The administration of President Macky Sall of Senegal, has started arresting journalists, who are reporting on the latest corruption and bribery scandal, involving the country’s De Facto President Sall, who has been accused of receiving Over £1m campaign finance for his Presidency from the embattled Lamin Diack, a Senegalese native, linked to a Russian Doping Bribery scandal, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Lamine Diack makes astonishing claim that over £1m in Drug Doping bribes from Russia helped fund Senegalese President Macky Sall’s Election Campaign, the Daily Mail reported. The story was first reported by a French Newspaper, Le Monde, which quoted legal sources to expose the corruption scandal.
Concerned by the political ramifications behind such a damning scandal, the Macky government resorted to rounding up journalist reporting on the story. The first casualty of Macky’s latest attempts to stifle free press and expression in the country, is Journalist Massamba Mbaye. Mr. Mbaye is the Managing Director of Zik FM and SEN TV. He was arrested this morning by the personnel of Senegal’s Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC). Mbaye was picked up in the presence of his family and whisked away to the DIC headquarters for interrogation. His perceived crime was for merely quoting and reporting on the Le Monde Newspaper story alleging that President Sall received Russian Dope money bribery funds from Lamin Diack.
Both Zik FM and Sen TV reported the story. A panel of commentators also discussed the issue on TV last night, which triggered the arrest of Mr. Massamba Mbaye, the station Managing Director. Also invited for questioning was one Alhagie Mansour Jobe, a senior staffer of Zik FM in Ziguinchor.
Reacting to the arrest of his boss, Alhagie Momodou Ndiaye of SEN TV, criticized the harsh measures taken by the Senegalese police to arrest Mr. Mbaye. He said Mr. Mbaye ought to have been treated with utmost respected than throwing him into a waiting police vehicle in the presence of his family.
“There was no justification for their conduct. Mr. Massamba Mbaye is a respected journalist in this country. Why didn’t they allow him to use his own car to join them to the station? They could have just invited him to report to the station than exposing him into such police heavy-handedness. This is wrong,” he lamented.
Opposition Leader Idrissa Seck, was equally baffled by the latest corruption revelations against President Sall. Mr. Seck told Sen TV that President Sall should instead remain calm and focused than arresting innocent journalists and politicians. He said the country has been confronted with so many problems and therefore any further action to compound it should be avoided.
“The Senegalese President has been named in a scandal. It is up to him to defend himself than arresting journalists. We don’t mind all of us to be arrested, but the issues at hand concern Senegal and its President. The press should report the story. The politicians will talk about it. Arresting journalists and politicians will not solve the problem,” Mr. Seck said.
According to Idrissa Seck, the main man, making the allegations against President Sall, Lamin Diack, is a Senegalese citizen. He said Diack is facing investigations in France, and therefore President Sall should make sure that he (Sall) and Senegal should come out clean from the Russian Doping elections campaign finance funds scandal.
“President Sall should demonstrate to the world at this time that Senegal is a nation of laws. That no one is above the law. He should allow the press to do their job without any form of censorship or intimidation. If he feels that he (Macky Sall) is clean and has no case to answer, he shouldn’t arrest any journalist. We strongly condemn the arrest of journalists for merely performing their legitimate journalistic duties. This is a serious affair, which requires serious intervention from the government in place. Senegalese have all rights to be informed about the latest scandal,” Seck said in the Wollof dialect.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of Abdoulaye Wade’s PDS party Omar Sarr has been arrested. Mr. Sarr’s arrest has to do with his reaction to the campaign finance scandal allegedly involving President Sall. Sarr has called on President Sall to resign on the basis that Sall used dirty money to finance his campaign. Mr. Sarr is still under police custody.
In another development, Alhagie Monsour Jobe, has been released from custody, according to sources reaching the Freedom Newspaper. Mr. Jobe was instructed to report to the police on Monday. His boss Massamba Mbaye remained under police custody.
Meanwhile, Lamin Diack has denied making such incriminating statements against President Sall and his party. He made the denial through his lawyer, according to the Reuters News Agency.
“President Lamine Diack affirms that he never gave the slightest sum of money to the candidate, Macky Sall, who became president of Senegal, nor to his electoral campaign managers,” Diack’s lawyers Daouda Diop, Christian Charriere-Bournazel and Alexandre Varaut wrote in the statement emailed to Reuters.
“Everything, both in his declarations to the police and to the investigating magistrate, demonstrates this,” they wrote. “Any contribution that may have come from Russia to Senegal has no link with either the functions or the actions of Mr Lamine Diack in his role of IAAF president.”
Written By A Staff Writer