Solo Sandeng’s son testifies in Yankuba Badjie & co trial

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Muhamed Sandeng, late Solo Sandeng’s son, on the 25th February, 2019, testified in the case involving Yankuba Badjie and other former NIA officers before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul. He was being led by Counsel Lamin S. Camara in his evidence.

He told the court that he is a student at the UTG and he is 21 years old, noting that Solo Sandeng was his father. He stated that he was at Dippa Kunda on the 14th April, 2016, adding that he remembered waking up in the morning and greeted his dad.

He revealed that he was told by one Muhammed Bass that his dad was arrested for staging a protest, adducing further that Mr. Bass told him that his father was arrested and taken to the PIU headquarters. He said that he confirmed with his mother who also told him that she had a phone call that his father was arrested by the PIU officers.

He said that from the PIU, his father was taken to the NIA, narrating that he did not see his father after he was arrested on the 14th April, 2016, neither did his mother. He testified that his father was healthy on the day of his arrest, saying that his mother told him that he could not see his father after searching for him.

Muhamed Sandeng disclosed that his mother told him that she went to PIU, Mile 2 and NIA headquarters to search for his father, adding that on the 14th and 15th April, 2016, he made a phone call to find out his father’s whereabouts but to no avail. He said he subsequently got information about his father at midday on the 15th April, 2016.

He noted that he heard that his father was tortured to death on the night of the 15th April, 2016, stating that he calmly went to bed when he heard the sad news. He further told the court that it was his mother who confirmed on the 16th April, 2016, that his father was dead, adding that there was a UDP press conference which stated that his father was tortured while in custody of the NIA.

He went on to say that he met Sheikh Omar Jeng when they went to exhume his father’s remains at the property of the NIA at Tanji, adducing that it was Sheikh Omar Jeng who identified the spot where his father was buried. He revealed that there was a policeman called Jeng and another person whose surname was Gomez.

He informed the court that the process started immediately they got there, noting that they started digging and found a mattress and a piece of cloth and took out a skeleton bit by bit, and then left.

The case continues today.    

Author: Dawda Faye