Political science lecturer Dr Ismaila Ceesay has reacted to a statement by Justice Minister Tambadou that police were within their right to invite him for questioning and that his rights were not violated.
Minister Tambadou told the press on Wednesday, “The police have a duty to investigate if they have reason to believe that a crime was committed. I was informed that Dr Ceesay was invited to the police and that he responded to the invitation by driving in his own car to the police station. I am further informed that when he was requested to go home, he refused to leave the station. This was clearly not a wise decision on his part… But I have to say that there are a lot of positives to take from the whole incident, including the fact that civil society was galvanised. This is good for our nascent democracy. It shows vigilance and is a welcome development.”
But in response, Dr Ceesay told The Standard yesterday, “I am appalled to learn that the Minister of Justice Baa Tambadou, a man I have huge respect for, has attempted to mislead Gambians by claiming that I was just called by the police for questioning and that my ‘rights were not violated’. This is a clear distortion of the facts.
“This is how the events unfolded: I was called for questioning at Police HQ in Banjul. Upon arrival, I was interrogated for 3 hours and then detained in a cell for 5 hours. I was then charged with inciting violence. If I was only called for questioning and then asked to go home, as Minister Tambadou purports, why was I charged and offered self bail as was claimed by the police in their press statement on the day I was released? It is disingenuous for the minister to distort the facts of the events. I think the minister and the police should be honest to the Gambian people and endeavour to tell the truth.”