A Sibanor man, has been arrested after he was falsely accused of concealing weapons at his home, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Ousman Jarju, a Municipal security officer at the Brikama Area Council, was arrested while at work on Wednesday by police and later escorted to his home in Sibanor. Mr. Jarju was under heavy armed security escort.
This followed, a tip off given to the police by an “unknown informant” that Jarju had allegedly concealed weapons at his home. Three trucks filled with armed police intervention unit officers, raided Jarju’s home and conducted a raid at his house, but no arms were found in the property. Jarju was whisked away to an unknown destination, sources said. He is believed to be helping the police in their investigations.
Ousman Jarju is an APRC supporter. There has been an acrimonious relationship between the supporters of former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, and the United Democratic Party (UDP) supporters in Sibanor. The UDP forms the majority in Adama Barrow’s Transitional government—with its officials serving in key positions in government, and also dominating the Legislative House.
Mr. Jarju recently had a dispute with one of his tenants Assan Ceesay, who is a UDP supporter. He evicted Mr. Ceesay and his wife Amie Ceesay from his home, following a strained relationship between him and the couple. Mr. Jarju had rented a shop to the couple, but he decided to evict them.
Assan Ceesay, and Assan Jobarteh, the defeated UDP candidate in the past Legislative elections are cousins. It should be noted that Jobarteh, and the APRC supporters in the village had a go at each other in the aftermath of the elections, which resulted the arrest of dozens of APRC supporters. Interior Minister Mai Fatty, even had to make a trip to Sibanor to address the villagers to keep the peace.
Late Wednesday evening Fainsaine Jarju, a sister of Ousman Jarju phoned the Freedom Newspaper from Germany to complain about the arrest of her brother by the Gambian government. She accuses the Barrow government of harassing and arresting Jollas unlawfully.
“My brother Ousman Jarju, is a victim of ethic retribution. Jollas are being falsely arrested in the Gambia. He hasn’t done anything to warrant his arrest. His only crime was evicting the cousin of Assan Jobarteh from his home. It reached a point that he couldn’t get along with Mr. Ceesay and his wife. He decided to evict them. My brother supports the APRC. His tenants support the UDP. Someone reported him by alleging that he has weapons concealed at his house. When a searched was conducted, no arms were found. Ousman’s room was the only room searched at the house. I spoke to his wife, and she told me that no weapons were found in his room,” said Ms. Jarju.
“Jollas are being witch hunted in the Gambia. This is a clear case of witch hunting. I am calling on the Barrow government to release my brother unconditionally. Being in authority, doesn’t give one the right to get people falsely arrested on trumped up allegations. We are Jollas, but we speak Mandinka at our home in Sibanor. The tribal bigotry and infighting should stop. We are one people. I was told that my brother was taken into custody by the police. I do not know where he is detained,” she added.
The police spokesman could not be reached for comment. There was no available contact phone number to reach Interior Minister Mai Fatty for comment at the time of going to press.