Saturday, December 9, 2023

In The NIA 9 Case: Defence Lawyer Quizzes NIA Director of Investigation


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By Rohey Jadama

Lawyer Christopher Mene, attorney for Yankuba Badjie, the embattled erstwhile Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), yesterday 5th February 2018, quizzed Mr. Kebba Secka, the Director of investigation at the NIA, before Justice Kumba Sillah Camara.

The other accused persons in the case are Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Baboucarr Sallah, and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

“Mr. Secka you swore to the Quran and therefore you have the duty to speak the truth and nothing but the truth”, asked Lawyer Mene. The witness responded in the positive. While answering to questions from Lawyer Mene, the witness told the court that the interview of the suspects began upon their arrival at the NIA; that he does not know the exact time. He further told the court that he cannot remember whether the suspects explained to the panel where and how they were arrested. The ninth prosecution witness (PW9) added that he cannot remember whether the suspects were arrested by the Paramilitary or PIU officers. When asked whether during the course of the interview many of the suspects complained bitterly that they were beaten by the PIU, he responded that he cannot remember. “During the course of the interview, did any of the suspects complain that they were beaten by any NIA officer?” quizzed lawyer Mene. The witness responded that he cannot remember that. “Now in your evidence in Chief you said at some point during the course of the interview that you noticed the first accused was at the door and you heard him repeating a question you had asked?” lawyer Mene asked. “Yes”, replied the witness.

When asked as to whether he told the court during his evidence in chief that the 3rd accused Sheikh Omar Jeng was heard saying Fatoumatta Jawara should be helped to sit up properly, the witness responded in the affirmative. “Apart from repeating your question or asking that Fatoumatta Jawara be helped to sit up, did any of the accused persons did anything harmful to any of the suspects during the course of the interview?” asked Lawyer Mene. “No”, responded the witness. “Mr. Kebba Secka you said one of the people you interviewed was Solo Sandeng?” “Yes”, the witness replied. “Did any of your panel did anything to Solo Sandeng that results to his death?” “No”, the witness responded. “At what time did you notice that the 1st accused was at the door of the hall repeating a question that you had asked?” Lawyer Mene asked. “I don’t know the time”, the witness responded.

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Mene asked, “Who was the suspect you were interviewing when the 1st accused was at the door?”

“It was Solo Sandeng”, the witness responded.

 Mene asked, “What was the question that you asked Solo Sandeng which the 1staccused repeated at the door?”

“I cannot remember the question”, the witness said.

Mene asked, “Was the 1st accused at the door up to five minutes?”

“I cannot remember” was the answer of the witness.

Mene asked, “Is it correct that nobody tied the neck, hands and legs or body of Solo Sandeng?”

 Witness answered, “No I didn’t see that”.

Mene asked, “You said in your evidence in chief that as an officer of the NIA you were tortured in 2007?” Witness answered, “That’s correct.

Mene asked, “When did you join the NIA?”

Witness answered, “1997”.

Mene asked, “Who was the Director General when you were tortured in 2007?”

 Witness answered, “It was the late Pa Jallow.

Mene asked, “Mr. Secka as an NIA Officer who tortured you?”

Secka replied, “I cannot remember”.

Mene asked, “The people that tortured you were they your colleagues at NIA?”

Witness replied, “One of them yes, the others I cannot remember”.

“Mene asked, The one of them you said yes to, what is his name?”

Witness answered, “Alagie Edrissa Jobe.

Mene asked, “Is he one of the accused persons?”

Witness answered,  “No”

Mene asked, “This others are they officers or agents of NIA?”

Witness answered, “I don’t even know them”.

Mene asked, “If they are officers of the NIA will you have known them?”

Witness answered, “I don’t know them|”.

Mene asked, “Now is it not the case that the reason why you didn’t know the people who tortured you, they had their faces covered?”

Witness answered, “No I don’t know them.

‘‘Their faces were not covered. Mene asked, “Were they wearing any uniform?”

 Witness answered, “No”.

Mene asked, “Is it not correct that the Edrissa Jobe who tortured you was eventually charged in court with others for allegedly torturing you at NIA Office?”

Witness answered, “No they were not charged for torturing me”.

Mene asked, “Were they never arrested for torturing you?”

Witness answered, “No”.

Mene asked, “I’m putting it to you that Algie Edrissa Jobe was charged at the Banjul Magistrate Court and was acquitted and discharged at the Banjul Magistrate Court?”

Witness answered, “No he was not charged for torturing me”.

Mene asked, “Mr. Kebba Secka it is correct that the 1st accused became the Director General sometime in 2014?”

Witness answered, “That’s correct”.

At this stage, the case was adjourned to today 6th February 2018, at 12 noon for continuation of cross-examination of PW9 and further hearing from other witness.

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