5 December 2012

Gambia: Where Is Imam Baba Leigh? Family Members Express Concern

The family members of Imam Baba Leigh of the Kanifing Mosque have confirmed that his arrest has indeed been effected by two plain clothes NIA Officers on Monday night at about 9pm at his home while he was taken dinner with some friends at his sitting room. The family revealed that Imam Leigh who was having dinner with his friends at his sitting room was approached by two Security Officers who confirmed to him that they were members of the National Intelligence Agency,

NIA, and they were instructed to arrest him. They added that the two identified themselves as Susso and Saidykhan who came with a vehicle parked outside.

According to them, Imam Leigh was asked to go with one of his friends who went with them up to the NIA headquarters in Banjul, the capital city but was refused entrance and so he was said to have waited outside up to about mid night when he came back home. According to the family, the escort said he had no knowledge of the reason why the Imam was put under arrest.

The family claimed that they are not being informed of any reason of his arrest neither told where exactly he is and his condition. They said all efforts have been made to find out but they are yet to know his fate. They said that his arrest caused the family a lot as they cannot sleep or go about their business not knowing his whereabouts. They said they deserve the right to know. Calls are coming from all over the world to make enquires but they could not give any clear information except that he is under detention.

In a separate but related issue the Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray accompanied by her senior programme coordinator paid a visit to the family compound while this reporter was there to conduct more investigation.

The duo claimed that they were making efforts to trace the whereabouts of Imam Leigh as a founding member of their organisation. They informed this reporter that they had visited both the NIA and the police headquarters but were informed in both places that Imam Leigh was not with them; adding that they would continue their efforts until they know why he was arrested and his whereabouts. They said they cannot relax while his whereabouts is not known but advised the family to be calm.

This reporter went to the headquarters of the Supreme Islamic Council to try to get their opinion but was asked to return since the President was out.

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