The online Freedom Newspaper has apologised to the head of the state intelligence agency.
The US-based Gambian interest online news site had earlier written that the State Intelligence Services Director General Ousman Sowe had been sacked and detained. The story went viral and this newspaper was contacted by readers to verify the information.
Our sources who were with DG Sowe until late Thursday evening, debunked the story.
Meanwhile, as we were about to go to press, the Office of Strategic Communication at SIS wrote to the news site: “[We have] noticed with disbelief your publication on the Freedom online media an article on the unfounded arrest of DG SOWE. We wish to state that the DG is not arrested as erroneously reported. We spent the whole day with him in office and as usual he has been engaged and full of energy throughout the day.
“The DG was even seen visiting his staff in their offices and closely and affectionately interacting with them in their offices and in the corridors.
We wish to state again that our DG, Mr Ousman Sowe is in office and as usual even stayed long today after the 4 P.M closing time to take care of official and other state matters. We can confirm that as we file in this response the DG is home breaking fast (iftar) with his family. Again the SIS wish to implore and advise the Freedom newspaper that it be contacted for clarifications on issues, articles or information before publication.”
In reply the Freedom editor wrote: “Our unreserved apology to the SIS Director General Ousman Sowe and the men serving under his leadership for the alleged inaccurate reporting. To err is human, and we humbly take responsibility for the alleged misreporting. We believe in our sources and as such we decided to run the story. We will endeavor to contact you in the future to authenticate stories. Thanks for the clarification.”
The false report was made on the day the top echelon of the police was shuffled.