‘I only ordered PIU officers to use tear gas’

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Inspector Ba Foday Njie, an officer with the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) on Monday 13 August, testified at the Faraba Commission that he did not give orders to any PIU officer to shoot during the Faraba incident.

He said during the confrontation, he did not see any resident that was injured during the scene.

“I was the one leading the reinforcement platoon; we did not shoot neither did we kill any villager. We only used our gun gases and batons to engage the angry youths”.

“I did not hear any gun shot from the reinforcement team, but I heard that some of the villagers were injured during confrontation.”

Inspector Njie added that he did not enter the village to witness what had happened there, but he was with the reinforcement team at a place around the village near a mango tree.

He said his reinforcement team did not have access to the scene due to the tension of the angry youths.

He said on their way to Faraba, his boss called him not to use the main road that enters Faraba before they might be attacked by the villagers.

Njie said he even discovered that the access road was covered with stones as road block by the angry youths.

Officer Njie said he told his truck driver to stop the vehicle and he ordered his men who were the reinforcement team to form a security formation.

He said that was the time his comrade by the name Bala Musa Fatty called him on telephone to see their conditions. Njie said that he told Bala Musa Fatty that the angry youths had started stoning them.

Inspector Njie said that was the time he ordered his men to fire gas guns so that the angry youths can retreat.

He added that many of his men sustained injuries during the confrontation. Officer Njie further explained that his reinforcement that came to support their comrades did not conduct any arrest but he said that the first team did the arrest.

Inspector Njie was the platoon reinforcement commander who led his men to Faraba. He testified that he was not aware who signed for the AK 47’s given to them by the Armoury Man.

He said on the 18th of June 2018, during the Faraba incident they were alerted at the PIU Kanifing Headquarters where they were assembled on a parade with a platoon that comprises both men and women of the Police Intervention Unit.

Inspector Njie said that it was his boss Spt. Saine who informed them that they should be in Faraba for reinforcement.

Inspector Njie said they were assigned by his police boss Spt. Manneh for his team to be in Faraba in order to relieve other platoons who were on guard post at the Faraba mining site.

He said that they spent three days on guard duties before the incident happened on the 18 June.

He also added that they were first given orders by Spt. Manneh that his team should be at the Faraba mining site for them to be on standby in order to prevent activities that will obstruct the mining activities of Julakay.

He said during guard post in Faraba, they were armed with gas guns, AK47s, helmets and gas breathing apparatus.

He said his boss told him that there was an argument between the villagers of Faraba and one Jualakay, a businessman who does sand mining.

Author: Mamour M. Mbenga & Fatoumatta Samateh