By Mustapha Jallow
An asthma patient and an agriculture reporter at the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), has been detained at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul for 29 days without trial, according to a close family source.
According to a family source, on 6 November 2016, state agents allowed them to be taking food, water and other items to their loved one at the Agency’s office. When asked if they have been briefed by the authorities on why Fatty was arrested and held up to date, the source noted that they still do not know the reason behind his arrest and detention.
However, family members, including his wives and children are hoping to receive their father or husband back home safe and well, after being held in custody without trial.
One of his relatives disclosed that it all started when Bakary returned from Kanilai on Monday, 7 November and complained that his asthma had attacked him again. She said on Tuesday morning, while he was under treatment, he received a phone call from an unknown caller who told him that he is wanted at GRTS and Fatty replied to the said caller that he is ill and cannot go to the office.
‘‘Few minutes later, Mr Fatty kept receiving calls upon calls but his response to them was that he is ill and cannot go to the office,’’ the relative disclosed.
Around 12 noon, Mr Fatty, the bread winner of the family, received yet another call and this time the caller told him that his boss wanted him immediately at GRTS. The source further noted that Fatty had no option but to go and answer at the office.
‘‘While he was with one of the wives in his vehicle, the phone rang again and the caller asked for his location; but he told him that he was on his way to the office. He later dropped the wife at Farato as she was going to the clinic and he then proceeded,’’ the relative explained.
The relative revealed that the wife later received a phone call from her husband telling her that his office was filled with NIA agents who were taking him to their office in Banjul.
‘‘The wife overheard them telling him that he should switch off his phone and thereafter their communication was cut-off. The source explained that the family became worried and some of them including one of the wives visited the NIA headquarters but the agents there told us that they do not know Bakary Fatty,’’ the source said.