Witness in NIA trial says he heard Ex-Mayor Colley called them criminals

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Modou Ngum, one of UDP detainees of April 14, 2016 yesterday testified in the criminal trial involving the State and eight former officials of the defunct NIA before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara at the High Court in Banjul, saying he heard former Mayor Yankuba Colley who was present while they were brought to the NIA Headquarters called them criminals and that they should be charge to prison.

Modou Ngum disclosed that some security chiefs namely the former Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko and Yankuba Badjie were present.

He further disclosed that the then operation commander of the NIA Sheikh Omar Jeng was present, one Lamin Beyai, an NIA officer, Police Commissioner Sanneh and Yankuba Colley, the former mayor of KMC were present.

The witness told the court that he heard Yankuba Colley saying that they are bad people.

He disclosed that five of them were removed from the 28 detainees and the former IGP Sonko instructed that Solo Sandeng, Kafu Bayo, Ebrima Jabang, Noghoi Njie and himself should be placed in chains.

The witness averred that 28 people were arrested and thrown into the PIU truck and taken to the PIU Headquarters in Kanifing.

He told the court that upon arrival at the PIU Headquarters they were instructed to sit on the floor and asked to handover their cell phones.

Modou Ngum, a resident of Tujenreng village in the Kombo South District testified as the eighteen 18th prosecution witness and recalled that on the 14th April, 2016 they gathered at Bambo, opposite GT Bank in Serrekunda.

The witness further testified that Solo Sandeng informed them that they were going for a demonstration which would be peaceful.

The witness disclosed that Solo Sandeng warned that they should not destroy any property or disturb the traffic.

Modou Ngum said banners and posters were distributed to them and he carried one which reads electoral reforms and the second banner reads why the border closure between Senegal and The Gambia?

He further said the third banners and the fourth banners reads: tyranny in the Gambia should be put to a stop and Gambians are hungry.

The witness disclosed that they were advised by Solo Sandeng to take the main highway and they marched from Bambo to Westfield in a peaceful manner.

Upon arrival at Westfield, the witness testified that they assembled at the façade of NAWEC office and were chanting government change the electoral laws.

Modou Ngum revealed that whilst they were standing, some PIU officials, police officers and plain clothes officers arrived without asking them questions and started beating them.

Modou Ngum further revealed that he was the first person that was arrested and thrown like a bundle of firewood into the PIU truck.

The witness revealed that before they were chained they were asked to hold the banners and were photographed.

Modou Ngum testified that Solo Sandeng was put in one pick-up van, whilst Noghoi Njie and himself were put in another pick-up van, Ebrima Jabang and Kafu Bayo boarded the third pick-up van.

The witness further testified that he saw Commissioner Sanneh identify him to the first accused person, Yankuba Badjie who disclosed that they need them in his office.

Modou Ngum revealed that as he entered the pick-up van that carried him, he saw Sheikh Omar Jeng seated with the driver.

The witness further revealed that when they got to Denton Bridge, the sheikh Omar Jeng made a call and instructed that the central gate should be opened. 

At the time, the witness told the court that he didn’t know which gate Sheikh Omar Jeng was referring to until they arrived at the NIA Headquarters in Banjul in the evening.

Modou Ngum testified that the three vehicles followed each other and they met the main gate of the NIA ajar and at the NIA, they were asked to stand in queue and their photographs were taken one after the other.

The witness further testified that their chains were removed and they escorted to a waiting room where they were further asked to remove and handover their belongings.

Modou Ngum disclosed that after the handing over, their finger prints were obtained and Solo Sandeng and Noghoi Njie were taking for interrogation.

He explained that after Solo Sandeng and Noghoi Njie were taken for interrogation, himself, Kafu Bayo and Ebrima Jabang were taken to a hall and whilst inside the hall obtaining their statements he heard Solo Sandeng crying ‘you people will kill me, you people will kill me’.

He further explained that he also heard Noghoi Njie wailing bitterly saying ‘Lalahilala, Lalahilala, Lalahilala…’

Modou Ngum disclosed that after their statements were obtained, three of them; Ebrima Jabang, Kafu Bayo and himself were taking to a cell called Bambadinka and after a while Solo Sandeng was into the cell.

Modou Ngum further disclosed that Solo Sandeng could not talk but only makes gesture pointing his hands towards his mouth requesting for water to drink.

Mr. Ngum told the court that Solo Sandeng’s condition was very bad and was bleeding from his arms and legs and his forehead was swollen.

The witness further told the court that after a while, Noghoi Njie was brought into the cell and she was in a very bad condition, adding that her body was stained with blood and very tired.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Bruce Asemota
Source: Picture: Former Mayor Yankuba Colley