NIA 9: Witness implicates former NIA Director General

By Yankuba Jallow

Omar Bojang a staff of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) testified as the second prosecution witness in the trial of nine former NIA personnel.

He attested that he had been serving the Agency for about 25 years, that is, since the first Republic and he recognised the accused persons because most of them were his seniors. He said he was serving as the Director of Technical Service but currently as Director of State Intelligence Service for West Coast Region. He said as Director of Technical Service, he is directly answerable to the Director General of NIA Yankuba Badjie. He averred that it is a normal procedure especially as the Director of Technical Service to wait for his head to leave before he does because he (Yankuba Badjie) may need something in his absence whilst he is at the office.

He testified that one day in April, 2016, he went to the Director General Yankuba Badjie (1st Accused Person) who was sitting under a tree opposite his office and upon arrival within minutes he heard a human crying in a room which is not far from where he and his boss where. He questioned the Director General as to who those people are and thereafter he responded that they are the UDP people who were demonstrating. He said he then asked the Director General whether it is not a risk to allow them to beat up people especially politicians.

He indicated that from the reaction of the Director General he could tell that he was not happy. He affirmed that the Director General requested for one of the UDP militants to be brought to him for interrogation.

“The militant was one Solo Sandeng” he affirmed. He explained that when Solo Sandeng was brought to the Director General, he was in critical life situation that he could not speak to him.

“The Director General ordered for Solo Sandeng to be taken to a fan, probably he fainted” he said. After Solo Sandeng was taken away he said the Director General left and later he followed too.

In Cross examination, PW2 averred that it is a practice in the Agency that he cannot go home unless the Director General left for home which in this case was between the hours of 1 to 2 am. He also attested that Mr. Sandeng fell down before Yankuba Badjie could speak to him.

In addition, PW2 indicated that in the service especially their Agency, when one speaks to his/her senior authority which he does not like, one can understand his/her thinking from his/her reaction.

The   accused persons are: Yankuba Badjie, 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. The trial was at the Banjul High Court presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara.

They are charged with criminal charges ranging from murder, assaults causing actual bodily harm, conspiracy to commit misdemeanour, forgery and making documents without authority contrary to the laws of The Gambia in which they denied all charges at the onset of the trial.

The State was represented by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP) M.B Abubacarr and 4 others whilst the Defendants were represented by Lawyers U. Achigbue, P. Gomez, E.A. Gomez, Moses Richards, S Kennedy, D. Dago and C.E. Mene.