Detention without trial and unconstitutional arrests of people have become a common practice in the Gambia under the dictatorial regime of President Yahya Jammeh. Many a times people are arrested and held incommunicado for weeks, months and even years. Some even disappeared without trace. This dictatorial practice, a direct assault on the constitutional rights of citizens, must be challenged by detainees or their families in court.
A clear case at hand is that of Madikey Faal, a former National Intelligence Agency, who has been in state custody for more than two weeks. Faal’s wife has been running from pole to post in search of her husband.
Kairo News has proven facts that Madikey Faal is illegally been held by the members of NIA. Mr. Faal has been in state custody since his arrest on February and held at the NIA head quarters in Banjul without having access to his family or lawyer. His wife on daily bases visits the NIA office but have never been allow to see her husband.
When Kairo News contacted, our source at the NIA they confirmed that Madikey Faal is indeed in their custody. Asked why he is not released or charge, the source laughed saying “you know we are not in control here. We are waiting for President Yahya Jammeh to return from Kanilai so he can decide Madikey’s fate.”
How long will it take our law enforcement agents to know or respect the fundamental laws of the country such as the law on detention? This law is clear in Section 19 (3) (b) and (5) of the constitution that “Any person who is arrested or detained – (a) for the purpose of bringing him or her before a court in execution of the order of a court, or (b) upon reasonable suspicion of his or her having committed, or being about to commit, a criminal offence under the Laws of The Gambia, and who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court and, in any event, within seventy-two hours. This is the language of the law spoken by our own constitution…. Did our law enforcement agents struggle +to understand this?