By Omar Bah
The United Democratic Party leader yesterday told journalists that attempts to link his party with drugs are not only disingenuous but cheap politically motivated agenda.
The police announced Saturday that its patrol team in Bundung apprehended one Yusupha Jambang, who was driving a yellow pickup truck belonging to the United Democratic Party.
According to the police, the driver failed to stop for checking resulting in a pursuit and, while evading security check, he caused considerable damages to the patrol vehicle. The UDP has since issued a statement and categorically cleared that the driver at the time of the incident is not a member of the party but a mechanic tasked to repair the vehicle in question.
Addressing the media on the matter, Ousainu Darboe claimed that he got intelligence reports of a plot to plant incriminating ‘materials’ on him and other party top officials.
“I want to tell you gentlemen of the press that about three months ago, I had intelligence report that I should advise Momodou Sabally, Ebrima Dibba, Karafa Sonko, Honourable Saho, Ya-Kumba Jaiteh, and myself to be careful where we park our vehicles and ensure that somebody sits in our vehicles at all times because there is a scheme to plant incriminating materials on us,” he alleged.
He added that Sabally, Saho, and Ya-Kumba are particularly targeted to silence them while the same scheme is planned to discredit him ahead of the elections.
“We want to say that the UDP has always been against criminality in this country and more particularly, the use of substances that are harmful to individuals. In my career as a lawyer, I have refused to defend anybody for drug cases. I have refused it and all that is to show our revulsion for drugs and drug use. If someone on his folly uses our vehicle without our knowledge and you want to pin that on UDP, I think that will be most outrageous and very disingenuous,” he argued.
He explained that the vehicle in question was taken to a garage with another car for maintenance and that it was under the control of the mechanic and not the UDP.
“It is not that the vehicle was in my premises here and taken away. It was totally under the control of the mechanic who was himself shocked because he had finished mechanical work and was left with electrical work and probably this was the electrician who took the vehicle. So no one can blame the UDP for really not exercising control or for being negligent,” he said.
Darboe said “the whole thing was a strategy and a ploy to make sure that UDP vehicles are grounded.
“That is their ploy. I am not sure whether the vehicle can be used as an exhibit, because I have not seen any vehicle being used as an exhibit before because even government vehicles were arrested with cannabis but only the cannabis was used as an exhibit,” he added.
He said any reasonable person could conclude that the cannabis was planted in the vehicle. “They want to tarnish the image of the UDP. This is political. We have seen that whenever UDP executives have issues at the police, top NPP officials will go to the police,” he said. Darboe further alleged that Musa Suso, the deputy governor of West Coast Region, went to the police station on this matter. “He was right there; he cannot deny it. Why would he go there as deputy governor? He should not be seen to be advocating for the election of any political leader or the re-election of Adama Barrow.
“I think the Public Service Commission should really take the appropriate steps and I believe the chairman of the commission is a very principled person and very honest and anything that will be tainting the image of the commission, he will do something about it,” he concluded.