By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Gainako Online Newspaper editor Yusef Taylor (Flex Dan) spoke to The Trumpet Newspaper editor Fabakary B. Ceesay via telephone after receiving a text message raising the alarm on his alleged arrest. Mr Ceesay explained that he is being taken to Police Headquarters Special Investigation Unit.
The news first came to the attention of Gambian Journalists after Mr Ceesay sent a text in a WhatsApp Group forum saying “colleagues I am been arrested by police taking to police headquarters”.
In reaction our medium called to enquire about his arrest, however, Mr Ceesay only had enough time to explain that he was being taken to Police Headquarters Special Investigation Unit. Before he could explain why he was arrested and if he had been charged the call dropped off. Efforts to call his phone have not been successful with only an automated voice message saying “the number you’re calling is either switched off or outside the coverage area”.
Our reporter visited the Police Headquarters to ascertain the reasons for the detention of The Trumpet Newspaper editor and was informed that he was cooperating with the Police on a reported offence. After the call dropped abruptly and his phone was unreachable a Gainako reporter contacted the Police PRO who confirmed that Mr Ceesay was indeed with them but declined to comment further.
Police now say that Mr Ceesay was cooperating with the Special Investigation Unit on an investigation. The Police Officer who attended to concerned journalists which included the GPU Welfare Officer and two other journalists explained that Mr Ceesay was not arrested and was invited for questioning.
It was also brought to our attention that Mr Ceesay’s phone was not seized and switched off. After discussing with Police our reporter took leave with the promise of an update on future developments.
On the way out of the Police Headquarters, the group of concerned journalists met Mr Ceesay in the hallway who appeared calm and collected. Mr Ceesay confirmed that he was not charged with any crime. He also noted that he has his phone with him.
The Gambia Press Union issued a statement noting that: “the GPU leadership has been able to see journalist Fabakary B. Ceesay from where he is detained in Banjul and he appears to be in good shape. He is neither charged nor released on bail. He is being detained overnight. He was arrested in connection with a complaint filed against him in what appears to be a private legal matter, details of which we couldn’t establish for now”.