Mamadou S. Jallow, a reporter for the privately-owned Daily News on January 24, 2012 made his first appearance in court to answer criminal defamation charges allegedly made against Mamadou Lamin Baldeh, a local chief in western Gambia. The charges against the journalist stemmed from a January 4, 2012 article he wrote in which he had alleged that a rice farmer, Boto Fatojo, had accused Chief Baldeh of giving his Hajj ticket (a sponsorship from President Yahya Jammeh to embark on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia) to his lover.
The article headlined: “Presidential Hajj Package Scandal: Chief Baldeh Allegedly Bribes Lover”, which appeared on the front-page of the Daily News carried the version of Chief Baldeh who denied the allegations by the rice farmer.
Jallow together with the rice farmer were on January 6 arrested and detained for about five hours at the Bansang police station.
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