30 DECEMBER EVENT RELATED DETAINEES RELEASED

By Mustapha Jallow and Kebba Jeffang

In addition to the mass pardons of convicted prisoners, the men, women and children, who were detained without charge or trial in the aftermath of the 30 December 2014 attack on state house in Banjul, have also been released by the president.

Foroyaa has visited the homes of some of the released detainees to witness the emotional and joyous reunion they had with their families after having spent more than six months in incommunicado detention at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul.

As reported earlier, an emotionally charged but cheerful atmosphere greeted Bai Jobe Njie and Metta Njie, two of the detainees without trial, when they arrived in their respective homes. Mr. Jobe Njie is the father of Private Momodou Njie, who is sentenced to death by a court martial for his involvement in the 30 December 2014 insurgency, while Madam Njie is the mother of the late Lt. Col. Lamin Sanneh, former commander of the presidential guards, who is alleged by the state to be the leader of the said coup.

This reporter visited the home of Alhaji Kebba Touray, one of the released detainees, at Tobacco Road in Banjul. The compound was full of relatives, neighbours and well wishers, who came to share the joy with his family.

However, the relatives of Mr. Touray told this reporter that they are very grateful to Allah and the president for the release of their father and uncle.

This is the second time Mr. Touray has been detained without trial and released. The first was in 2009 at the time when Lt. Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba, a former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), and seven others, were arrested for plotting to stage a coup d’etat.

A similar joyful scene was witnessed at the home of Yusupha Lowe, the 13 year old boy, and his uncle, Pa Alieu Lowe, a 19 year old teenager, who were detained since the start of the year. Yusupha and Pa Alieu are  the son and younger brother respectively of Baboucar ‘Bai’ Lowe, a former Warrant Officer Class 2 of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), who was based in Germany and is alleged to have been involved in the 30 December 2014 attack on state house. The duo was arrested and detained together with Jariatou Lowe, the divorced former wife of Bai Lowe, who was later released.