Interior minister disassociates himself from ongoing NIA saga

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Minister of the Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty has said that he did not authorise the arrest of Lawyer Baboucarr M.O Badjie or any other person of interest to law enforcement officers, neither was he consulted prior to Badjie’s arrest.

In a statement released via social media yesterday afternoon, Minister Fatty said although he takes full responsibility of the satellite institutions under his ministry, it would constitute a misconception of his role as interior minister to include the power of arrest, detention and prosecution.

Badjie’s arrest has caused a several reactions both locally and online, and the minister said he deemed it “useful to clarify the situation”.

“It would be wrong assumption to conclude that the Minister of Interior would be aware of every arrest or detention situation in the country. The Minster should not interfere in such matters,” he said.

Badjie released on bail

Meanwhile SIS’ lawyer Badjie has been released on bail by the police at about 4.30 pm yesterday after he turned down an initial bail condition, arguing that it was stringent.

“A bail bond of D1 million with two male sureties was exorbitant in my situation,” he said of the first bail condition.

“I am a senior officer of the agency [SIS] and my rank is equivalent to a Police Commissioner so I see no reason why my bail condition should be so stringent.”

Badjie said he also had security concerns which made him turn down the bail offer due to the presence of operatives of the SIS special operations unit and other people he identified to be close associates of ex-President Jammeh’s brother, Ansumana Jammeh at the station. 

Badjie is subject of government investigations relating to alleged misconduct. His boss Ousman Sowe at the SIS accused him of leaking official secrets to the public.

Investigation panel comprising various personnel of the police are currently investigating to establish if the allegation advanced by Badjie’s boss is in fact true.

He was served with an interdiction letter from the Personnel Management Office at around 7pm on Friday.  With the interdiction letter, he is suspended from work pending the outcome of the investigation.

Lawyer Badjie maintained that he is victim of a witch hunt by the head of the agency who he accused of unwilling to implement reforms as recommended by the new government.  He also accused him of being reluctant to hand over all suspects in the murder of the Solo Sandeng.

However, the SIS, in reaction to the allegations, described Badjie as a “renegade officer” whose allegations constitute violations of official secretes. 

Author: Sanna Camara
Source: Picture: Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty