By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Doctor Babanding Daffeh a Gambian Medical Doctor and Director of “One Step Centre”, an organisation that receives sexual complains, look into and counsel victims of rape and Sexual Gender Base Violence (SGBV) is of the view that Mr. Melville Robertson Roberts should be properly investigated by the Gambia Police Force on numerous allegation of sexual violence against women from different walks of life.
Mr. Daffeh made this remarks with this medium amid rise in rape and sexual Gender Base violence in the Gambia. Records have it that within five years 2, 123 cases are recorded countrywide.
According to Dr. Daffeh, the said incident was reported to him shortly after the political impasse in December 2016. He said the complainant alleged that she was raped by Melville Robertson Roberts at his house.
Mr. Melville Robertson Roberts is a staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is currently on study in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Daffeh told this medium that was the first rape case his office received against Mr. Roberts, but unfortunately the lady was 21 years old and there was no witness to the alleged crime.
“But you know he is a lawyer and knows how to play this game very well when it comes to the law. All the complainants of rape against him were over 18 years and there were no eye witnesses to the alleged crimes. So it is their words and his, which is very difficult to prove before the law” Daffeh lamented.
Dr. Daffeh indicated that medical examination on the said lady indicated that she had lost her hymen through sexual penetration.
“When Melville was sermon by the Police, he confirmed having sex with the said lady, but insist it was out of consent”, said Daffeh.
He further narrated that after Fatoumatta Toufah Jallow started her campaign against sexual violence that several other ladies came out to voice out their encounter with Mr. Roberts.
Dr. Daffeh said, “I am of the view that all those ladies who do not know each other cannot come out of the blue and label an allegation of such against one person.The Police should properly look into these allegations and investigate it thoroughly. It should not be side-line like that. I believe there is truth in these allegations and the authorities concern should carefully look into it”.
Daffeh also voice out his disappointment with the Police and the authorities concern for failure to put Mr. Roberts on trial on the allegations from other victims.
“This other young lady came to our office crying all along. She was in distress and painful mood. All these ladies cannot lie against him and I believe there are lots of his victims out there who are either intimidated or shy to come out like Toufah and others did”, he said.
Doctor Daffeh also raises concern as to the previous case of Melville in which four ladies made rape and sexual harassment allegations against him. He added that his office will liaise with senior State prosecutor Ms. Bafour Jeng who is very instrumental in fighting against sexual gender base violence and rape to properly look into all the allegations against Melville Robertson Roberts.