Gambia’s Police expert is convinced that the successive deaths of a university student Kebba Secka and mobile phone repair service provider Ousman Darboe don’t augur well for the country’s Security Security Reform (SSR).
“I know these cases are all under investigation but they don’t tell well for the ongoing reforms,” Coastal Security Ltd boss said.
Clashes erupted in the Kanifing Municipality on Wednesday following the death of Ousman Darboe who was under a police investigation. Authorities have vowed to shed light on the circumstances surrounding his death. It came on the heels of the arrest of a police officer accused of stabbing stabbing of Kebba Secka at night. Police Constable Trawally later confessed to the fatal stabbing of the university student.
“Under the powers of the Police, there is nothing that says a police officer should in possession a knife while carrying out his/her duty,” Mr. Ceesay said.
A former member of the British Police and Freedom Radio news anchor for years has added his voice to the chorus of calls urging the government to open an inquiry into the death of Ousman Darboe.
“I think they (the Police) will do a postmortem in order to establish whether the Police are involved or not,” he said. “If the Police are found wanting, those implicated should be brought to book.”
Putting things into perspective, Ceesay said it is important for the SSR to take an inner look of policing in the country.
In an attempt to chart the way forward, Mr. Ceesay wanted authorities to move towards democratic policing.
“Democratic policing is applicable under this new political dispensation. The Police must be seen to be democratic, to abide by the rules and their powers must be known to the citizens,” he said, stating that police officers must also exercise their duty of care over any arrestee.
However, Coastal Security Ltd Managing Director expressed concerns over the way Police are treating those detained for criminal infractions.
“Detainees are only entitled to one meal per day,” he deplored. He said the Police should do a routine test in order to assess their health for dangers that might follow their incarceration.
“The welfare of the person needs to be guaranteed,. Being booked at a police station for an alleged crime does not mean they should not take care of you,” he added.