By Mustapha Jallow
A mentally ill young man, who was arrested by state security agents on
24 June 2014, is still detained at the state central prison at Mile II for about 8 months without release or access to family, a close source stressed.Ambu Drammeh’s arrest came at a time when his Birth Certificate
and National Identity Card, together with a set of prayer beads and
pair of shoes, were found at the Banjul International Airport where
President Yahya Jammeh’s private plane is parked, a close family
However, Drammeh is still kept incommunicado at the state central prison in Mile II
without access to food from his family members. His detention
is in contravention of the constitution which bars detention for more
than 72 hours without appearance before a court of law.
According to a family source no official reason (s) has been put
forward to them; adding that the head of state should help them to
intervene and release their loved one.
Family sources say several attempts to access him in prison have been
unsuccessful though prison officials have confirmed to them that he is
held at the prison. They say that their last unsuccessful attempt to access him was
on 25 November, 2014.
Mr Drammeh was initially held and released. He was subsequently
arraigned by the police before the Brikama Magistrates’ Court, which
ordered for Mr. Drammeh to be taken to the ‘Tanka Tanka’ Psychiatric
Hospital to undergo treatment.
In narrating how he was first arrested, his elder brother explained
that some state security agents came to their home in Farato searching
for Drammeh. He said the agents waited until he returned home only to
pick him up.
The elder brother said Ambu was briefly held and later released to
return home and that after less than a week he left for Kerr Pateh for
local treatment; and while he was away the state security agents came
for him again but were told that he had left for the village.
According to the family source, the security agents went to his
village and picked him up and later brought him to Police headquarters
in Banjul where he was held for only two days and then taken away.
When the family checked for him at the National Intelligence Agency
(NIA), they were told that he was not with them. They searched for him
at both the Brikama and Yundum police stations, as well as Tanka Tanka
Psychiatric Hospital but without success. He was eventually traced but
could not be accessed at the Mile Two Central Prison in the outskirts
By Mustapha Jallow