By Muhammed L Bojang & Ousman A Marong
Information reaching The MAMOS Media has it that one Kingsley Tama, a Nigerian national has been seriously tortured by a Paramilitary officer for allegedly smoking cigarrette in public.
The alleged incident had occurred on Wednesday morning August 12th, along the road leading to the Bakau Garage from Serrekunda Market, Mr Tama was slapped and beaten by a PIU officer with a baton for public smoking. Under the Gambian laws, Public Smoking is prohibited but it is not permissible to beat any offender.
“I was going along Serrekunda market road leading to Bakau Garage with my facemask on due to the COVID-19. I bought a cigarette and continue walking with the cigarette in my hand. A PIU officer called me and asked that if I did not know that smoking in public is an offence and before replying he slapped my right face then I wanted to speak again but he hit me with a baton on my right eye then I felt down unconscious, people gathered and there was crowd then they tried to revive me, some arguing with the officers that what he did was not right,” said Kingsley Tama.
He said the other PIU officers came trying to disperse the crowd but blood was oozing from his face profusely and the crowd was getting larger, arguing with the officers. He said the officers wanted to take him to the hospital for treatment but the people who were there said they should take him to the police station first before taking him to the hospital and the officers refuse as they wanted to take him to the hospital and there was a big commotion.
“I could not recognize the officer who hit me as I was unconscious at that moment and fortunately the Police officers disperse the crowd and took me to the Serrekunda Health Centre,” he said.
Mr Tama claimed at the Serrekunda Health Centre, the doctors cleaned his wounds with medicated spirits and put a plaster on it and the officers took him to the Serrekunda Police Station where he was charged for obstructions.
“While they were writing the charges, I saw one senior police officer Landing Bojang whom I know personally. I walked to him straight and after finishing his telephone conversation, he asked what happened to me and I told him everything that had happened. He asked wether I can recognise the officer who hit me but I told him that I cannot recognise him as I was unconscious and he later asked me to follow him to the officers writing the charge sheet and told them to stop and drop all charges against me,” he remarked.
He said he was immediately released with all those who were arrested for stopping the officers from taking him to the hospital, including the ones taking pictures and videos and were asked to delete the pictures and videos from their phones.
“Landing Bojang later asked the S/O of Serrekunda Station to take me to the Serrekunda Hospital that was when I received better treatment and medications,” Tama said.
He added that his telephone number was taken with a promised that the case would be investigated.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Lamin Njie, the Police Spokesman has been contacted on the alleged assault on Mr Kingsley Tama by a PIU officer. He said he was not briefed on the incident.
“It has not yet reached on his desk,” said Superintendent Lamin Njie, the Police Spokesman.
ASP Njie said he would follow up the matter but also encouraged the victim to come to the Police Headquarters Complaint Office to file a formal complaint for investigation.