By Mustapha Jallow
After the publication of Bunja Nyassi’s detention at Yundum barracks for more than 72 hours, the PRO of the Gambia Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Omar B. Bojang, yesterday called Foroyaa to explain that Bunja is a military man given the rank of major. He further explained Bunja Nyassi’s history. He did not explain that he is charged with a crime. He only explained that he is detained under the Armed Forces Act and other laws of the Gambia including the constitution and is under investigation.
PRO B. Bojang indicated that Bunja Nyassi and some others were not treated as civilians, adding that they have been recruited discreetly into GAF by the former president Yahya Jammeh, who gave them ranks and salaries.
‘‘They have been conducting spy activities for the former regime, and they report directly to him or some of his trusted aides, and as at now our investigation has revealed that the trio have received various military trainings while in Libya before joining the GAF and they also fought alongside Charles Taylor, the former Librarian ruler and they were brought back in the country by the former regime,’’ he narrated.
He said that while the trio and others who are still at large were in the country, they were invited for a meeting at state house by ex-president Jammeh of which they were secretly enlisted into the GAF and they were given ranks and paid salaries under the GAF.
‘‘They were given military ranks but not civilian ranks so that is why we are still holding them and under the Gambia Armed Force Act ‘a soldier or officer can be put under service custody and investigation can go on and it can be renewed by a competent authority through the request of investigators. The service custody might go beyond 72 hours as enshrined by the Gambia Armed Forces Act and Regulation,’’ B. Bojang, GAF spokesperson explained.
He disclosed that the members of the GAF have two laws that are guiding them and that is the constitution and GAF Act or the service law.
In conclusion, PRO B. Bojang said that they have set up an investigation panel team consisting of the military intelligence, National Intelligence Agency and Police who are still investigating and these three people may be prosecuted soon.
Mr Nyassi was picked up again and taken to Yundum Barracks on Monday, 6 March, 2017 around 8pm. The resident of Bakoteh was earlier arrested by two men in plain clothes on February 2, around 11am and was briefly held at the Bakoteh Police Station before being transported to the police headquarters in Banjul, where he was detained for 6 days without any court trial before his release on 7 February.
Mrs. Kadijatou Gibba Nyassi indicated that the Military police have allowed them to be visiting him or bringing food and clothes for him at the said Yundum Barracks. Foroyaa has also learned that Bunja’s commercial ‘gele-gele’ has been seized and is presently parked at the Barracks.