Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Paramount Chief Faults AFPRC in Koro Ceesay’s Death


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By Momodou Jarju

The Paramount Chief of The Gambia, Muhammed L. K Bojang, has accused the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) of killing the late Koro Ceesay in 1995.

Koro Ceesay was the Secretary of State for Finance (now Minister of Finance) at the time and according to Chief Bojang, he gathered information that Koro was supposed to deliver a budget speech before he met his untimely death.   

Testifying before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) today, 11 April 2019, the 47 witness hinted that Koro was taken somewhere and killed, then transported to Jambur-Jambanjelly road where he was burnt in his vehicle (black Benz).

Bojang who was commander of the police Serious Crime Unit at the time, was investigating Koro’s death, an accident he said never occurred in the annals of the country’s history.

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Bojang said he received the information from Foday Minteh that Koro died in an accident and thereafter, he went to the scene. He said the scene was cloudy upon his arrival and the military junta was at the scene except Yahya Jammeh, adding that he saw Captain Edward Singhatey administer bandage on his left hand.

Ex-police officer Bojang played down the claim made by the AFPRC junta that Koro died in an accident describing it as unfounded. He said if what the military junta adduced was right, then the vehicle would not have summersaulted, there would have been marks left on the road, Koro would have lost control and or the fire would have started from the engine of the vehicle.

But Bojang said all these did not happen, thus, he grew suspicious that the claimed accident was unsubstantiated.  He suspected that some sort of liquid was poured on the vehicle and set on fire.  

“If the car is involved in an accident like that, it should have dented and the fire would have started from the engine,” Bojang said.

He said at the burial day at Dippakunda, he heard people saying that the military junta killed Koro Ceesay. He also said Koro did not have any business at the scene his remains were found.

Bojang told the truth commission his prime suspects of Koro’s murderers were Edward Singhatey, Yankuba Touray and Peter Singhatey and their bodyguards or orderlies.

Bojang said while he was executing his investigation, an agent of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Baba Saho was spying him, following anywhere he goes to.

He said at some point he had to move his family out of Bakau where he was staying and continue his investigation.

Testifying further, Bojang said F.R.I Jammeh approached him one day and informed him that Chairman Yahya Jammeh asked him to stop probing the death of Koro Ceesay which he did because he had no power neither any choice. He said he called the attention of his station officer and informed him about the situation.

“I said let us leave the file in the safe. Then I put the file there. When I was leaving, I handed over the file and everything to the next person coming in. That was Tumani Sanyang. He was a superintendent,” he said.

At that time, he said they were gathering events linking the case whose preliminary findings revealed that a vehicle of the junta members was spotted behind Koro’s vehicle at the airport.

Bojang said what was contained on the file was a narration of events since they started investigation.

“My information ‘based that the action’ was taken in the house premise of Yankuba Touray. I can tell you that. My ‘information’ came to say that particular night Yankuba moved his family to Bakau State House. I can tell you that too,” he said.

However, Bojang said he did get to receive the mechanic report, report of the fire service, the autopsy report and related statements of the events.

He said he made efforts to get the file of his investigation before appearing to the truth commission but proved futile.

Bojang blamed the army for the success of the AFPRC in overthrowing a democratically elected government, arguing if they had resisted the coup plotters just like what they did in 1981 Kukoi Samba Sanyang thwarted coup. 

Meanwhile, Bojang said he was a sergeant in July 1981 foiled coup. He said the coup did not succeed because they resisted the takeover.

Before the 1994 coup, Bojang said he was beaten mercilessly by 30 officers led by Yahya Jammeh and he was stabbed with a bayonet (military knife) at his back and blood was pumping out and he was taken to hospital where he spent almost a month for treatment.

Born in 1st January 1942 at Sukuta village, Bojang did his primary school at Sukuta and was later transferred to Serrekunda School. He then proceeded to Latrikunda Junior Secondary school where he completed his schooling. He said he joined the Gambia Police Force in 1957 and completed his training on 31 of December 1967.

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