Gambia: Police summon opposition leader for questioning

Gambia: Police summon opposition leader for questioning

The new leader of Gambia’s defeated ex-ruling party, Fabakary Tombong Jatta has been asked to report to the police for questioning, a party official said.

The request by the police came just a day after the APRC party distributed fabrics for a rally scheduled in the coming week.

The exact date of the rally is known to us but it is the first major rally to be held by the APRC since it lost the presidential and parliamentary polls.

The party had applied for a permit from the police to hold the rally at the Buffer Zone, a square in the outskirts of the commercial city of Serrekunda, about 10 miles southwest of the capital, Banjul.

Neither APRC nor the police could confirm if a permit has been issued but preparations were in high gear. The party is seeking to main the mayorship of the Kanifing Municipality.

A party official of the APRC says he does not know why Mr. Jatta, the former Majority Leader of the Parliament was invited for questioning but he is sure to be at the Kairaba Police Station to accompany his leader.

The APRC has accused the coalition government that handed them a shocking defeat in December of stifling their political activities by freezing dozens of bank accounts belonging to the party.

Gambia’s Justice Department in May seized at least 95 bank accounts belonging to and associated with the former President Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh is accused of stealing more than $50 million before fleeing to Equatorial Guinea and mismanaging billions of public funds to fuel a life of luxury.

The APRC was evicted from its party head office by Gambian authorities for refusing to pay rent, a charge that party members say was politically motivated.

The Barrow administration has, however, ignored calls by some political activists and government supporters to have the former ruling party banned.

They were able to participate in the April legislative polls and won five seats in the now opposition stronghold of Foni, the southern region, where Mr. Jammeh hails from.

Foni had been the epicenter of post-electoral skirmishes that left one person dead, several people injured and dozens arrested. Normalcy has returned to the region but anger remains over the presence of West African forces.

President Adama Barrow authorized West African troops to flush Jammeh out of the country after the ex-strongman refused to cede power and step aside.

Forces from mainly Senegal entered The Gambia, first capturing the Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai before advancing towards the capital until a last-minute diplomatic effort led to his quite departure to Equatorial Guinea.

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