Gambia activist held for lying

2010-03-10 22:28

Banjul - A Gambian human rights activist was denied bail on Wednesday by a Banjul court where he appeared after being accused of lying in a letter written to President Yahya Jammeh.

Edwin Nebolisa Nwakaeme, a programme director at the Banjul-based human rights organisation Africa in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG) wrote to Jammeh asking his permission to nominate his daughter as a goodwill ambassador for children's rights day.

But prosecutor Sulayman Kaita said Nwakaeme lied when he described ADG as a non-governmental organisation, "knowing it to be false", without expanding on what the state believed the group to be.

"The information going in and out of the president's office is so sensitive that it has to be the truth and nothing but the truth," Kaita said.

On its website, ADG describes itself as an organisation whose main mission is "to engage in matters relating to human rights, democracy and the promotion of good governance in Africa".

Edwin pleaded not guilty and will be in custody until March 22 when his case resumes.