By Mustapha Jallow

Ousman Jammeh, a former Deputy Minister of Agriculture is still in detention without trial at the National Intelligence Agency Ousman Jammeh(NIA) headquarters in Banjul for 33 days now, according to a source.

According to a concerned family, Mr Jammeh had left his home on Thursday 15 October, 2015, to go and attend a World Food Day Celebration in Basse. The source said while on his way he received a phone call from unidentified men who asked him to cancel his trip and return. While returning Mr Jammeh was immediately picked up by men in plain clothes.

In their search for him, family members said they traced him to the NIA office in Banjul; adding that they visited the NIA on Saturday 17 October 2015 with a bowl of food, clothes and other needs but to their disappointment they were told by agents they met at the gate that food and other items would not be allowed there and they were not allowed access to him.

A family member expressed concern over the denial of access to him and the refusal to even receive his clothes. “We do not know what our loved one has done to warrant his detention and denial of access. His children keep asking for him and we cannot tell them that their dad is arrested. We told them that he has travelled and is yet to come,” a distraught family member explained.

Family members of Mr Jammeh have called on the authorities to release their loved one as they have detained him for more than 72 hours.

The Constitution of the second republic of the Gambia has stated in section 19 subsection (3) (b) that, “Any person who is arrested or detained… who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court of law and, in any event, within 72 hours.” But this has not been done by authorities and his constitutional rights have been violated.

Mr Jammeh was appointed deputy minister of agriculture on 8 July 2015 and removed from office almost three months later on 15 Thursday October, 2015.