#Article (Archive)

"Femi Peters' Arrest Is Unconstitutional"

Oct 28, 2009, 4:26 PM | Article By: Sainey MK Marenah

The opposition United Democratic Party, UDP, has described the arrest and subsequent charges leveled against its Campaign Manager, Mr. Femi Peters as unconstitutional, stressing that they would challenge the matter in a court of law.

"It is the legitimate right of each and every citizen to hold assembly under the constitution of The Gambia," UDP leader Ousainou Darboe yesterday told journalists in a press conference held at the party secretariat.

According to Darboe, it was not Femi Peters who held the rally but UDP, and thus stressed that he should have been arrested and not Peters.

He stated that the UDP is a legally registered political party, and it conducts its activities in accordance with the laws of the land.

"On several occasions, the UDP applied for permit to hold rallies but this was turned down without any authentic reason or reasons if there is any," Darboe said, adding their requests have never been granted.

For him, some members of the National Assembly recently embarked on a tour in the North Bank Region to their respective constituency and were allowed to use loud speakers. He also noted that GRTS always provides coverage for them, but in the case of UDP it's the opposite.

He added that it is undemocratic and unconstitutional to refuse a political party permit to hold a peaceful rally. 

The UDP leader further blamed GRTS for what he described as its bias in terms of political coverage, saying that it is funded by state and should not be bias in giving such coverage.

He stated further that the UDP is fighting for the liberation of the Gambian people and in the process others will have to suffer indignity for others to live a dignified live.

He finally stressed that UDP will challenge the constitutionality of the Public Order Act in court.