Officer Class 2, Lamin Colley of The Gambia National Army has denied shooting
intentionally late Sgt. Fafa Nyang on November 11th 1994 to terminate his life.
WO2 Colley, also a medic in GAF, made this disclosure on Wednesday, whilst testifying before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) chaired by Dr. Lamin J. Sise at Dunes Hotel in Kotu, Kanifing Municipality.
He recalled that the late Sgt. Fafa Nyang was his colleague in The Gambia National Army, saying he was at the Medical Clinic at Yundum Barrack on the day of November 11, 1994 when he heard multiple gun shots.
After hearing gun shots, WO2 Colley said he picked his AK 47 Rifle and moved towards the Ante-room where he saw a truck being parked.
He stated that as he walked towards the direction he heard gun shots coming from, and he saw Sgt. Fafa Nyang running and crossing towards the cook house when he heard a voice supposedly that of Lt. Sana Sabally saying get him.
WO 2 Colley, who intermittently wept whilst giving evidence, indicated that it was in the heat of Lt. Sana Sabally orders that Sgt. Fafa Nyang was shot and as he rushed to him in order to help him, he mistakenly touched his rifle trigger that discharged a bullet that hit Sgt. Nyang on his left jaw and in the event ended his life.
He pointed out that when he saw Sgt. Fafa Nyang fell down he wasn’t having a medical kit in his possession but his AK 47 rifle.
Further testifying, WO 2 Colley told the Commission that the same voice that said ‘get him’ was also the same voice that asked him get out there.
The witness further narrated to the Commission that he saw Sgt. Fafa Nyang lying face down, as he rushed towards him.
“When I heard the shot, I ran towards him to go and help him, but before I got to him, my weapon fired accidentally at his left jaw and I saw blood oozing from his jaw,” he said in tears.
He, however, told the commission that it was his intention to go to Sgt. Fafa Nyang’s family to render an apology and explain the circumstances surrounding the death of his colleague (Sgt. Fafa Nyang).
After the alleged incident, he added that, it took him almost six weeks to comport himself and come back to his normal self.
WO 2 Colley maintained that he had never discussed the alleged incident with anyone and had waited for this day to apologise to Sgt. Fafa Nyang’s family and to the Gambian people.
Lamin Colley, whose evidence was punctuated with tears, admitted that Fafa Nyang died as a result of his mistake, pointing out that nobody has ever questioned him about the accidental discharge of the bullet that eventually took the lives of Sgt. Fafa Nyang 24 years ago.
The witness told the Commission that Lt. Sana Sabally was very furious on November 11, 1994, describing that he was like a bush wildfire and he was afraid of him.
He further told the Commission that after he realised that he had caused the death of Sgt. Fafa Nyang, he retired to his clinic.
Born on 24th of November, 1961 in Busura village near Brikama, WO 2 Colley said he joined The Gambia National Army in January 1991, as the 15th intake.
He stated that some of his batch mates were Lt. Edward Singateh, Lt. Peter Singhateh, Col. Modou Sowe, Col. Hinna Sambou and Private John Charles B. Mendy also known as J.C.B. Mendy.
He told the commission that after his basic training, he was recruited and posted to Yundum Barrack, as a medic under Major Njie also known as Pachar.
WO2 Colley recalled that he was part of the medical team in the Ambulance that went to the airport for the guard of honour on the 21st of July, 1994 to receive ex-President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, who was on his trip from Yamusokoro, Côte d’Ivoire.
The witness further recalled that on the 22nd July, 1994, the atmosphere at Yundum Barrack was much tense and that he heard about the military take over.
He stated that on the 10th of November, 1994, there was an impromptu meeting held at Yundum Barrack and in which the Junta members attended in an open space nearby the medical clinic.
He disclosed that Lt. Edward Singateh, Lt. Sana Sabally and Lt. Sadibou Hydara spoke at the said meeting in parables, but primarily they spoke with caution that ‘if any soldier who misbehave would pay a high price’ and will be seriously dealt with.
The witness further disclosed that at the end of the meeting, which lasted for about 45 minutes, Lt. Edward Singateh took out his pistol and fired warning shot into the air and they left Yundum Barrack.
WO2 Colley, however, disclosed that whilst he was in his house between 22:00 hours and 23:00 hours, he heard gun shots coming from the direction of the main yard in burst and he decided to go and check what was happening.
According to him, he went with one Corporal Jallow but was halted by Kebba Jadama before being allowed to continue after he identified himself as a medic.
He stated that he met with Lt. Edward Singateh and Lt. Sadibou Hydara and Lt. Singateh said that some people wants to counter the July 22nd coup and that there would be a massive crack down.
He added that after his conversation with Edward Singateh, Sadibou Hydara and Sana Sabally, Edward Singateh told him that they were going to Fajara Barrack.
WO2 Colley further informed the Commission that in the early hours of November 11, 1994, he saw vehicles entering Yundum Barrack followed by a truck which was parked around the Ante-Room.