By A Staff Writer

A mionor shake up has hits the Gambia police force, the Freedom Newspaper can authoritatively revealed. Essa Badjie alias “Jesus” Commissioner of Crime Management has been replaced by veteran police prosecutor Burama Dibba. Dibba had numerous police training both locally and internationally. No reason has been advanced for Jesus’s sudden removal, but insiders say the officer was not qualified for the job at the time of his hiring. Insiders cited the officer’s gross “incompetence” and total ignorance of the Criminal Procedure Code,” which the police relied on to try felony and misdemeanor accused persons. Jesus, according to sources struggled a lot to pass opinion on criminal cases forwarded by his colleagues for advise. The officer was also linked to corrupt activities, whilst at the Taliding Police Post. In another development, the sacked Commissioner of police Jatta Baldeh has been reinstated. Mr.Baldeh who used to head the Policy Department has been hired as the new Commissioner of Administration. Baldeh was briefly in the United States, prior to his recalling. He is now in charge of police administration.

The Gambia police force  is faced by internal infighting and low staff moral. Officers qualified for the job are being “marginalized” for political reasons. Promotions are based ones political “loyalty” to the government of the day. Jesus Badjie’s recent promotion was possible thanks to his “loyalty” to the system. Many officers have left the service due to frustration. In addition, police officers have complained about low staff moral. This, they say, had contributed to the growing corruption in the Force. Many police officers accept bribes openly in the Gambia. Cases are being dropped because of alleged bribes.

The new IGP Mr.Brenard Jammeh, in a statement assured the general public about his office’s desire to run a professional force. Jammeh who happens to be a former inmate at the Mile Two Prison, due to his alleged involvement on  the abortive 1981 rebellion, has been accused by his colleagues of being “too involved” in APRC political activities. A former graduate a UK   Community College, Jammeh made repeated attempts to pass his law exams. Critics say Jammeh was not a trained lawyer, contrary to his claims of being a trained legal mind. Sources said Jammeh was yet to be called to the Bar and as such it is  “wrong for him” to baffle his colleagues and the Executive as a trained lawyer.

Both Bruma Dibba and Jatta Baldeh spent numerous years in the Force.  A former Police Commissioner who left the Service told the Freedom Newspaper that “tribal politics” was creping into the Force. The officer said Jammeh’s tribe men have taken control of “key positions” in the police Force and the army. The former police chief said due to frustration and “unnecessary” discrimination, some of his colleagues have no choice but to quit the Force. Jatta Baldeh said the source,  lacked “principles” and as such would not mind to answer to Jammeh’s calling at any given time. Jatta continued the source, was “never loyal to the establishment”  and will never be loyal. The officer said he was never surprised about Jatta’s move to accept Jammeh’s appointment.

A well placed source said he met Jatta Baldeh in New York, about a month ago and was openly complaining about Jammeh’s “oppressive tactics” against Gambians. Jatta was heard calling names to Jammeh and had even said he regretted serving the government of the day. Our source was with Jatta throughout his stay here.  Baldeh flew from New York to Texas where he visited a family member of his. At some point, he was contemplating staying in the US, but later changed his mind.  State House called to relay the “position” reserved for him by the President. Jatta Baldeh’s sudden change of heart beats the imagination of many. People can change over night. Here was a person calling Jammeh,  a devil, an evil man, a hypocrite, thief and all of a sudden regrouped with the very Jammeh he calls an “international criminal.”

A top police source in Banjul says Jatta’s reinstatement was a “ploy” designed to get him arrested and dumped in jail. The source said Jatta Baldeh was linked to corrupt practices prior to his first removal and the state thought that the best way to allow him to hang himself was to rehire him while investigations were in progress. The source would however, not disclose what these allegations against Baldeh are, but maintains that Baldeh took a great risk to accept an appointment from Jammeh.

Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 (Archive on Monday, July 30, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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