4 February 2013

Gambia: Three NDEA Top Officials in Detention

Reliable information gathered by Foroyaa from close associates of Superintendent Abdoulie Ceesay, the Public Relations Officer of National Drug Law Enforcing Agency (NDEA), disclosed that Ceesay is currently under detention at the Headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) since Tuesday, 29 January, in addition to Benedict Jammeh, the former Director General,

and Yusupha Jatta, Commissioner of Investigation at NDEA. It was also indicated that Commissioner Ebrima Kunchi Jammeh and Officer Sunkaru Jarju, both NDEA Officers, were questioned by the NIA but released.

According to the information, Mr. Ceesay, was invited at the NIA for questioning, only to be detained and denied bail for almost a week now. NDEA sources say his associates at Kerr Serigne have did make effort to visit him at NIA but were not given the opportunity to have access to him. The sources told Foroyaa that they are not sure if Ceesay has been charged with any offence yet.

However, Mr. Benedict Jammeh, the former Director General of NDEA, who was sacked from the position on Thursday, 10 January, taken to NIA and released on bail after few hours, only to be re-arrested at his house at Busumbala on 18 January, is still in detention at NIA. Family sources said he is still denied access to relatives. His arrest and detention had even denied him the opportunity to attend the ceremony to be called to the Bar which was held on Friday, 19 January, at the Paradise Suites Hotel.

Mr. Yusupha Jatta, the Commissioner of Investigations at NDEA, who was recently moved to the Upper River Region as NDEA Commissioner for the region, is also detained at NIA alongside Benedict Jammeh and Abdoulie Ceesay. He is said to have been arrested on the same day with Jammeh on Thursday, 18 January.

In a similar, but separate incident, Ebrima Kunchi Jammeh, a senior officer of NDEA, was also reportedly invited for questioning by the NIA, but was not detained. The sources indicated that Kunchi, as he is commonly call, spent only few hours at NIA and was asked to go without any conditions attached.

Kunchi was a former Assistant Superintendent of Police, until in 2008, when he was detained alongside Ebrima Dibba, former Crime Management Coordinator (CMC) of the Police, for 3 months and released without charged. Subsequently, both were sacked from the Police, but Kunchi later joined the NDEA, when Benedict Jammeh was appointed as NDEA DG.

The close associates of Officer Sunkaru Jarju at Tallinding, said the NDEA store keeper at Holgam was also invited for questioning at NIA but was not detained. Jarju, a former Prison Sergeant, was stationed at Holgam as the store keeper of seized drugs and exhibits of NDEA. He was a Prison Sergeant, but sacked in 2008 during the tenure of David Colley as Director General of Prisons. He later testified as a defence witness in the trial of Musa Suso on an allegation against David Colley. He also joined NDEA when Benedict Jammeh became the head in late April 2010.

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