By Omar Bah
The former Governor of Central River Region Ganyie Touray, has denied any involvement in the arrest of Binta Kuyateh, saying her claims were meant to tarnish his image.Binta Kuyateh told a TRRC event at the Gambia Pastoral Institute recently that she was arrested and detained by the Jammeh enablers under the orders of Governor Ganyie Touray.However, Mr Touray who walked into the offices of The Standard yesterday to explain his side of the story, said he only learned about Kuyateh’s arrest when the police brought her to his office for him to endorse her remand warrant.Mr Touray, who was removed as CRR Governor in May 2014, said: “I just want to get the records straight. I am telling this woman that she is lying. I have never attended a political rally as governor. I only attend political meetings when the president is in attendance. What happened was that the woman was accused by police of mobilising some youths to attack the APRC supporters when they were passing around their compound. So the police arrested her and detained her at the Brikamaba Police Station and later transferred her to the Bansang Police Station and charged her with assault,” he said.According to Touray, when the commissioner of police at Bansang wanted to remand her there was no Magistrate at the time and so they brought her to his office for him to endorse the remand warrant as the governor, adding that if there is no magistrate the governor is empowered to authorize for an accused person to be remanded or not.
“When they arrived I asked her what she has done and she told me I should tell her because she did not know. I told her I needed to know what she did before I can sign the warrant but she refused. So that is how I went ahead to sign the warrant. That was my only involvement in her case. What happened to her at the prison is none of my business,” he added.Mr Touray said UDP was never an issue when Mrs Kuyateh was brought to his office, adding that the woman was not even a UDP supporter, as she was going with an independent candidate who eventually won the election.
Ganyie said he remembered that during Binta’s detention Ousainu Darboe called him to plead with him for him to facilitate their release.“Darboe even wanted to go to court but I advised him not to because I knew if he did, the former president was going to intervene.“You see, I was more UDP than Binta Kuyateh. I was the first treasurer of the UDP. I joined the UDP before Ousainu Darboe. Even when I was governor, the NIA used to write letters to the president accusing me of mingling with UDP sympathizers. Those who know me will tell you Ganyie Touray will not be part of anything that will destroy humanity,” he added.
He said all UDP funds used to pass through him. “People will go to Ousainu Darboe and give him more than D400, 000 and he will call me at night for me to go and collect and keep it.”Asked which party he belongs to now, Touray replied: “I am studying the political landscape. I don’t think the political climate is that conducive. We need to know where we are heading. This is why I am taking my time. But I will not leave politics, it is my life. Gambia belongs to all of us and we should all participate.”Mr Touray concluded: “My only advice to the victims is that they have to be truthful and honest. The people who surround the TRRC are very experienced and honest, I have no doubt about that, but they have to also make sure that all those who are accused by the victims are given chance to defend themselves.”