Gambian police have issued a statement on Tuesday denying allegations indicating that their arrest of former Banjul lawmaker, Abdoulie Saine, was bias.
Saine, charged with incitement of violence and sedition, has reportedly insulted Mandinkas but he denied any wrongdoing.
The police said Saine’s arrest was based of law and in accordance with their duty to protect order in the society.
Below is the entire statement:
The office of the Inspector General of Police has noted with concern opinions of certain members of society alleging the Gambia Police Force for being bias and selective in effecting arrest and prosecution. This came in the wake of recent WhatsApp audios released on social media containing messages of hate and bigotry with potential to cause chaos and tribal conflict.
In this regard the Inspector General’s Office wishes to bring to the attention of the general public that through its information monitoring mechanisms, it has been following up WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Audios, videos and write-ups released on social media containing messages of attacks on personalities, tribes as well as the state are monitored.
Few cases in point include:
- Former NAM Abdoulie Saine in a 20 minutes WhatsApp audio, verbally attacked the Mandika/Sosseh using derogatory remarks, insults and bigotry statements.
Consequently, he has been charged and taken to court.
- Similarly, Lamin Jaiteh was heard in an audio release expressing solidarity with former NAM Ablie Saine on his audio of tribal bigotry messages directed towards Mandinkas/Sosseh. Lamin Jaiteh further abused high profile personalities, the UDP and the entire Mandinko tribe.
However, his address has been located at Mimers Vag 2, 145 70 Norbog, Sweden and serious efforts are ongoing to bring him to book.
- Similarly, Malang Fatty of Bakau also in a whatsApp audio attacked the Jolas, Foninkas and APRC.
However, police made efforts to arrest him within the country but proved futile. Malang Fatty is believed to be currently resident in Spain and efforts are ongoing to arrest him wherever he may be found.
The office of the Inspector General of Police reminds the general public that abuse on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram Twitter, among others has potentials to destabilize the peace, security and harmonious co-existence among the people of the Gambia.
Therefore, the Police will not relent in its efforts to maintain peace, and security, law and order, protect life and property as well as apprehend and prosecute offenders of the law as enshrined in section 178(1) and (2) of the constitution of the Gambia.
In this regard the general public is urged to cooperate, collaborate and partner with the Gambia Police Force in the fight against all forms of crime as well as maintenance of peace and security.
As we usher into a new era of democracy and development, the Office of the IGP solicits that we all strive to safeguard and nurture the ever existing peace, harmony and tolerance among people of the Gambia. Never must we allow anybody cultivate the seeds of tribal dispute and hate among us for the Gambia is our homeland.
ASP Lamin Njie.
For: Inspector General of Police