Sheikh Sedia Bayo, the self-acclaimed leader of a political group that recognized itself as Gambia’s government in exile during the regime of ex-President Yahya Jammeh has been arrested in the country.
Bayo’s arrest followed a civil lawsuit against the Paris-based politician by Coco Ocean Hotel for not paying past due bills $42,738.06 Dollars (D1.71 million Dalasis), a bill Batio said he was not responsible for.
The French-born Gambian native was in the country with investors and was arrested the Banjul International Airport last week while waiting to board a flight to Paris. Bayo had stayed in several such expensive hotels, including King Fahd and Raddison Blu hotels in Senegal.
He was dragged to court early Friday, where he told the judge that he owns a car rental company, Safa VTC in France and was advised by the new government not to have bodyguards because he was safe.
A Gambian High Court judge, Justice Buba Jawo has ordered Bayo to provide proof of his financial earnings, which Bayo said is an estimated €64,000 (D3.6 million dalasis). He did not state if this is per year or per month.
A French national, Philippe Etienne has been jointly accused with Bayo for refusing to pay the hotel bills. Bayo said Etienne was supposed to make the payments and accused Coco Ocean management of misleading Mr. Etienne.
Tijan Gaye, Administrative Director of the hotel said Mr. Bayo was “dismissive and inaccessible” and was hard to reach with military-styled bodyguards always around him.
Gaye said Bayo’s protocol officer had promised that bills will be settled before departure but they “clandestinely” left the hotel without making any payments, complaints that the politician denied.