Friday, December 3, 2021

In The NIA 9 Trial: NIA Officer Continues Testimony


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By Rohey Jadama

Mbemba Camara, the thirteenth prosecution witness (PW13), in the ongoing trial of Mr. Yankuba Badjie and eight others, has continued his testimony before Justice Kumba Sillah Camara of Banjul High Court.

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

The accused persons are standing trial on twenty-five charges ranging from Murder, causing grievous harm, accessory, conspiracy to commit felony, fraudulently preparing a death certificate, forgery, making document without authority, fabricating evidence, disobedience to statutory and abducting.However, they all denied culpability of all these charges proffered against them.

While responding to questions in Tuesday’s hearing, Mr. Camara told the court that Solo Sandeng, Fatoumatta Jawara, Fatou Camara, Nogoi Njie, Kafu Bayo, Modou Ngum and Ebrima Jabang were not feeling any pain or tired; that Fatoumatta  Jawara and Fatou Camara could walk unaided when they were brought to the NIA.

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“As I mentioned earlier, we took their particulars and put them on an inventory, after that we screened them and then informed James that they were screened”, said the witness.

PW13 further told the court that afterwards, Tamba (7thaccused) and Baboucarr Sallah (4th accused), took Solo, Fatoumatta Jawara, Nogoi Njie,Kafu Bayo, Modou Ngum, Fatou Camara and Ebrima Jabang to a cell.

The witness further told the court that James called his attention and he took the key to him; that Tamba and Baboucarr Sallah later came and when they arrived, James instructed him to open the door; that when he opened the door, Solo and others were taken away and were later brought back between 11-12pm.

PW13 said he saw Solo Sandeng on two occasions; that he saw him at the door and at the cell when he was taken for the last time; that Solo was taken away from the cell twice; that Tamba Masireh and Baboucarr Sallah took him for the first time and Lamin Darboe, (8th accused), came for him the second time; that he didn’t see him for the second time when he was taken by Lamin Darboe.

“What was his condition when Lamin Darboe came to pick him up for the second time?” Lawyer Lamin S. Camara enquired. “He was very tired and had body pain. After that I didn’t get to see him until Barra Gaye called me on my cell phone and instructed me to go and check what has happened”, the witness responded.

The witness continued: “I went to answer to him. He took me into the security room. He saw something to me that was lying on a mattress and covered and I didn’t uncover it. I stood and looked at it. That thing was not moving. I went back to the main gate”.

When asked by Lawyer Camara as to whether Barra Gaye told him what that covered thing on the mattress was, the witness responded in the negative; that he told his boss James Mendy, about it; that they should go and see ‘that’ thing. “We went together to check it out. I was standing outside and he went inside to look at it. After James called Sheikh Omar Jeng (3rd accused) and we all went to look at it. Then we all went back to the main gate and Shiekh Omar Jeng went back to his office”, he said.

Mr. Camara further added that Sheikh Omar Jeng called Tamba Masireh and Baboucarr Sallah to came to NIA headquarters; that the former and the later were coming from Atlantic Hotel.

“All of them met behind the back gate. I went there and Sheikh Omar Jeng came with the boys who were inside. They were Baboucarr Sallah, Tamba Masireh,Yusupha Jammeh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Bojang. These are the people I can confirm seeing. They brought a pick up and went inside the security room. When they entered the house, they took out what was lying down on the mattress and put it inside the pickup”, said the witness.

According to Camara, the ‘thing’ that was put inside the pickup looks like a human being; that the pickup was a white one and had a red colour on its side; that the pickup type is up to 3-4 at the NIA and so he cannot tell who owns that pickup.

The witness further told the court that he doesn’t know where Tamba Masireh, Sheikh Omar Jeng, Baboucarr Sallah, Lamin Darboe, Yusupha Jammeh left with the ‘thing’ in the pickup.

When asked about the position of Barra Gaye, the witness responded that he is the one responsible for the gate and diary; that Sheikh Omar Jeng and others left through the back gate and he (PW13) and Barra, opened the gate for them.

“That thing was lifted like a dead body. They held the hands and legs and other people put their hands under it. It was put inside the pickup together with the mattress. I saw legs and it looks like a human being. It has head, hands, legs, ears and I recognized that from the ‘thing’ ”, maintained the witness.

These descriptions by thewitness, invoked laughter and murmuring in the courtroom.

When asked by Lawyer Camara what his conclusion was about that ‘thing’, the witness responded: “I will say it was a human being”.

The case was adjourned till Monday 19th March 2018 at 1pm, for continuation of PW13’s evidence in chief.

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