According to reports reaching The Standard, following a letter sent to the director of the centre, Mr Sariyang MK Jobarteh, instructing him to close the offices and hand over vehicles and equipment to the permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture. The letter to the director also indicated that decision was in accordance with “an executive directive from the Office of the President”.
Since this “handing-over” was effected, twenty staff members were arrested by the Brikama-ba police, detained for a day and then granted bail. One of the bail conditions, according to our source, is for the entire staff members to surrender their travel documents to the police. The affected officials have been reporting to the police station for the past two weeks without charges pressed against them, a source told The Standard.
The Standard tried calling the mobile phone of Mr Jobarteh but we were directed to a voicemail box. However, a staff of the office on Saturday confirmed the closure of their offices and their arrest to The Standard. He said the police informed them that they were being investigated before charges will be pressed against them.
When contacted, police public relations officer, ASP David Kujabi, said he was not aware of any arrests of the said officials. “What I can tell you is that they were invited to give statements regarding an ongoing investigation. Statements were obtained from them and they were left to go back. That is all I can tell you,” he said.
However, when put to him that some of the staff spent the night at the Police on the day of the arrest, and their travel documents were confiscated by the Police, he said he was not aware of that. PRO Kujabi could not also explain what the staff of the centre were being investigated for.
By Sanna Camara]]>