday because I am not well and my husband who could have helped find a place for me to stay with our children, is also put under detention.” She said after receiving medical treatment and was discharged, her husband decided to return to work only for her to receive a call the following day, that her husband was arrested. ‘‘I nearly collapsed. He has not done anything. He was all the time here supporting me,” she sobbed.

Around 8 pm that, this reporter was told that Madam Bajinka Jammeh was eventually sheltered by friends of the detained husband.

When contacted to shed light on the presence and actions of PIU officers during the eviction of Mrs. Bajinka Jammeh,  Police Spokesperson, ASP Foday Conta said he was not aware of the eviction exercise but added that the presence of PIU officers was to escort only, if a court order had been given. He however promised to find out more information on the eviction exercise being carried out at the AU Villas. The GAF PRO was also contacted to shed light on the arrest of Sstg. Jammeh, but could not be reached up to the time of going to press. This medium will try to reach him for more information on the arrest of Sstg. Jammeh.