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 NIA 9 trial: Witness makes startling revelation

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 10 May 2017 : 12:49:10
NIA 9 trial: Witness makes startling revelation

By Bruce Asemota
The Point: Tuesday, May 09, 2017
One Dauda Ndure, the first prosecution witness, yesterday told the court that Ebrima Solo Sandeng corpse was removed and buried by Saihou Omar Jeng, Tamba Mansary, Babucarr Sallah and some boys from the Special Operation Unit at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) annex camp in the coastal village of Tanji.

Dauda Ndure made this revelation while giving evidence as the 1st prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving the state against the former NIA officials before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richards Gomez, Saihou Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Sanyang.

They are charged with multiple offences including conspiracy to murder, murder, assaults causing actual bodily harm, conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, forgery and making false documents without authority.

Dauda Ndure, who is an official at the Counter Intelligence Service Unit at the NIA bureau in Banjul, said he knew all the accused persons as he had worked with them at the agency.

He recalled that on 14 April 2016, while at work, he was instructed to obtain the background information from some individuals.

The witness revealed that after sometime, Solo Sandeng was led into his office and he was asked to obtain his background information as well.

Dauda further revealed that as Solo Sandeng wanted to sit on the chair, he (Solo) was reprimanded by the 3rd accused, Saihou Omar Jeng, to sit on the floor while his background information was being obtained.

He said during his discussion with Solo Sandeng, he (Solo) told him that their protest was not to insult the government but to go and drop a letter at the Independent Electoral Commission office.

Dauda also said after completing his assignment with Solo Sandeng, Tamba Mansary came with some boys from the Special Operation Unit and took him away.

The witness told the court that Nogoi Njie was then led into his office by James Mendy and he started asking her questions in order to obtain her background information.

He further told the court that after he was done with Nogoi Njie, Tamba Mansary came with his boys from the Special Operation Unit and took her away.

The witness averred that after their departure, he prepared the final report and while he was in his office having sat for a very long time, he decided to take a walk around the vicinity of the premises.

The witness revealed that during that walk, he went around the back gate and passed through the security room and as he was walking through the security room, he saw Solo Sandeng lying on a mattress covered with bloodstained bed sheet.

“I stood for some time and looked at him and I was emotional and then I left. This was around 3am and there was light in the office,” Dauda said.

“I wonder how this has happened to Solo Sandeng when I just spoke with him some time ago.”

The witness told the court that he returned to his office and after waiting for a very long time, he went to look for Saihou Omar Jeng who informed him that a vehicle was coming to pick him.

He pointed out that while waiting, a vehicle came in and on board was the 9th accused person, Lamin Sanyang.

He further pointed out that Saihou Omar Jeng selected some boys to go and get spade at the newly-constructed building at the NIA premises which they did and they left for the NIA annex at Tanji.

He explained that upon arrival at the camp, the boys went to dig a grave around the banana plantation.

The witness said they drove to the NIA camp in three pick-up vans and one of them carried Solo Sandeng’s corpse and that light was on that he could see Solo Sandeng’s body in the pick-up van.

He narrated that when Solo Sandeng’s body was removed from the pick-up van, he was still lying on the mattress covered with bloodstained bed sheet.

Dauda said Solo Sandeng’s body was removed and buried by Saihou Omar Jeng, Tamba Mansary, Babucarr Sallah and some of the boys from the Special Operation Unit.

“While all these were happening, I was standing watching and after the burial, the driver was asked to take me home.”

The witness concluded his evidence-in-chief.

Under cross-examination, the legal counsel for the 1st and 2nd accused persons, C.E. Mene and E. Gomez, informed the court that they have no questions for the witness.

Responding to questions by defence counsel, lawyer Moses Richards, Dauda said the UDP suspects were brought into the NIA office, specifically into his office in the evening.

The witness also said that all the suspects were standing when they came into his office and that the Special Operation Unit is in charge of operation matters.

The witness told the court that when he found Solo Sandeng’s body covered with the bloodstained bed sheet, he did not do anything but to look as he could not report his finding to anyone.

The witness admitted that it was true that he experienced everything that transpired at Tanji and that it was also true that during the course of the investigation he was cautioned to make statement concerning this matter but not charged.

The witness revealed that he started working with the NIA in 2003 and had worked in different units at the agency since then.

When asked whether it was true that some men who do not necessarily belong to the NIA come to the NIA and do what they like and the NIA would clean up the mess thereafter.

He replied that such things never happened in his presence.

Lawyer Moses Richards put it to the witness that in 2010, when he was detained at the NIA, strange men came and demanded for him, he was tortured by them and they left.

The witness said he was never aware of Richards’ ordeal.

Hearing continues today at midday.

Related topics:
State admits death of Solo Sandeng

Trial of April 14 alleged demonstrators

8   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Momodou Posted - 19 Jul 2022 : 13:16:05
Right groups demand Jammeh to face justice as ex-NIA director convicted
The Point: Jul 18, 2022
By: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe correspondent

Top human rights organisations and other civil liberty advocacy groups have applauded the recent conviction of the murderers of Solo Sandeng, prominent Gambian activist and a senior member of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP).

They described the judgement as “one of the most important verdicts against impunity and free licence to kill innocent citizens by former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh and his henchmen”.

Nonetheless, right groups also demanded that the administration of President Adama Barrow must “courageously and fearlessly...and to the best of its ability make sure that Yahya Jammeh be brought to justice without further delay.”

Similarly, they believe that for “sustainable and viable peace” to be maintained, “Justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done…”

The death sentenced delivered by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara, against former director of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Yankuba Badjie alongside Sheikh Omar Jeng, Baboucarr Sallah, Masireh Tamba and Lamin Darboe is not only a “deterrence but also a clear message to other criminals who intend to inflict harm on fellow Gambians”.

Responding to this correspondent, Reed Brody, a highly respected human rights lawyer, currently supporting the Gambian victims, noted that the verdict “is hugely important for the unspeakable torture and murder of Solo Sandeng”.

Reed Brody, commonly known as the “dictator hunter”, also stressed that it is “one of the most emblematic crimes of the Jammeh era, a crime which galvanised opposition to Jammeh and helped lead to his defeat and exile and to the return of democracy to Gambia”.

The human rights lawyer, who is extremely devoted to assisting the victims of Yahya Jammeh added: “Justice is slowly catching up to Jammeh’s henchmen, one by one, in Gambia and around the world…”

Further reacting to the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) evidences, Brody added: “After the powerful public testimonies at the TRRC which deeply impacted Gambians, there is strong expectation, both at home and abroad, that the government will now put together a more comprehensive framework to bring to book Jammeh himself and those around him who are the most responsible for the atrocities of his regime”.

It is vital to note that the cowardly murder of Mr. Sandeng, by ferocious and unruly officers in 2016 resulted in an international uproar across the world.

However, instead of apprehending the perpetrators, they were “protected and encouraged by the administration of Yahya Jammeh”.

Thanks to the “incredible testimonies at the TRRC and international outcries for justice as well as the determination of current government of President Adama Barrow, who took the bull by the horns for justice to prevail”.

Similarly, the European Union earlier outlined that the “Government of The Gambia took a decisive step on its road towards justice and accountability for human rights violations perpetrated during the regime of Yahya Jammeh (1994-2016)”.

In response to the final report of the (TRRC), it added that the “Government announced a robust, measurable roadmap for the implementation of the near entirety of the Commission’s recommendations. This is unprecedented in the history of truth commissions and welcomed by the EU”.

The EU added: “There can be no impunity for human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The EU stands ready to support The Gambia in implementing the measures announced, including the establishment of a special judicial framework…The EU is confident that The Gambia’s continued political commitment to the process will culminate in a resilient nation, reconciled communities and guarantees of non-recurrence”.

On its part, the US government, noted that the TRRC’s report, “published on December 24, provided detailed accounts of the Jammeh government’s wrongdoings, highlighted witness testimony describing the harms caused by the former government, and proposed recommendations to hold alleged perpetrators accountable".

It concluded: "The comprehensive and specific document also acknowledged the obstacles facing efforts to obtain both accountability and reconciliation. Observers generally considered the TRRC to be independent and effective…”
Momodou Posted - 19 Jul 2022 : 13:10:39
Sandeng family welcomes his killers’ death sentence
The Standard: JULY 18, 2022

By Omar Bah

The Solo Sandeng Foundation has welcomed Justice Kumba Sillah Camara’s decision to sentence to death the former NIA officers who participated in the gruesome killing of Ebrima Solo Sandeng in April 2016.

The Foundation welcomes the death sentence with great relief and commended the court for establishing the facts and doing the needful.

In a statement shared with The Standard, the Foundation said: “In the six years period, the family of Solo Sandeng had undergone a turbulent emotional journey marked by immeasurable sorrow and despair over the loss of a legend who did not deserve his untimely death. But even in the face of such adversity, they have never lost faith in God and continue trusting our judicial system that justice may be delayed but can never be denied.

“Several years since Solo Sandeng and his patriotic colleagues were brutally tortured and murdered for exercising their constitutional rights for what would later give us a new Gambia, the cause for which they took to the street still remains a mirage; electoral reform. Solo and his compatriot statesmen deeply believe in the ideals of democracy, political freedom, and the principles of constitutionalism,” it said.

The statement added: “For the body and soul of Solo Sandeng and his compatriots to ultimately rest in eternal bliss, their liberation efforts in seeking electoral reforms should be considered by the state. Additionally, the government should ensure that there is an effective Security Sector Reform that will reorient our state security apparatus on good governance, crowd control mechanisms and other alternative policing techniques that can prevent future grotesque atrocities and human rights violations meted on innocent people by those whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and properties of all citizens.

“These are what will complement and give meaning to the collective desire of all persons with whom Solo shares similar beliefs and ideals.

Our foundation believes that this judgment is a manifestation that our courts are the final bastion of hope, and that no citizen irrespective of your status and position is above the law. The law remains a significant accountability mechanism that is necessary to ensure that state officials act accordingly and responsibly.

The foundation argued that the judgement is “a win for all victims of malfeasance and human rights violations perpetuated by Yahya Jammeh and his henchmen”.

“We are very hopeful this court ruling will be fully enforced without mercy and further serve as a harbinger for more prosecutions against other murderers who have innocent blood on their hands and freely walking in our streets. It may be another five years or even a decade, but the long hand of justice will always bend on the right,” it added.
Momodou Posted - 14 Jul 2022 : 12:49:22
The Standard: JULY 14, 2022

By Bruce Asemota

After spending six years on trial, accused of killing opposition UDP youth leader Solo Sandeng, a former director general of the much-feared National Intelligence Agency Yankuba Badjie and 4 others have been sentenced to death by the High Court in Banjul yesterday.
Reading a marathon judgement that took her the whole day and into the night, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara found Badjie, Sheikh Omar Jeng, Baboucarr Sallah, Masireh Tamba and Lamin Darboe guilty of murder. Meanwhile, Lamin Sanyang, the doctor who prepared the death certificate, was sentenced to ten years for forgery.

However, the court also acquitted and discharged Haruna Susso from all charges.

The case started in 2017 with 9 accused persons but one of them Louis Gomez the 2nd accused died in remand while Yusupha Jammeh the 6th accused, had earlier on been set free. The men were on trial for the murder of Solo Sandeng who was arrested alongside other members of the opposition UDP after they protested for electoral reforms in April 2016.
Momodou Posted - 14 Jul 2022 : 09:22:52

The former head of National Intelligence Agency Yankuba Badjie & Co have been sentenced to death. The men were convicted for the death in custody of UDP’s Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
Momodou Posted - 07 Feb 2018 : 12:44:34
I saw Tamba Mansary beating Noghoi Njie - Witness Tells Court

The Point: Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The 10th prosecution witness, Pa Serign Mboob, an official of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) yesterday told the High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara that he saw the 7th accused person, Tamba Mansary beating Noghoi Njie one of the UDP detainees at the NIA headquarters in Banjul on the 14 April, 2016.

Pa Serign Mboob made this revelation whilst giving evidence as a witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving the State against the nine former officials of the defunct NIA.

The witness said he is resident in Sanchaba Sulayjobe, joined NIA on the 1st July 2015 and works under the investigation unit of the SIS.

The witness recalled that on the 14 April, 2016, he was on duty at the defunct NIA now SIS and at as he was to close and he was informed by his officer commanding, Lamin Ceesay that they have to standby and wait because they were bringing some people to the conference room for an interview.

The witness revealed that he sat at the conference room waiting and at about 8:00 p.m., he decided to take a walk and stretch his legs.

The witness further revealed that as he stepped his foot at the verandah, he heard a lady crying saying in Mandinka language that she should be allowed to take her wrapper.

The witness explained that he looked and saw the lady few metres away from where he stood and observed that the lady appeared very tired and he did not see any wrapper with her but was naked.

Pa Serign Mboob told the court that he later knew the lady as Noghoi Njie and few moments later he saw Tamba Mansary going towards her.

He further told the court that as Tamba Mansary reached her, he wanted to kick her but he (Mansary) fell down and got up, took out a black object from his bag and started beating her.

The witness informed the court that he went back to the conference hall.

The witness said he was not told about the people they were going to interview.

Meanwhile, the witness was asked if he could identify Tamba Mansary if he was inside the court,

Pa Serign Mboob left the witness box, walked to where the accused persons sat and identified Tamba Mansary (7th accused person).

At this juncture, lead prosecution counsel, Antouman A.B. Gaye sought an adjournment for continuation of the 10th prosecution witness’s evidence in chief.

Meanwhile, prior to Pa Serign Mboob’s testimony, the defence team concluded its cross examination of the 9th prosecution witness, Kebba Secka.

Hearing continues today, 7th February, 2018.

It could be recalled that the nine accused persons: Yankuba Badjie, Loiue Richard Leese Gomez, Sheihk Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are charged with 26 counts including conspiracy to murder, murder, conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing grievous bodily harm, abduction, making false document without proper authority amongst others.

Author: Bruce Asemota
Momodou Posted - 06 Feb 2018 : 14:49:27
Solo Sandeng was the suspect interviewed when ex-NIA boss stood at the door - Witness Tells Court

Momodou Posted - 11 May 2017 : 13:37:24
NIA 9 trial halted

By Bruce Asemota
The Point: Thursday, May 11, 2017

The criminal trial involving the state against the former NIA boss, Yankuba Badjie and eight others could not proceed yesterday before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul.

The other accused persons are Louie Richards Leese Gomez, Saihou Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are standing on multiple charges including conspiracy to murder, murder, conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, assault causing actual bodily harm, forgery, making false documents without lawful authority.

The prosecution led by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DDPP) had opened the prosecution case on Monday 8 April 2017 and called two witnesses who testified and were cross-examined by the defence team.

During yesterday session when the court was expecting the prosecution to call their 3rd prosecution witness to testify before the court as promised but rather he informed the court that the prosecution was constrained by intervening circumstances.

He disclosed that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice was carrying out a reorganisation in respect of the conduct of the case.

He said that it involves other counsel joining or taking over the conduct of the case and, as a result, it would require time to study the case file.

Lawyer M.B. Abubacarr urged the court to grant the state an adjournment to enable them study the case file for diligence prosecution of the case.

Lawyer Moses B.J. Richards, the defence counsel for the 3rd accused Saihou Omar Jeng, argued that he was not against the state application for an adjournment.

He intimated to the court that the Attorney General once said he needed time to study the case file but urged the presiding Judge to grant bail to the accused persons at this junction.

for his part, Lawyer E. Gomez, defence counsel for the 2nd accused person, Louie Richards Leese Gomez, said he was not objecting to the application made by the state to grant an adjournment but cited section 24 of the 1997 constitution that it guarantees all the accused persons fundamental right and freedom.

He urged the court to be mindful of the fact that the adjournment might mitigate the right of the accused persons under section 24 of 1997 constitution.

Lawyer C.E. Mene, defence counsel for the 1st accused, Yankuba Badjie, argued that under the provisions of the criminal procedure code, bail could not be granted but the CPC is a subsidiary of the constitution which is the supreme law of the land and that under section 19 (5) bail could be granted.

At this point, the presiding judge intervened and pointed out that the accused persons are not under such circumstances as indicated under section 19(5) of the constitution.

She indicated that the case had been moving steadily.

She then adjourned the matter until 15 May 2017, for mention and 22 May 2017, for further hearing.

Momodou Posted - 10 May 2017 : 15:12:04
NIA 9 trial: 2nd witness concludes testimony

By Bruce Asemota

The Point: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The criminal trial involving the State against former officials of the defunct NIA proceeded yesterday before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richards Gomez, Saihou Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are charged with multiple offences including conspiracy to murder, murder, assaults causing actual bodily harm, conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, forgery and making false documents without authority.

The 2nd prosecution witness, Omar Bojang, a resident of New Yundum and currently the director of State Intelligence Service (SIS), told the court he knew the accused persons who were his colleagues at the defunct NIA as he was the director of Technical Services.

He recalled that sometime on 14 April 2016, being the director of technical services, he was directly answerable to the 1st accused, Yankuba Badjie.

He explained that he would not close until his boss had to close and go home, noting that on the said date he went to check on the 1st accused to obtain permission to go home.

He further explained that on his way to the office of his boss, he found him sitting opposite the office under a shade and not far from where the accused sat, and did hear people crying.

The witness informed the court that he enquired from the 1st accused who were the people crying and the 1st accused replied that they were some of the UDP suspects.

The witness further informed the court that shortly afterwards, the 1st accused called for the late Ebrima Solo Sandeng.

He testified that as Ebrima Solo Sandeng was brought before the 1st accused, Sandeng fell down and the 1st accused ordered that he should be taken to a room where there was fan.

The witness said he then asked the 1st accused what had happened to Solo Sandeng and he immediately realised that the 1st accused’s mood had changed and was not happy.

Responding to questions during cross examination by the 1st accused person’s lead defence counsel C. E. Mene, the witness confirmed that the 1st accused would always close before he the witness would go home.

Mr Bojang told the court that on the day of the alleged incident, the 1st accused went home before 1:00am.

The witness disclosed that it was true that before the 1st accused spoke to Solo Sandeng, Solo slumped as he was brought to him.

He noted that it was the 1st accused who instructed that Solo Sandeng be placed under the fan probably because he must have fainted.

When asked that placing Solo Sandeng under the fan was meant to revive him, the witness replied that it was usual or customary that people could be placed under the fan to revive them.

The witness pointed out that he was neither a doctor nor a nurse to have knowledge of First Aid but he was the director of technical services.

He told the court that he was present when Solo Sandeng fell down and that Solo Sandeng fell down before the 1st accused spoke to him.

Asked whether he had any qualification in psychology, he replied in the negative.

The witness told the court that he was not next to the 1st accused in terms of the hierarchy in the office and that it was regimented at the NIA that they followed seniority in terms of dealings.

He confirmed that as the director of technical services, he was directly answerable to the DG of the NIA concerning matters in his department.

Mr Bojang said he had worked with the NIA for over 25 years and that investigations and operations did not fall within the purview of his department.

Hearing continues today.

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