By Ousman A. Marong
A Gambian journalist Pa Modou Bojang, the Proprietor of Home Digital FM has said that he was manhandled by the personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) alias the paramilitary during his arrest and detention.
“I was heavily escorted by the PIU officers who were armed to the teeth with their AK-47 riffles. I asked them to tell me the place they were taking me to and they said Denton Bridge. They drove me to an unknown location where I finally saw myself at Wellengara police station,” Pa Modou Bojang explained.
According to him, prior to his arrest he had received a telephone call from a source at State-House who informed him that there were plans to have him arrested and shut down his radio station as well.
“My source at State-House informed me that I was going to be arrested and that my radio station will be shut down too. I told him no problem that I will be waiting. My studio manager was the one brewing green tea while I was in the studio doing a live broadcasting. I asked one of my staff to be regulating the CCTV camera for me and that he should do a recording of the police as they enter,” he remarked.
The Propreitor of Home Digital FM has made these revelations on Taranga FM’s Current Affairs radio program called “Mborr Mi” anchored by Dr. Ismaila Sisay.
He said as the PIU officers stormed his radio station to have him arrested, listeners and well-wishers in the neighbourhood rushed to stop the police taking him away.
“Upon my arrest I was transported to the Brusubi police station where I was asked to write a statement when I asked what statement and they couldn’t tell me something concrete. I then told them that I will not write any statement without having access to my lawyer and that I have the right to remain silent. While at Brusibi station I was locked behind bars,” he asserted.
He said as he was standing inside the cell he overheard someone constantly knocking the walls of the cell. He revealed that the one doing this was a police officer in the person of one Buba Kanteh who was accused of been a sympathizer to “3 Years Jotna Movement”.
“Kanteh was the one ordered to arrest me, but he refused.”
On his part, Gibbi Jallow proprietor King FM radio station also echoed similar sentiment.
Demba Ali Jawo, former Information Minister when call to shed light on the closure of the two private radio stations said:
“There was no proper procedure taken in the closure of the two radio stations,” DA Jawo said.
He added: “There are procedures thus needed to be taken before one could close down a radio station. PURA is the regulator of media houses in this country and if there is going to be a closure on any media house PURA should be involved.”
Jawo himself, a one time President of the country’s Press Union said it is now up to the Gambia Press Union (GPU) to take charge of its destiny.