Journalist released, 2 others charged as standoff continues over former anti-crime office, Justice ministry says its reported involvement in saga ‘false’


Tensions are mounting over the occupancy of the former anti-crime office after claims that the state wants to use it as a hotel for the OIC Summit with the original owners rejecting such attempts.

The crisis deepened early Monday morning when officials from HOMM global, led by its country representative Neneh Freda Gomez, attempted to deliver cement to the property were stopped by police, leading to her arrest with one Lamin Sady and The Fatu Network cameraman, who was there to cover the events. The cameraman was later released by the Kairaba police.

According to reports, both Neneh and Lamin were slammed with criminal charges of assault and malicious injury to the property.

But the Justice ministry, barely hours after the incident, issued a statement refuting claims on social media that it’s behind the refusal to allow HOMMS company to occupy the land.

“The attention of this office has been drawn to reports circulating on social media alleging that the government is blocking the purported owners of a piece of land in Bijilo from accessing their property. The public is hereby informed that this is totally false and could not be further from the truth. This matter is a subject of ongoing litigation in two suits before two separate judges of the High Court. Out of respect for the High Court and the judicial process, this office is not at liberty to discuss matters which are subject to litigation. We will have the opportunity to shed light on the true facts of the matter once the courts have delivered their ruling on this matter,” the Justice Ministry said in its statement made available to The Alkamba Times.

Meanwhile, Fatu Camara, CEO of Fatu Network whose cameraman was briefly detained and released also issued a short statement.

“ Thank you for reaching out to us on the arrest of our cameraman, Ebrima Jammeh. We appreciate the support and kind words. The Minister of Information and The GPU, thank you for reaching out, it means a lot to us,” she said from her based in Florida, US.





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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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