Police deny mayor’s claim on PIU interference

Aug 11, 2021, 1:36 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

 The Gambia Police Force yesterday issued a press statement denying the claims that personnel from the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) were deployed to the Kanifing Municipal Council grounds to install the suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sainabou Martin-Sonko.

The mayor on Monday wrote on his Facebook page, indicating that the KMC was “under siege and the paramilitaries were sent to the ground under a directive from the Executive Branch to install the CEO in her office who has been put on leave via council resolution after confessing to her crimes.”

“This attempt is to install the CEO by the use of force, therefore, usurping the decision of the council. This is a new law in our country and demonstrates why councils cannot function and how The Minister of local government continues to undermine the council’s autonomy,” Mayor claimed.

The police on Tuesday issued a statement in contrast to the mayor's claim. According to the police, a section of the Police Intervention Unit that was deployed on normal routine patrols responded to credible intelligence that there was a security situation at the KMC premises that had the potential to degenerate into conflict.

“In our quest to be proactive as a strategy merited on intelligence-led policing, the patrol team went to the incident scene only for surveillance and monitoring with the sole objective to de-escalate the apparent tension. The team left the scene subsequently without interference,” police added.

According to the police, the public is assured that the GPF is fully cognizant of its mandate as embedded in the 1997 Constitution of the Gambia and would continue to uphold the same in all its operations.

“Consequently, the police will always ensure that peaceful means of dispute resolution within a democratic climate is adhered to in accordance with relevant laws of the land. We commend the team for promptly responding to intelligence and acting proactively to avert any form of violence,” the police concluded. 

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