Another UDP activist, Kafu Bayo testifies in NIA 9 trial

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Kafu Bayo, one of the UDP April 14th 2016 detainees, yesterday, testified as the 17th prosecution witness before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara in the ongoing criminal trial involving the State and nine former officials of the NIA.

The nine accused persons; Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richard Leese Gomez, Sheikh Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansaray, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are indicted with 26 counts including conspiracy to murder, murder, Assault causing grievous bodily harm, abduction, making false document without proper authority amongst others.

In his testimony, Kafu Bayo a resident of Tujenreng Village in the Kombo South District of West Coast Region recalled that on the 14th of April, 2016, he joined some other UDP activists and supporters at Bambo, Serekunda and then proceeded to Westfield to voice out their anger and dissatisfaction about the situation in the country.

Kafu Bayo said some of the reasons they embarked on the peaceful protest was to ensure that Gambians have their rights, the need for political reform, the closure of the Gambia-Senegal border and they felt there was economic hardship in the country.

The witness said there was a huge crowd and they were being led by the late Solo Sandeng.

He further said other people in the gathering include; Ebrima Jabang, the 16th prosecution witness, Modou Ngum, Noghoi Njie, Fatou Camara, Fatoumatta Jawara and others that he could not remember.

Kafu Bayo disclosed that whilst they were standing, some paramilitary officers arrived and began beating them and some of them were thrown into the truck and driven to their headquarters in Kanifing.

At the PIU Headquarters, the witness further disclosed that they were parked in a big hall where they all sat on the floor and their names were recorded.

The witness testified that after recording their names, Solo Sandeng, Noghoi Njie, Ebrima Jabang, Modou Ngum and his name was called and were asked to step aside.

He further testified as that they were taken outside, the then IGP, Sonko came and ordered that they be handcuffed, adding that Yankuba Colley, the then KMC mayor and one Lamin Beyai, an intelligence officer were present.

Kafu Bayo disclosed that he was handcuffed together with Ebrima Jabang  and then thrown into a white coloured pick-up van whilst Solo Sandeng, Noghoi Njie were put in another pick-up van and brought to the NIA headquarters in Banjul around 4-5 p.m.

Hearing continues today at midday.

Author: Bruce Asemota