EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A reliable source have informed Eye Africa TV Tuesday evening that Modou Sowe, a Senior protocol officer at Gambian president’s office at State House, have been arrested by police in connection with illegal issuing of diplomatic passport.
Our source also confirmed that Mr. Sowe is the one responsible for diplomatic passport files at Sate House. “He is currently under police custody and will spend the night there,” one of our sources said.
Last week, foreign affairs ministry’s communication officer Saikou Ceesay confirmed the arrest of two officers of the ministry for their alleged involvement in the issuing of diplomatic passports to individuals, but neither the ministry nor the police were ready to disclose their names at the time. Three of them are said to have been involved in the saga but the third person who traveled outside of the country before the incident unfolded, is still at large.
Police later released names of the implicated officials as Saikou Sanneh, Ibrahim JS Sanneh and Ousman Touray, who is still at large. This was after Eye Africa run a story on Sunday, questioning both the police and the foreign affairs ministry on why they were protecting the names of the men.
Ebou Sillah, one of the directors at foreign affairs ministry was also said to have been questioned by the police since Tuesday morning and was later released in the evening of the same day. Our source said Mr. Sillah is ordered to be reporting to the police from Wednesday.
Our source further indicated that protocol officer Sowe is part of President Adama Barrow’s advance team that will be travelling to the United Sates on Wednesday for the UN General Assembly, but he maybe withdrawn from the trip following the implication of his name in the saga.
Eye Africa TV has also been informed that names of several more immigration, foreign affairs ministry and State House officers are being linked to the passport saga, but our source could not disclose their names as the matter is premature.
From a separate source, we were also informed that most of the diplomatic passports are not printed by The Gambia Immigration, but those responsible would usually award the contract to to a Nigerian partner on the excuse that the the printer at the immigration department was faulty.