By Momodou Jawo
The Gambia Police Force has categorically denied targeting opposition politicians for harassment stressing that the recent questioning of the APRC and GDC leaders had nothing to do with politics.
In the last few months, the police drew criticisms from both parties after they invited Fabakary Tombong Jatta of the APRC and Mamma Kandeh of the GDC, allegedly over remarks they made on the political platform.
However speaking to The Standard Police Public Relations Officer ASP Foday Conta said the arrest of the two political leaders was not politically motivated and was not also based on any executive directive.
“Let me make it very clear that the GPF has never arrested or questioned anybody for political reasons since January 19.
The recent questioning of the two opposition leaders was not because they are party leaders but it was because they made some allegations that were contrary to the law. For example Kandeh made allegations against the Coalition government, accusing them of diverting funds. We felt it is necessary to invite him to verify the information so that we can open a case file for investigation but he did not tell us anything,” Conta stated.
On Fabakary Tombong Jatta, ASP Conta said: ‘You cannot use your political platform to incite violence. The interim leader of APRC was questioned and warned seriously after which he was released”.
On the case of Lamin Manneh, AKA Njie Manneh, who recently claimed in a WhatsApp message shared on the UDP forum he shot someone in the leg at Buffer-Zone, Conta said Njie Manneh never shot anyone.
“He lied to the public by claiming to have shot someone in the leg but told the police during his interrogation that he was just trying to scare off people, who threatened to kill him upon his return to the Gambia. He resorted to communicating false threats and information in an attempt to scare off people he perceived wanted to hurt him,” the police spokesman said.
The police, he said, are doing their job independently as it is here for everybody and protecting the peace and stability if the country at all times.