Seikou Ceesay, a reporter of privately-owned the Daily News newspaper, is being held at the headquarters of The Gambian Police Force allegedly on the orders of the Banjul Magistrate Court for standing surety for Nanama Keita, who recently jumped bail and fled the country.
Ceesay, a co-opted member of the Gambian Press Union (GPU), on July 2011 stood surety for Keita, a former sports editor of pro-government the Daily Observer newspaper, detained at the time for giving “false information” to the office of President Yahya Jammeh. This was after Keita had petitioned President Jammeh over his alleged wrongful dismissal from the Daily Observer newspaper.
Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) sources said earlier on October 19, 2011 Ceesay’s wife was also arrested and detained for about four hours after the court allegedly issued the warrant for his (Ceesay)’s arrest. At the time of her arrest, Ceesay was in his home village at the outskirts of Banjul.
As part of the condition for Keita’s bail, the sources said his passport was confiscated and he signed a bail bond of Hundred Thousand Dalasis (D100,000) about Three Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy One Dollars.(US$3571). The GPU also provided legal services for Keita.
In an e-mail to MFWA on September 16, Keita claimed that he had to flee the country after persistent threats on his life by unknown assailants believed to be government’s agents.
"September 7, 2011, was when I received a tip-off from a sympathizer within the security ranks that attempts are being made to have me arrested immediately on a reason the informant would not let me know… Upon getting this tip-off, on a rather pretty serious tone, I then decided to gather a few things before fleeing to neighbouring Dakar and finally, New York, to take refuge," said Keita.
For more information, Please contact :
Kwame Karikari (Prof), Executive Director, MFWA, Accra. Tel: 233-30-22 4 24 70, Fax: 233-302-22 10 84