By Nelson Manneh
A staff of the NIA said on Wednesday Edrisa Jobe(alias Alagie Morr), who is accused of torturing several people at the country’s spy agency, fled the Gambia after Yahya Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow during the 2016 presidential election.
Mr. Sarjo Sanneh was born December 31th 1977 in Kiang and joined the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in November 2004 as a mechanic.
He said he served the NIA under the leadership of Daba Marana, Pa Jallow, Bo Badjie, Harry Sambou, Numo Kujabi, Yankuba Badjie and Ousman Sowe.
The witness said it is true that the NIA interfered on the work of the police and they used to conduct investigations on cases that they have no business.
He said as the head of the mechanic unit at the NIA, his work was to maintenance Agency’s vehicles. He said he has never participated in any torture at the Agency.
Mr. Sanneh said there was a day one Lamin Sanneh, who was the Director of Works at the time, came to the NIA headquarters and told him that he, was called to the NIA.
He said on that same day in the evening he saw some NIA officers who took Lamin from the investigation unit to the light detention room.
He said the following day, he approached Lamin Sanneh and enquired from him why he was detained, but Lamin told him that he did not know the reason for his detention.
He said from there he went to the investigation unit to ask the personnel there reason for Lamin’s detention, but he was not given any accurate answer.
“Lamin spent a lot of days at the NIA headquarters and he was transferred to Mile II,” he said.
The witness said he later went to the Director-General of NIA at the time who was Numo Kujabi to enquire about Lamin’s detention. He said DG Numo Kujabi told him that the order was from Yahya Jammeh.
“I then approached Lamin Sanneh and told him that ‘you have now spent one month at the NIA and you are not charged there must be something wrong somewhere’, he said.
He said there was a day when the officers went to Mile II and collected Lamin and brought him to the NIA headquarters, he said he observed saw some changes on him.
He said he observed that Lamin was seriously tortured at Mile II.
He said when Lamin was released, he (witness) told Lamia’s wife to take him to the hospital. He said Sanneh was later admitted at the hospital and died.
“Lamin died because of the injuries he sustained during his detention at Mile II. The day he was buried he was wrapped on a plain white cloth and there was blood all over the cloth,” he said.
About 2006 Ndure Cham’s aborted coup, the witness said he saw Bunja Darboe at the NIA. He said Bunja was handcuffed and ‘Jungulers’ were standing beside him at the NIA.
“I approached Bunja and I saw him crying. He (Bunja) told me that he was tortured,” he said.
He said whilst he was working at the NIA, he saw many people who were detained at the Agency including Ensa Jesus Badjie, Sillah-Ba Samateh, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marenah, Pa Harry Jammeh, Ba Kawsu, Sidia Jatta, Halifa Sallah, Ousainou Darboe, Kemeseng Jammeh.
The witness said he was arrested two times; one by the NIA and the other by officers at HolGam.
“On my first arrest, I came to work and the DG called me, he told me that they gave me meat on credit and I did not pay the money. I told him that I paid the money, but the DG insisted and order for me to be arrested and detained,” he said.
The witness said he used to sell meat at the NIA on behalf of his father. He said his father had a lot of cows. He testified later, he was given meat to sell on behalf of Yahya Jammeh. He added he was eventually arrested by the NIA, who accused him of not surrendering the money he generated from the sale of Jammeh’s meat.