By Mustapha Jallow and Kemeseng Sanneh
Authorities in The Gambia Police Force (GPF) on Tuesday announced they have detained two suspects in connection to the death of Muhammed, a 2-year-old and currently a subject of an alleged rape trial involving Bubacarr Bob Keita (as accused person).
“The two individuals, namely, Cherno Mbye and Kibily Dambelly, according to the police, were arrested for their role or involvement in the incident leading to the death of the child. They are currently helping police in their investigations,” said police spokesman, Superintendent (Spt.) Lamin Njie.
This latest development comes in the wake, following an outcry from the concerned Gambians, who call on the state, particularly detectives in Police Force to immediately investigate the mysterious death of the child.
A statement received from the police spokesman, says the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) is currently investigating a case of sudden death of a child under suspicious circumstances.
According to the statement, the child, 2-year-old Muhammed, is son of Fatou Ngoneh Mbye, a resident of Latri Kunda Sabiji, and currently a subject of an alleged rape trial at the Bundung High Court involving Bubacarr Bob Keita as accused person.
On Sunday 10th July 2022, the Police added, disturbing reports were received concerning the untimely death of the said child under negligent circumstances prompting the police to open a swift probe into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“An investigation panel was quickly constituted to thoroughly investigate the case with a view to prosecuting all individuals found wanting in the death of the child,” the Police said.
It stated that facts revealed that on Sunday 3rd July 2022 between 16:00hrs and 17:00hrs at Brusubi in the West Coast Region; the child (Muhammed) was left inside a vehicle unattended with doors and windows locked.
“The child passed out in the vehicle and was rushed to Afrimed clinic, then later referred to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and subsequently flown to Dakar on Monday 4th July 2022. He was accompanied to Dakar by Sainabou Mbye (sister to Fatou Ngoneh Mbye) where he died eventually,” narrated the police.
Subsequently, the statement said, the panel took immediate steps as follows:
“Home visit was conducted at the family house of Sainabou Mbye when news of the death of the child in Dakar was confirmed.”
“Several witnesses have been interviewed and their statements taken to corroborate facts and issues regarding the incident.”
“Sainabou Mbye has been contacted in Dakar to expedite her return with the deceased for autopsy and further medical examination to be carried out. However, she is yet to return to the Gambia.”
“ The IGP’s office has initiated contact through Interpol to swiftly facilitate her return to The Gambia with the deceased.”
However, the Police has strongly re-assured the public that all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the incident preceding the death of the child is diligently investigated and individuals found wanting shall face the full force of the law.
It further reminded the public to continue exercising restraint and never must they take the law into their own hands.
“Members of the public are encouraged to cooperate and provide any relevant information that may be useful to the investigation,” said the police.
According to the statement, the IGP wishes to encourage all and sundry to be law abiding and continue to guard the peace and stability of the country.