The National Assembly Member for Banjul South, Fatoumatta ‘Touma’ Njie, was arrested and detained last evening.
According to sources, the parliamentarian was taken into custody by security officers guarding the newly-arrived international travellers quarantined at Golden Beach Hotel in Bijilo.
Police Spokesman ASP Njie confirmed to The Standard: “She is currently under police custody in relation to charges of obstruction. Her arrest is on the basis of her conduct at the Golden Beach Hotel where newly arrived travellers are being quarantined and observed for symtoms of Covid-19 as per health regulations.
“Honourable Njie whose mother is one of the passengers currently under observation at the hotel went to the hotel and tried to intimidate the health and security officials into forcefully removing her mother from the premises.
“On three separate occasions, Honourable Njie went to the hotel, where she subjected the health and security officials to verbal abuse. Added to that, she used her vehicle to barricade the entrance to the hotel obstructing everyone from entering or leaving the premises.
“She did this around the hours of 1700 on Saturday 21stMarch 2020, but the officials didn’t budge. The following morning, she returned and acted in the same manner yet the officials refused to yield. She returned around 1700 hrs and behaved same.
“Honourable Njie’s actions are not only a breach of law but also one least expected of a lawmaker. She is currently helping police with investigations.”
The Standard tried calling Ms Njie but her mobile phone was switched off. Her party leader Papa Njie could also not be reached on the phone. Her former party leader Omar Jallow (OJ) told this paper that he wasn’t aware of the matter.
However at 7.59pm yesterday, Ms Njie’s WhatsApp status was changed to the terse statement: “I’ve been arrested”.
By the time we went to press last night, we were informed that Ms Njie’s fellow city parliamentarian, Muhammed Ndow, and others were at the Tourism Security Unit post at the Senegambia Strip negotiating her release.
When contacted, the Banjul Central NAM told The Standard over the din of loud noise: “We cannot say anything now. We are trying to get her released, then we can give you the details.”