Police Commissioner Lamin Banda has been arrested since on Sunday for allegedly selling government property to a Nigerian scrap metal dealer, LTN has learnt. Both Banda and the Nigerian are detained at the Banjul Police Station while being investigated by the SIU at Police Headquarters.
Sources revealed that Commissioner Lamin Banda is reported to have sold an old Ferry of the Gambia Ferry Services which was parked around the Terminal at the Bamba Tenda – Yelli Tenda Crossing point in the Lower River Region to the Nigerian scrap metal dealer.
“The ferry was no longer functional and it was parked aside at the Senegambia bridge at the Bamba Tenda – Yelli Tenda Ferry Crossing Point. He sold the ferry to the Nigerian scrap metal dealer. Maybe he has some accomplices in this alleged act but the investigations will prove it all,“ an anonymous source said.
Another source disclosed that the Nigerian scrap metal dealer cut the metal parts of the old Ferry and packed them in a truck and drove from Mansakonko to Banjul. He added that the dealer was intercepted by soldiers at the Denton Bridge who asked where he got the heavy metals from.
“When they were intercepted, they informed the soldiers at Denton Bridge that Commissioner Banda sold the metals to them. The soldiers called Banda and he told them to release the Nigerian and let them go but the soldiers refused and wanted to know where they got the metals from. The soldiers informed their seniors at the Defence Headquarters in Banjul and they took up the matter with the police and Banda. He was then invited for questioning at the SIU and was detained since Sunday,“ the source revealed.
Readers would recall that Commissioner Banda was replaced on 7th May 2023 as Police Commissioner for LRR following his fracas with President Barrow over his alleged professional misconduct and alleged political interference in LRR, among others. He was redeployed to the Police headquarters in Banjul to serve as Commander of Policy and Planning. Deputy Commissioner Ken Mendy replaced Banda as Commissioner in LRR.
An anonymous political observer told LTN: “Banda is unfortunate because he fell out with the president before this incident and President Barrow is currently like a wounded angry lion.“