By Mustapha Jallow
Sheikh Omar Colley, the Imam of a mosque in Jabang-Borehole, and a
resident of Jabang village in the Kombo South District, has gone
missing after he was held at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA)
for 48 days before being transferred to the remote Janjangbureh Prisonin Central River Region (CRR), according to one of his brothers.
He said the family members have been visiting the prison where they
were told that the brother was transferred to from the NIA but were
always told by the wardens on duty that he is not held there.
“We want to know his whereabouts so that we can visit him and know his
health condition and provide some of his needs such as toiletries,
clothes, food, etc.” said the distraught brother.
He said the family is really concern about the condition in which
their husband, father and brother is being held.
He said they are calling on the authorities to help trace Imam Colley
who has disappeared after his arrest at the Old Yundum police station
and subsequent detention at the NIA.
It was reported that Imam Colley was arrested and detained at the Old
Yundum police station on Thursday, 15 October, 2015.
A close family source at Imam Colley’s home in
Jabang told this reporter that their brother was called by someone, who claimed to be
calling from Bansang police station, asking him to report to the Old
Yundum police station. He said this caller told the brother (Colley)
to connect him through his mobile phone when he reaches the station so
that he (caller) could talk to the station officer (SO). He said this
was around the time when his brother was about to go to the mosque to
perform his ‘Maghrib’ (twilight) prayers.
The source further explained that they accompanied Mr. Colley to the
station and that while they were there, their brother called the said
caller from Bansang to talk to the police they met there and who later
asked him to hand over all his personal belongings e.g. mobile phone,
wrist watch, rosary beads, etc., and enter the cell. He said the
brother then complied with this police order.
“After our brother was put in the police cell on that Thursday night,
we then returned home to prepare to come back the next day,” said the
The close family source said when they returned to the station around
7am the next day on Friday, they were told by the police officers they
met there that their brother is no longer in their custody.
“We were confused upon hearing this news and when we further
enquired, they told us that his whereabouts are not known to them,”
added the source.
He said the brother was later traced at the NIA headquarters in Banjul
but were denied access to him.
Colley is also the ‘chef de garage’ or head of the Brikama-Basse car
park in Banjul.
His detention has now exceeded the 72 hours duration which is in contravention
of Section 19 of the second republican Constitution of the Republic of
The Gambia which states “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.”.