The Deputy Youth Presidential Adviser Saihou Mballow has denied interfering with the case of MP Yakumba Jaiteh, who was recently charged for assaulting an anti narcotic officer Ebrima Fadera, Freedom Newspaper can report. Mrs. Jaiteh has been charged with obstruction and assault causing grievous bodily harm. Mballow said he was traveling to Banjul, when he received a phone call from one Mr. Jobe, who told him that he was at the Serrekunda police station. Mballow said he decided to stop by the station to meet with Mr. Jobe. It was while entering the police station, he said, he was informed by a bystander that MP Yakumba Jaiteh was being processed there.
“I did not know Yakumba Jaiteh. I have never seen her. Besides her TV appearances and social media, I have never met her in person. I was told that she was being processed at the drug squad station. It was Jobe, who walked me to the drug squad station. I walked past Yakumba without knowing that she was sitting in that office. As soon as I get to the drug squad station, I asked for the commander, that is where I met commander Juma Sowe. I briefly exchanged greetings with Yakumba’s lawyer Lamin Camara,” he said.
“When I asked what happened, I was told that one of their officers Ebrima Fadera was assaulted by Yakumba Jaiteh. I demanded to see Ebrima Fadera. I asked him what happened, he also told me that he was assaulted by Yakumba Jaiteh. I then tried to find out if he has sought medical treatment, and he responded in the affirmative. Jaiteh told me that he was responding to treatment. Part of his head was swollen,” Mballow added.
According to Mballow, it is a lie for anyone to suggest that he interfered with the work of the drug squad officers. He said he visited the drug squad station as a concerned citizen and nothing else.
“I never entered the Serrekunda police station. My visit was confined to the drug squad office. Once I checked with the injured officer Ebrima Fadera, I left. We are running a democratic government. How can I interfere with the work of the police? I know better. We spent 20 years fighting dictatorship, and nothing can reverse our democratic course. As a citizen, I have a right to visit and check the injured officer. These are the people who protect us. We should care for them. I have stopped on the road on numerous occasions to help accident victims. There was nothing political about my visit to the station,” Mballow remarked.
Mballow added that any attack on law enforcement officers should be condemned by all and sundry. He noted that a legislature like Yakumba Jaiteh should know better.
“I am not going to comment on Yakumba’s case. But I will condemn any attack on law enforcement officers. We need peace in this country. In other countries, no one is mad to attack the police or resist arrest. We should accord our policemen, soldiers, and other security agencies the respect they deserve. They are always in the frontline protecting us,” he said.
Mballow has also swiped at the opposition United Democratic Party. He said the UDP supporters have been orchestrating violence in the country. He cited the case of MP Majanko Samusa, who was recently asked by the UDP supporters to leave Manjiekunda.
Samusa was chilling with his friends at a vou, not far from the UDP political bureau. He was later confronted by a hostile UDP mob. The veteran politician had to prematurely leave amid the mob attack.
“If I were Majanko Samusa, I wouldn’t leave, they do not own that area. This is a free country. People are free to associate and assemble. He should have reported them to the police,” Mballow said.
Mballow has called on Gambia’s Human Rights Commission to continue to remain apolitical and be willing to hear law enforcement agents, who are victims of attacks. He said acts of domestic terrorism wouldn’t tolerated in the country.