By Mustapha Jallow
A resident of Jabang Village in the Kombo South District, Mr. Sheikh Omar Colley, a chef de garage, has now been held for 19 days at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul, a relative said.
This is contrary to section 19 of the constitution which forbids detaining a person for more than 72 hours without bringing that person before a court of law. According to a relative Mr. Colley’s on 27 October, 2015 they again re-visited the NIA headquarters in Banjul to see Mr Colley but were again denied access to their brother. “We’re still making our efforts to see him but whenever we visit the NIA, we always find an agent at the gate who would deny us access to our brother. We are worried about his health condition,” he told Foroyaa.
The family members are calling on the authorities who arrested and detained him to release him or allow him access to his family members and legal counsel.
It was earlier reported that Mr Colley had received a phone call from someone who claimed to be calling from Bansang Police station on Thursday, 15 October, 2015.
Sources say that the caller asked Mr Colley to tell him which police station is nearest to him (Mr Colley) and he mentioned Old Yundum Police Station. Subsequently, he was asked by the caller to immediately report at the Old Yundum Police Station.
The source added that this caller told Mr. Colley to call him when he gets to the police station and hand over the phone to the station officer so that he (the caller) would talk to him.
According to them, without hesitation, Mr Colley informed them and they accompanied him to the police station.
The source further indicated that upon their arrival at the station, Mr. Colley called the said caller from Bansang to talk to the police they met there who later directed him to hand over all his personal belongings such as a mobile phone. He was then put in the cell. He said the brother was detained overnight before being transferred to the NIA detention centre in Banjul on Friday 16 October, where he is still held incommunicado. “We are worried about his health as he is hypertensive. We wanted to take food, soap, toothpaste and some clothes to him as he has not changed his clothes but we were denied access to him,” said a relative.
The relative added, “I am always in tears when Sheikh Omar’s young kids ask for their father.”