Gambia’s State Intelligence agency has arrested its legal advisor for releasing classified information and accusing him of making false allegations.
Bubacarr Badjie was arrested by special agents of the spy agency on Friday night and detained at its headquarters in the West African nation’s capital, Banjul.
The State Intelligence Services, formerly National Intelligence Agency is notorious for arbitrary arrest and detention during former President Yahya Jammeh’s rule.
Gambia’s new leader, Adama Barrow renamed it State Intelligence Agency and stripped it of its arresting powers, restricting the agency to only gathering and analyzing intelligence.
Badjie in a report to President Barrow made revelations that confirmed long suspicions that a majority of the state intelligence community are members of a militia group that backed Jammeh, most of them “illiterate.”
SIS says Badjie’s report “constitute violations of the official secrets and code of conduct binding on all active and serving officers of this intelligence service.”
Badjie was arrested on the orders of new SIS chief, Ousman Sowe, according to security sources but the agency has no powers to arrest. It has put the legality of Badjie’s arrest into question.
The NIA was the most feared security agency during the Gambia’s decades-long dictatorship. Despite widespread allegations of serious abuses committed by the agency, none of its officers were held accountable for the tortures, rapes, killings and arbitrary detentions until after Jammeh’s ouster.