By Lamin Cham
Demba Sowe, the National Assembly Member for Niamina West has confirmed his arrest by police on Tuesday. Sowe was detained at Bundung Borehole police station and the Major Crime Unit in Banjul being released on bail.
He said the police charged him with conspiracy and fraud but vowed to contest the charges in court to clear his name.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Sowe said the police informed him that his arrest had to do with a court case involving a company he was working for which was accused of fraud and conspiracy among other things. “They said a bench warrant was issued for me but no one had ever called me to any court or any case all the past years. I participated in the elections, conducted all my campaign here and no one had ever called me to any court,” Sowe protested.
He further stated that his role stopped at only executing his duties as an employee of the company in question and had no part in what the company was being accused of. “All what I did at the company was to do my work and I will prove my innocence,” he said.
Hon Sowe accused his political opponents in the National Reconciliation Party (NRP,) whose candidate he defeated at the recent parliamentary election, for being behind the conspiracy to link him to the case.
“I have got very solid evidence that the NRP candidate and his colleagues in the party are the ones going round from media house to media house, police station to police station, court house to court house in this land trying to instigate them to write, arrest or charge me in connection with this case. But let me make this clear, I am going to fight and prove my innocence and my message to the NRP is that even if I die, they will never win the Niamina West seat. Never,” Sowe claimed.
Last week judicial sources informed The Standard that state prosecutors and police are looking for Sowe, after he reportedly failed to answer to charges of conspiracy and making false document for which he was jointly charged with five others at the High Court in Banjul since 2015.
Mr Sowe was granted police bail but he has since not been appearing before the court to answer to the charges against him despite a bench warrant for his arrest issued earlier.
A few weeks ago, The Standard interviewed the parliamentarian but he flatly denied standing trial and described allegations leveled against him as “unfounded rumours” being peddled by his political opponents.
“I am not standing any trial as far as I know. I know for sure that a few years ago while I was working for a shipping company called B&KK, I was along with my boss and others reported to the police and later charged with theft following a complaint by one Muhammed Tunkara and others. However, we were all acquitted by the court and since then, I have never been charged or being a subject of any trial,” Sowe earlier told The Standard over the phone.