By Lamin Njie

The interim leader of opposition APRC suggested Friday the party has not engaged former president Yahya Jammeh on rape allegations that have been made against him.

Fabakary Tombong Jatta said ‘you go to discuss with somebody on things that matter’, in response to a question by The Fatu Network on whether the party discussed the issue with Jammeh.

Former president Yahya Jammeh is enmeshed in a disturbing sexual assault scandal after Canada-based Fatou Jallow claimed that the former leader raped her. The 23-year-old said Jammeh raped her while Muslim leaders gathered at State House to welcome Ramadan. The alleged incident allegedly happened in 2015.

On Friday, APRC held a press conference in Tallinding, with the party’s interim leader speaking on the issue for the first time.

“You see, you go to discuss with somebody on things that matter,” Mr Jatta told journalists.

“We as a party, have been under smear campaign from January. We were not discussing those things with Yahya Jammeh.”

Jammeh has come under massive condemnation since news of him first emerged two weeks ago that he was sexually assaulting women, with Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou saluting “the courage of Ms Jallow for speaking up and sharing her story with the world.” Tambadou said Ms Jallow exposed “yet another serious allegation of reprehensible conduct by former President Jammeh who abused his position as head of state to the detriment of many Gambians including the sexual assault of Ms Jallow, a young and brave girl.”