Detention Without Trial: Fired Minister’s Family Cries Foul

Fired deputy Minister Ousman Jammeh
Fired deputy Minister Ousman Jammeh

The family of Ousman Jammeh is crying foul over the continued illegal detention of the former deputy Minister of Agriculture. Mr. Jammeh remains in detention since his dismissal in mid-October. Jammeh, who is yet to be charged or appeared in court, clocks 72 days in illegal detention, which is a flagrant violation of his constitutional rights. He is also denied family visits or changes clothes. He is believed to held at the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency in Banjul.

No reasons have been advanced for Ousman Jammeh’s unceremonious firing and subsequent detention incommunicado. Ismaila Sanyang, a Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President, who would later become the Agriculture Minister, replaced Jammeh.

Ousman’s detention resulted after President Yahya Jammeh had reportedly blamed him for derailing his (Jammeh’s) failed Vision 2016. “Grow what you eat, eat what you grow” concept, aims to make The Gambia food self sufficient next year. It remains a wishful thinking, a fact the master touter leader admitted, although it took him longer before he had realised the truth.

President Jammeh had thrice become the Agriculture Minister but the country remains a major importer of basic food stuff. Mr. Jammeh is in the habit of apportioning blame on others any time his policies have produced limited or no success. Gambian leader is also accused of milking the coffers of the Agriculture Ministry whose cream of officials are either fired or arraigned in court.

Ousman Jammeh, a native of Niumi in the North Bank Region, has worked for the Agriculture Ministry for over 30 years. The former minister’s family and friends do not doubt his “clean records” in the Civil Service.


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