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Friday, September 22, 2023

Police break up press conference by ‘owners’ of former Anti-Crime office


By Tabora Bojang

Police yesterday disrupted a press conference called by the Global Home of Medical Mission in Bijilo, who won a judgment and writ of possession as owner of the premises where Anti Crime office used to be.   The Unit has since moved to Yundum but the police continue to guard the place, blocking access to the Global Home Medical Mission.

The property was taken over from the Global Home of Medical Missions by exiled former president Yahya Jammeh in 2010. But following the democratic change in 2017, the organisation resorted to the courts to reclaim the property winning a judgment which ordered for the property, to be given back to them.

 After winning the case, the medical organisation also obtained a writ of possession ordering the Police Anti Crime Unit to vacate the property.

“The ACU has now moved out but we are still being denied access to our property with directives from the IGP for reasons not known to us. This is a clear act of contempt of a court order,” Nenneh Freda Gomez, the country director of Global Home of Medical Missions, told journalists at the ill-fated press conference hosted at the site to highlight the action of the police.

But as the press conference started with a heavy security onlooking the proceedings, one Sergeant Bojang walked in and handed over the phone to Modou Ceesay, a representative of the Sheriff Division ordering him to ask the team to stop the press conference.

According to Ceesay, the man on the phone was AIG Landing Bojang informing him that the current IGP Abdoulie Sanyang was not in the picture regarding the press conference.

The Sheriff Division man was heard telling AIG Bojang over the phone that there was a correspondence between the IGP and the Sheriff Division to notify the police about the vacation.

“Our coming here is in respect of a judgment by the Kanifing Magistrate Court and we have to give them possession of their property going by the judgment. The IGP got the file because there was a correspondence between us and the IGP,” the man from the Sheriff Division could be heard telling AIG Bojang on the phone.

However, the man on the other side of the line could be heard telling him to leave, insisting that the correspondence was between them and the former IGP Mamour Jobe and not the current IGP Abdoulie Sanyang.

The Sheriff Division man then urged the Global Medical team to obey the order and vacate the premises and further advised that they re-take the matter up with the Sheriff Division to avoid any confrontations: “We cannot be pushing and pulling with them,” the Sheriff’s representative advised the team.

Soon after, about a dozen armed PIU officers led by one Inspector Hatab Bah arrived, saying he came on the orders of one FB Jaiteh to stop the team from conducting a press conference and ask them to leave the premises because it is under the control of the state.

However, director Gomez and Dr Mendy argued, the team will only vacate if the police provided a notice from the court stating otherwise.

Lawyer Rachael Y Mendy, counsel for the team was called and she advised that the team stay and carry out all necessary work. Following about an hour of negotiations, the officers received another phone call ordering them to return to the office and let the team alone.

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