By Mustapha Jallow
Alhagi Ousman Sawaneh, the Imam of Kanifing South mosque, who was reported to have been missing and later traced to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) detention centre in Banjul, has been transferred to Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR) since the 27th of October, 2015, a family source told Foroyaa.
According to family sources, Imam Sawaneh has been in state custody for 17 days now without any reason given to them by the authorities; adding that he has been moved to Janjanbureh prison and that they have been denied to see him.
Sources reveal that the Imam was escorted by members of the NIA from their headquarters in Banjul to Brikamaba Police station, where they stopped and entered the station but that they later entered their vehicle and took him to Janjanbureh prison where he is currently detained without trial.
The situation of the Imam has traumatized and affected his family members and the neighbourhood, who say they know the Imam as a good leader of the mosque of Kanifing South as well as in the society. ‘‘I was shocked when I received the Information of the Imam, I could not do anything but just pray for him to be released from detention because his is a good Imam,’’ said a source.
Distraught family members have called on the authorities to release the Imam or grant them access to him.
Imam Sawaneh was picked up by men in civilian clothes around 10 am, while leading a team of workers to clear the grass in the Kanifing Cemetery. He was later whisked away to an unknown destination. His family members searched for him and traced him to the NIA headquarters in Banjul.
Family sources say they took clothes and toiletries for him but the NIA officials refused to take them to him.
“We’re deeply worried and concerned about the present situation of our father who is being detained,” a family member said.