By Kebba Secka
Events unfolded in Brikama, regarding the alleged murder of one Musa Colley aged 20, on Saturday June 29th. Musa who is said to originate from Kwinella, was alleged to have been killed on his way from seeing his girlfriend off during the night. Some people have been arrested and detained at the Brikama Police Station for the murder, including the girlfriend who was said to have been detained for questioning. A large agitated crowd demanded that the Police hand over the detained suspects so that he can be lynched or they would burn down the station.
A big brawl was said to have taken place between the Police who barricaded the main entrance of their Station and remained inside awaiting assistance from the authorities, and the agitated angry mob.
Kemo SM Colley who spoke on behalf of the family, said the news of the sudden death of their son sent shock waves within the entire family. According to Kemo, Musa is alleged to have quarrelled with the apprentice of a truck that was packing between Brikama Joko and the Jah Oil Station; that he cannot dilate much on what transpired afterwards but that he was called by his younger brother, that their son was killed by a group of people around the Jah Oil Station; that he wasted no time but followed his brother to the scene. Kemo said upon arrival, they found their son lying dead. ”Base on the information we got from the decease’s girlfriend, we suspected the apprentices to be the murderers of our son. Although, we are in deep emotion and sadness now, we will allow the law to take its course for justice to prevail,” Kemo told this reporter.
Another relative who spoke to this reporter was Lamin Colley, who described the death of young Musa as a big lost to their family. Lamin said the Musa was hardworking and rendered all sort of support to the family. ”We will bear the pain and abide by the law. But we will not forgive those who have done this heinous act on our son,” he said in an emotional tone of voice. Asked to comment on the large crowd that had stormed the Police Station, Lamin said they never asked anybody to gather but that the crowd was showing solidarity with them, in order to put a stop to the rampant killings of innocent people especially youth, in the country. He said he appealed to the crowd to allow the Police continue with their investigations, as violence against Law Enforcement Officers, would only worsen the situation and interrupt their investigation.
When contacted to shed light on the matter, the Deputy Police PRO, ASP Foday Conta, said the incident occurred during Friday night, at around 3 am, when the deceased was coming from a night club and pass a truck that was trying to pack 50 meters away from Joko, in Brikama; that the deceased was going home with his girlfriend and had a quarrelled with the apprentices. ASP Conta explained that when the quarrel started, the apprentices told the deceased to continue in the company of his girl friend to her home; that if he returns, they would fight him. According to him, this is why they suspected and arrested the apprentices, who are currently helping the Police in their investigations. ASP Conta said the suspects are Gambians and resident in Gunjur; that the girl friend whose identity is concealed, was not detained but called for questioning.
Senior Security Officers from the Army, Police and Intelligence, were seen on the ground calming the angry crowd, to let the law take its course. The Senior Security Officers quickly organized a meeting with the family members of the deceased and protesting youth and advised them to remain calm and maintain peace and allow the Police to continue with their investigations.
Both the new Acting IGP and Deputy CDS Drammeh, warned the youth against taking the law into their own hands; that the repercussion for such action, brings more harm than good. They advised the youth to jealously protect the peace the Gambia is blessed with, and never allow anger and sentiment to override their actions.
At the end of the meeting, family members and angry youth expressed appreciation on the action of the Senior Security Chiefs saying they will comply with the advice and urged their sympatisers to calm and allow the ongoing investigations by the Police.
PIU officers were not seen anywhere in this incident, but instead the ECOMIG Force was deployed to ensure that peace prevailed in the area. The arrival of the ECOMIG Force however, made no differences in the emotion of the angry mob; but the diligent approach taken by the ECOMIG Force members and gentle appeal to the angry youth, persuaded many of them to see reason to remain calm and resolve the matter without further violence.