Court Grants Neneh and Co Bail

Neneh Freda Gomez, Spokeswoman of Citizens Alliance

A lower court in the residential city of Brusubi in the west coast region of the Gambia has granted bail to detained officials of Home of Medical Mission group after their indictment and appearance before a magistrate court.

Police prosecutors charged both Neneh and Lamin Sey with three counts of  Idle and disorderly conduct,  Criminal trespass and obstructing a police officer.

Ms  Nenneh Freda Gomez,  the country co-ordinator of Home of Medical Mission with Lamin Sey, a staff of the same company were previously arrested for trespassing in a property allegedly belonging to global HOMM, a non-governmental humanitarian organization.

The arrest and detention of Neneh, who is also the spokesperson of Citizens Alliance has been condemned by the National Human Rights Commission and Citizen Allaince.

In a  statement , the Human right watchdog said:  “The National Human Rights Commission has learnt with grave concern the arbitrary arrest and the unlawful detention of one Nenneh Freda Gomez and Lamin Sey by officers of the Gambia Police Force.

According to reports and information gathered by the NHRC, Nenneh Freda Gomez, the Country Representative of Global Hearts of Medical Mission (GLOBAL HOMM) and a staff of the same Mission, Lamin Sey, were initially arrested and charged with 2 counts of malicious injury to property and criminal trespass by the Inspector General of Police.

They were subsequently granted bail but the charges against them never proceeded before the courts. As a result, Ms Gomez filed a case before the High Court challenging the legality of her arrest.

A High Court ruling on Wednesday 17th November 2021 declared that their arrest and detention was unlawful and contrary to Section 19 of the 1997 Constitution.”

But on monday the justice ministry also released a statement countering claims by Neneh and Co.

“The uproar that followed the arrest of Ms Neneh Freda Gomez on suspicion of obstruction, idle and disorderly conduct has necessitated the release of this statement. As stated in our previous statement, the lack of an elaborate response by this office has been as a result of the pendency of this matter before the Courts. This silence on our part has led to the propagation of blatant falsehoods in an attempt toinfluence public opinion.”

“It is undisputed that Global Hearts of Medical Mission, which Ms Gomez purports to represent, does not and has never held title to the land in question.We challenge Ms Gomez to produce any evidence to the contrary. We are resolute in our position and are confident that after the hearing on the 2nd of December this matter will be resolved once and for all. We wish to assure the general public of our commitment to Human Rights and the Rule of Law. We have confidence in our judicial system and to date have not disregarded any of the Court’s orders. We believe the Judiciary is adequately placed to deal with all issues at stake in this matter and the Complainants ought to know that disputes are not resolved through Social Media.” the statement from the attorney Generals office declared.

Defense lawyers have urged the court to dismissed the case set to resume on January 3rd 2022 for Judgement.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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