By Mustapha Jallow
The former deputy minister of agriculture, who was removed from the cabinet of President Yaya Jammeh on Thursday, 15 October, 2015 and reported to be arrested and detained immediately after, is still being held for 142 days today without access to his family, according to close sources.
Mr. Ousman Jammeh was initially held incommunicado at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul for 91 days before being transferred to the central prison at Mile Two, where he has 48 days without access to his family.
One of the relatives of the former deputy agriculture minister told this reporter that they have been making repeated attempts to visit him at the prison but without success.
“We have information that he is detained at Mile 2 but every time we go there to visit him the officials would not allow us access to see him,” he said.
He said the family is worried about his state of health under detention, especially his young children who always ask about their father.
The family is urging the authorities to allow them access and facilitate the release of their loved one from custody.
Mr. Jammeh’s detention for more than 72 hours contravenes section 19 of the Second Republic’s Constitution (1997) which states 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.”