Authorities in The Gambia have forced parliamentarian Buba Ayi Sanneh (Independent – Kombo Central) to repudiate on national television reports of his arrest only to continue detaining him and allegedly breaking into his vehicle, taking documents.
Buba Ayi Sanneh was arrested since early September by agents from the country’s spy agency. The agency is under the command of the country’s president, Yahya Jammeh of whom Mr. Sanneh is a strong critic.
Gambian authorities said he was not arrested but questioned over land sales disputes.
Sanneh was forced to speak on the state’s television network saying he was not arrested but questioned and then released. His wife with a nephew said since his questioning, they have not seen him and authorities have since held him incommunicado.
Sanneh’s appearance on state-owned GRTS was meant to distract the press for continuing to write on his illegal detention by the NIA, which does not have the authority to investigate land matters.
Rights campaigners are demanding for his release, which they say is beyond the 72 hours limit provided for in the constitution. They demand authorities to both charge him and bring him before a court or set him free.
People in Brikama Sanneh Kunda prevented an initial attempt by NIA agents to arrest him and was “abducted” after he went to the Brikama Police Station to inquire about the attempted arrest.
Sanneh’s elder brother was said to have sold a land in Farato without his knowledge. The MP sold the same land to another client but said he will reimburse the last buyer, but Sanneh’s arrest came days after speaking to an online radio host and accusing a judge of bias.