Nogoi Njie: Solo Sandeng was severely beaten by NIA officers

Friday, January 25, 2019

Nogoi Njie, while continuing her testimony, on 22 January, 2019, said before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul that Solo Sandeng was severely beaten by NIA officers. She stated that someone came and checked Solo Sandeng and confirmed that he was dead.

At the resumption of the case, Lawyer Antouman Gaye rose and told the court that he was representing the state along with Combeh Gaye, Yassin Senghore and Counsel Mendy.

Lawyers Chime, Jallow, Fatty, Suso and Achigbue announced their representation for the defense.

Counsel Mendy, who was leading the witness, reminded her that she told the court that when she was taken to a public place she found a line of men in masks, and that the person who took her there told the men that he had brought an onion for them. She then asked her what happened after she refused to have her eyes tied.

Nogoi Njie then stated that when she came out from the cell, a tall boy was with a piece of cloth and wanted to tie her eyes, but she refused. She said that the boy told her that if he did not tie her eyes, they would say that he did not do his job.  She noted that he told her to allow him to tie her eyes because she should not see where she was going to be taken.

She adduced that she told him that she had seen it already, saying that she asked him whether they were the ones who were beating Solo Sandeng. She added that the boy did not tie her eyes, further narrating that when she reached the place, she found the men were not putting on uniforms neither did they put on masks on their faces.

She testified that Tamba Mansary was among the men she found there, who told her to lie down so that he would slice her the way people slice an onion but she refused, adding that she saw Solo Sandeng fell down. She disclosed that Solo Sandeng was naked when they were beating him, stating further that Tamba Mansary told his colleagues that she was disturbing them and asked them to grip her.

“Some boys came and gripped me and I fell on the ground with them. I then held Solo Sandeng and asked him to get up. He lay down on the ground and started turning his head from side to side. While Solo was lying on the ground, they picked him up. Some held his legs while some held his hands. Solo could not get up. They put him on the table again and beat him up. Solo was whispering and asked for water and they refused. They were beating him at intervals,” she told the court.

Nogoi Njie identified in the court Haruna Suso and Babucarr Sallah as the ones who lifted Solo from the ground and put him on the table. She told the court: “When they refused to give Solo water, they continued beating him and there was blood oozing out from his head and the rest of his body. Another boy, who was also part of those who were beating him, told Tamba Mansary that Solo was lying on the table and did not want to come down.  Tamba Mansary then said that Solo was looking for his death and asked them to tie his hands and take him to an open place. They took him there and brought him back and sat him on the table to lie down but he fell down.  They brought a bucket of cold water and poured it on him and myself too. Solo then died,” she testified.

She further indicated that someone came and felt Solo’s wrist and told them that Solo had gone (died), noting that they checked his chest to see whether he was breathing. She said that Tamba Mansary held her and sat her down, adducing that he asked her relation with Solo Sandeng and Ousainou Darboe.

She disclosed that Tamba Mansary told her that Ousainou Darboe is their party leader and had implicated them, adding that she told him that Ousainou is a great man. She testified that when they were pouring water on her, Tamba Mansary told her that since in the morning they were beating her and she did not cry. She told the court that she was beaten 35 lashes, stating further that they slapped her on both sides of her face when she was being questioned by Tamba Mansary.

Nogoi Njie went on to say that they stopped beating her early in the morning, adding that they broke one of her fingers, and it was one Awa Jammeh, a police officer, who helped her and got it back. She said that because of the slapping, she is now suffering from poor eye sight.

She narrated that they tore her clothes, indicating that Haruna Suso phoned Sir Jeng (Sheikh Omar Jeng) who came and confirmed that Solo Sandeng had passed away. She adduced that Sheikh Omar Jeng then called their doctor, one Lamin Sanyang, who came with a device to check Solo.

She said that Lamin Sanyang held Solo’s wrist and confirmed that he had died, adding that they abandoned her at the place where she was lying, and they finally removed her from there and took her to the reception at the NIA. She stated that they left her there and went away.

She further told the court that she met Fatoumata Jawara and Fatou Camara at the reception, stating that Fatoumata Jawara was lying down and was quiet, while Fatou Camara was sitting and also quiet. She said that she pulled Fatoumata Jawara and Fatou Camara towards her and they both lay on her.

She disclosed that while Fatoumata Jawara was screaming, saliva was coming from Fatou Camara’s mouth. “I then shouted and told the NIA officers to come and kill us all,” she said. She went on to say that Lamin Sanyang came with an injection and she pushed it from his hand and told him that he would not inject anybody. She added that he never injected them.

Hearing continues.   

Author: Dawda Faye