By Abdoulie John
Calls are intensifying on Gambian Police to enhance the pace of investigation in the burglary case that occurred at opposition leader’s house. The issue continues to generate headlines.
“The police seems to be dragging their feet on probe into case of burglars who targeted the house of Omar Amadou Jallow of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP),” human rights lawyer and Gambia Consultative Council (GCC) spokesperson Assan Martin told this reporter in an exclusive interview.
Last month, intruders stormed their way into the home of longtime opponent and harsh critic of President Yahya Jammeh regime and stole valuable items including his laptop computer. Subsequently, his watchman was arrested and put under police custody to help investigators in their task. But reports from Banjul have it that
there is mounting suspicion growing over possible attempts by the State to tamper with the investigation.
Lawyer Martin said the country’s security forces are involved into a lot of activities. “The information we got from high level sources indicates this has been an organised crime mounted by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA),” he revealed.
As Gambians are yet to fully enjoy their civic liberties. “I strongly believe there is now an increased surveillance by State security apparatus and Omar A. Jallow has been on the radar of agents with the NIA ever since,” Martin added.
Amnesty International West Africa Anglophone countries campaigner Marta Colomer Aguilera decried ‘the climate of fear and the lack of freedom of expression’ prevailing in The Gambia.
“Regarding the case of the burglary in the house of Omar Amadou Jallow we really hope that there will be an independent and prompt investigation to identify the people responsible and that those responsible would be brought to justice,” she told this reporter.
Lamin Njie, a spokesperson for the country’s police declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. He responded in the negative when asked whether there are other suspects arrested.
The tiny West African nation continues to be spotlighted over gross human rights violations. Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in bloodless coup, is often accused by rights groups of accepting dissent and differing views. The upcoming 2016 elections have increased his grip on power as no concession has been made towards the opposition.