The Chronicle Gambia

I Denied All the Accusations – Imam Fatty at TRRC

The former State House Imam, Abdoulie Fatty has rejected all the witnesses’ testimonies against him particularly his fellow religious leaders such as ordering for the arrest of Sheikh Muhideen Hydara, Imam Ba Kawsu Fofana and Imam Baba Leigh.

The renown religious leader was also confronted by the lead counsel on matters regarding the banning of other religious sects including the Ahmadis and Shia Muslims, but he denied everything.

After denying everything case by case, the lead counsel, Essa Faal asked him “during your entire period as an Imam, do you recall uttering any statements that today you are regretting?”

The imam responded, stating that nobody is free from making mistakes but he couldn’t remember, while asking the counsel to provide if there is any.

     Imam Fatty

“Well I will tell you imam. Calling for the banning of Shia was wrong. Calling for the banning of Ahmadiyaa was wrong. If you said it, calling for the killing of Ahmadiyaa was very wrong. If you did it, calling for the banning of Ba Kawsu was wrong. Calling for the banning of Dr. Dumbuya AND Omar Fofana was wrong. Inciting Yahya Jammeh against other preachers was wrong including Baba Leigh. Insulting Dr. Samba was wrong. Advocating for the extremists like Dr. [Zakir] Naik to be brought in The Gambia to pollute the minds of Gambians was wrong. Fundamentalism and bigotry have no space in Gambia,” the lead counsel listed as he concludes his questioning. 

However, the imam responded to him with one statement: “I denied all the accusations.”

With regard to the arrest of Sheikh Muhideen Hydara, he also denied ordering for his arrest. The imam was arrested after defying the then president’s order that nobody must observe the Eid prayer on a different day as declared by the Supreme Council.

He said he reacted to the news of Muhideen’s arrest by calling the police to bring the religious scholar to the Supreme Islamic Council headquarters in Kanifing so that the matter can be amicably discussed with further legal actions.

“When he came, discussions were held. I said to them that I am so shocked about the disagreement between Darsilami [the community the Muhideen is from] and the President because I know your relationship.

“I told them that the Supreme Islamic Council gave instructions for you to be arrested, not the government and the president has no hand in it. This was false. I said this just to ensure that we will eb able to take him from the police and treat the matter between him and the SIC. After the discussion, I told one Jatta, who was the head of the police delegation there for him to release Sheriffo [Muhideen] to go home because we’ve reached a common ground,” he said.

According to him, the police officer told him that the matter was with the superiors and he could not arrange for his release.

“I called the then IGP Yankuba Sonko and told him that we have arrived at understanding with the old man, so leave him to go home. He told me this is from the top and he could not do much about it. I called [then Minister] Sonko who also told me that the issue in the hands of the President.

However, according to him, he succeeded in arranging for bail as he continued to engage others including the presidency for the unconditional release of Muhideen Hydara.

“I later called the president’s office and got in touch with his orderly, Yusuph Sanneh. I wanted to speak with the president directly but he told me that the president was inside. I told him to extend my message to him that we are appealing for the release of the old man because we have arrived at a desirable conclusion. 

But when Yusupha called back, Fatty said he was told not to call the presidency again as Jammeh stated that such an act was ‘hypocrisy.’ 

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