Gambia ALERT: Police detain Nigerian publisher overnight, search his house and confiscate his reside

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Abdoul Hamid Adiamoh, Nigerian publisher and editor of  Today, a privately-owned Banjul-based, newspaper previously accused by the police of “publishing with seditious intentions”, was on August 11, 2008, arrested again and detained overnight at the Serious Crime Unit of the Gambian Police Force in the capital city, Banjul.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that Adiamoh who has been staying in the Gambia for the past ten years was interrogated over his status as a foreigner in the country before being released on bail on August 12.

The sources said Adiamoh’s release followed the intervention of the Gambian Press Union (GPU). However, he has since been reporting regularly to the police.According to the sources, Adiamoh’s house was searched and his residence permit confiscated by plain-clothed police officers who stormed his house that day before effecting his arrest.

The police said the re-arrest and subsequent detention of the journalist was part of their investigations.

Adiamoh was on July 21 charged by the police for publishing with “seditious intentions”. Together with one of his reporters, Pa Bajika, the two were arrested and detained on July 17 over a story and photograph that the Today newspaper published about some Gambian school children who often abandoned school and dealt in metal scraps.

The editor was granted bail in the sum of 20,000 Gambian dalasi (approximately US$952) and one surety, but has since been reporting to the police, twice every week.

The Gambia Press Union (GPU)’s President, Ndey Tapha Sosseh has confirmed the arrest of the journalist to MFWA and has stated that she believes the journalist is being “harassed and intimidated”. 

Media Foundation for West Africa