By Kebba Secka
The Senegalese driver accused of forcefully breaking a barrier with his vehicle at the Senegambia Bridge crossing point is still at large when the police released the vehicle to its owners.
The alleged breaking of the barrier occurred on the 10th of August, a day before the observance of the Islamic feast of Eidul Adha commonly called ‘Tobaski’.
The Spokesperson of the Gambia Police Force ASP Lamin Njie said the bus was released because the owner showed up even though the driver is still at large. He said the Police will continue with the investigations by collaborating with their Senegalese counterparts.. ASP Njie clarified that the release was made under the request of GPA’s management.
In an interview with the Deputy Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) two weeks ago, Halli Gai expressed their intention to prosecute the accused person (driver) which was the reason why they impounded the vehicle which was parked at the Farafenni Police Station for two weeks, awaiting completion of Police investigations.
Police sources at the scene of the alleged crime explained how they and the Army jointly closed the entry of the crossing point from the Soma end (Yelli Tenda) in order for the drivers to ‘pay for the price of their disobedience’. This, they said could not materialized due to official interference from high authorities.
‘‘We received a call from one of the authorities of the GPA who told us that the office of the president has given directives for vehicles to pass,’’ a GPA source said. Other eyewitness said more than one hundred vehicles succeeded in crossing the bridge after the barrier was broken; that the travellers were violent to a point that they suspected that the cashier at the would be robbed by people in the crowd.
They said stones rained from different directions on them, causing three soldiers on the ground to call for reinforcement.
The Office of the president is yet to react to the allegation of interference.