By Mustapha Jallow
The wife of one of the 5 Agric officials has lamented the unending ordeal and trauma their family has been subjected to by the repeated arrests and detentions of her husband since October 2014.
Speaking to Foroyaa recently, this concerned wife explained how this treatment of the husband at the hands of the authorities has unsettling consequences on the family as he was the main pillar or support of the household.
She explained the agric officials, including her husband, were first arrested on 13 October 2014, after they received phone calls telling them that they were wanted at the Serious Crime Unit (SCU) of the police. She said upon their arrival, they were detained overnight until the following day on 14 October when they were released on bail and asked to be reporting.
While reporting on bail on the 16 October, she said, they were again detained and then taken to Banjul Magistrates’ Court the next day and from where they were remanded. The officials involved were Mr. Omar Jammeh, former Financial Controller, Mr. Foday Jadama, former Deputy Director of Soil and Water Management Services (SWAMS), Dr. Abdou Ceesay, former Director of Livestock Services, and Mr. Fafanding Fatajo, former Project Coordinator of FASDEP, while Madam Ada Gaye, the former Agriculture Permanent Secretary, was released. She added that the four were later released on bail on 27th October 2014.
The distraught lady further explained that three days after this, the five officials were again rounded up around 9pm on 30 October, after having received phone calls from the security agents who told them that they were wanted at the Bakau Police Station. She said four of them were transferred to Police headquarters in Banjul and one taken to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and where they were detained.
“On 31 October, they took the four to join the one at the NIA where all of them were detained incommunicado until 23 December when they were finally released at night,” she narrated.
The close family source said the 5 officials were asked to be reporting on bail at the NIA for almost two months when they were told not to report again as they are done with them.
“On Wednesday, 1 July, 2015 the same 5 agaric staff officials received phone calls between 6 pm and 7 pm inviting them to the Kairaba Police Station and that upon their arrival they were briefly detained before being transferred to Police headquarters in Banjul where they are still being held,” said the wife.
When contacted to enquire about why the five were re-arrested and detained after having already been granted bail by a superior court, ASP David Kujabi, the police Public Relation Officer (PRO), told Foroyaa that he did not go to work for two days but promised to get the details the following day when he reports to work. However, efforts to get his response were unsuccessful as he could not be accessed on phone as we go to press.
The five, however, were initially granted bail by the high court but later picked up by the police and taken before Magistrate Momodou S.M. Jallow on Thursday, 2 July, 2015 for the magistrate court to order for the remand of the accused persons. The presiding magistrate denied the application and ordered that the accused persons should be taken back to the police and be granted bail and for the matter to be handled by the high court.