By Mustapha Jallow
Family members have told Foroyaa that they have been told by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) that their loved one, Sheikh Omar Colley is not with them. According to them, in the early days of his detention they were told by personnel at the reception at NIA headquarters that they cannot have access to him but when they went there last week they were told that he was not in their custody.
They say that their visit last week was prompted by information they received that he was transferred to Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region from the NIA headquarters in Banjul.
However, the brother said they are still concerned and worried as to why their brother is still held without any information given for his arrest and detention. “Since his arrest, we have been running up and down to security centres in order to secure his release, because he is sole breadwinner of his family and he has got wives with children,’’ the distraught brother said.
The Imam has now been in detention for 48 days now without trial.
His detention is in contravention of section 19 of the Constitution, that a person should not be detained for more than 72 hours without being released or taken before a court of law,
His detention started when he received a phone call from someone who claimed to be calling from Bansang Police station who asked him to report to the nearest Police station on Thursday, 15 October, 2015.
According to family sources, the caller asked Imam Colley to tell him which police station is nearest to him (Colley) and he mentioned Old Yundum Police Station. Subsequently, he was asked by the caller to report at the Old Yundum Police Station immediately.
It was disclosed that the caller told the imam to call him when he gets to the police station and hand over the phone to the Station Officer (SO) that he (the caller) wants to talk to him. Without hesitation, Colley informed his family members who accompanied him to the police station.
Upon their arrival at the station, Imam Colley called the said caller from Bansang to talk to the police they met there, who later directed him to hand over all his personal belongings such as mobile phone. He was detained overnight before being picked up by unnamed security agents who headed towards Banjul, on Friday 16 October, where he was detained.
Omar Colley is the imam at a mosque in Jabang-Borehole and also a resident ofJabang Village in the Kombo South District. He is also the head of the Brikama-Basse car park in Banjul.