It happened last year this month. It shook the nation leading to Sierra Leonean government into issuing a dispatch condemning the killing in The Gambia.
The events that played out then presented a murky atmosphere.
As pressure piled on Barrow emanating from the gingered up 3 Years Jotna asking the sitting head of state truncate his tenure in honour of a verbal coalition agreement, the death of Ousman Darboe and the ensuing events made it a compounded headache to put up with for the property-seller-turned president.
How Ousman Died
Ousman was a migrant from fellow West African country Sierra Leonea who settled and married in The Gambia.
Earning his livelihood out of sales he made in the informal market tagged Black Market, business around this sector of the busy Serrekunda (SK) Market is a risky enterprise.
Merchandise is traded here, some of them stolen. Those caught selling off stolen items risk prosecution for theft and possible detention in police.
Marketers positioned in this sector of the SK Market get chased around often by police who insist on having the crowd of black marketers cleared out on the road to ease movement.
Ousman Darboe was arrested last year July on suspicion of buying a stolen item by police who had him detained at their office in Bijilo. He died soon after his release.
Angry friends revealed their loved one lamented sustaining severe beatings during detention and carried the corpse to the anti-crime unit’s headquarters in a telling defiance and protestation.
A brawl ensued immediately after a crowd of umbraged youths rallied to storm the aforesaid police unit armed with batons, sticks and burning care tyres as security personnel ran for cover.
Seething over the sad episode, the violent crowd turned towards the home of top security chief Gorrgi Mboob, whose police unit are accused of beating Darboe to death.
The residence was burnt down after the blood tasty protesters overpowered crowd control personnel dispatched to quell the situation.
An Arrest, Trial
Expected to probe the ugly incident, government instead made arrests, rounding up 37 youth prominent among them being Killa Ace, a rapper-cum activist.
It comes hot on the heels of a video interview in which the rapper appeared to have, according to prosecutors, made inflammatory remarks that had the crowd baying for vandalism.
After numerous back and forth at the courts amid mounting pressure regarding the arrest of an activist, government opted to release Killa Ace on bail with the hearing still stalling.
A committee was setup to probe the death of Darboe championed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) who’re to this yet to specifically state the cause of demise with the Darboes rendered desolate and searching for answers one year on.
Binta Jaiteh, wife of Ousman, is this minute shuttling between houses in desperate scouring for a new home owing to her inability to pay accumulated rent as her eviction looms.
Survived by two kids, Ousman’s death still remain unresolved one year on.