Legal, Politics

Ex-IGP Jammeh Orders Arrest Of Mauritanian Businessmen For Attempting To Bribe Him

By: Fabakary B. Ceesay

Ben Jammeh

Information gathered from Serious Crime Police Officers during the tenure of Benedict Jammeh as the Inspector General of Police in May 2007, has it that ex- IGP Jammeh once ordered the arrest, charge and prosecution of a group of Mauritanian businessmen residing in The Gambia, for allegedly trying to bride him at his office at Police Headquarters in Banjul.

According to the sources, in the second week of his appointment as Inspector General of Police, a group of elderly Mauritanian businessmen paid an un-expected courtesy call on Benedict Jammeh. The visitors never made an appointment with IGP Jammeh but they decided to walk into the Police Headquarters to greet and show their appreciation to him as the new IGP.

Upon exchanging greetings, the head of the delegation allegedly told Benedict Jammeh that it’s their tradition to call on newly appointed security chiefs to extend their appreciation for the job they are doing in safeguarding the peace and security of the country to enable businessmen to operate without fear.

Sources added that the head of the Mauritanians delegation told Ben that they were law abiding businessmen and that they were willing to cooperate and work with anyone as IGP and in supporting the Police Force.

Sources added that Benedict Jammeh did not say much but rather thanked them for showing respect and appreciation to his office. He promised them of the safety of people residing in the country regardless of nationality and trade.

Our sources further said that shortly before the Mauritanians left, the head of their delegation place a big ‘yellow envelop’ on the table and pushed it towards IGP Jammeh and told him it’s a gift from them. Sources indicated that Ben demanded to know what was in the envelope and he was told it was a small token for him to buy ‘Kola nut’.

Our sources alleged that Ben became so furious to the point he started to stammer and immediately summoned the then head of Serious Crime Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ebrima Kunchi Jammeh to place the Mauritanians under arrest and charged them for trying to bride a Police Officer.

Sources said the Mauritanians were left flabbergasted, scared, trembling and sweating from head down. Some of them were said to have knelled down in begging Ben to forgive them. They were said to have pointed out to him that their intention was not to bride him, but it was a tradition that they took upon themselves as businessmen to call on any appointed IGP to show respect to his office.

The information gathered indicated that ASP Kunchi Jammeh and some senior officers had to intervene and prevail on Ben not to arrest and prosecute them. The said senior officers were able to dissuade Ben from pressing charges against the said bribers.

When contacted, retired ASP Ebrima Kunchi Jammeh confirmed the incident and said his personal involvement was able to save the Mauritanians from been charged with conspiracy to bribe a Police officer. He said Ben was very adamant in pressing charges against the Mauritanian businessmen. He added that he warned the Mauritanians not to try to give any money, gifts or to ask for favours from Benedict Jammeh as he is different from his predecessors.  Kunchi added that, ‘’I told them this man {Ben} is a Christian; he is very different from other IGPs’’.

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