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Ensa Badjie gives marathon testimony

Apr 18, 2012, 1:59 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Ensa Badjie, the former police chief, yesterday continued giving evidence at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, in the case involving him and two other senior military officers, Lt. Col. Mam Matarr Secka and Major Kuluteh Manneh.

Badjie, who is facing multiple criminal charges alongside his co accused, told the court that Omar Ndaw denied having arranged business with Sillaba, and this was in the presence of the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency.

Omar Ndaw told him that his business counterpart, one Muhammed Ceesay, instructed him to give 5,000 Euro to Sillaba Samateh, because Muhammed Ceesay and Sillaba were engaged in the gold business.

He added that it was captured in Ndaw’s statement that Sillaba was not a drug dealer, but a diamond dealer.

“When I received information from the president that Sillaba was using and tarnishing the name of the president and the name of some security officers, after mounting an investigation, I found that Sillaba was lying against the president of the republic,” he testified.

Badje adduced that Sillaba denied all the allegations and his statement was supported by the statements of Nema Ceesay and Ousman Bojang.

"I ordered for the detention of Sillaba Samateh, Nema Ceesay and Ousman Bojang incommunicado and they were never released. The station diary can confirm that,” Badjie added.

He added that he also received information from the president that Sillaba was using his name to obtain money from people.

"I led 15 officers to the house of Sillaba, where we conducted a search but nothing was found except for dealing in precious stones without a valid license.

The ex-police chief further told the court that charges were pressed against Sillaba at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court, for dealing in diamond and precious stones without a valid license.

He said in the process of checking whether the precious stones and the alleged diamonds were actually true, he (Ensa Badjie) was arrested.

The witness stated that Sillaba had made it categorically clear that he, Sillaba, never gave him any money, and his position would not allow him to answer any question for Sillaba.

“Following my arrest, the charges against Pa Mbye, Sillaba and Edrissu were withdrawn against them,” Badjie revealed.

Badjie also told the court that Pa Mbye was looking for position, because he was sacked from the force and was trying to make a come back, that was why he testified against him.

He said Pa Mbye has been brought to the force again.

Ensa Badjie said his passport was confiscated by the NIA.

He further adduced that nobody had ever entrusted him money to the tune of D1.5 million, and he had never slapped Sillaba in his office in connection with the D1.5 million.

He said other than the Kotu incident, Sillaba was never arrested and he Badjie never received any precious stones, diamonds or flour from Sillaba.

The ex-police chief added that he was too decent to use the name of the president and deal in cocaine, adding that all the allegations were cooked up stories by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Richard Chenge and were all false.

Still in his defence testimony, Badjie stated that the allegations made by Omar Ndaw that he, Ensa Badjie, was dealing in cocaine on behalf of the president was a lie, and he did not even know Omar Ndaw, prior to the arrest of Omar Ndaw.

Testifying further Badjie said: “On 2 March 2009, I received a call from one Gomez, one of the directors at the NIA, that he Gomez had a directive that he (Badjie) surrenders himself to the NIA.”

He added that he drove to the NIA, and he was taken to the police headquarters where he handed over to the present IGP, adding that he was later escorted to his compound where a search was conducted and nothing was found, and was later taken to Mile 2.

“On 7 March 2009, Omar Cham came and picked me from Mile 2 and asked me to kneel down while my hands were cuffed behind, and brought four statements. Two were cautionary statements and two were voluntary statements, all written statements, and I was asked to sign them, which I refused,” he told the court.

“A plastic bag was put round my neck covering my head. I was subjected to most brutal inhuman treatment,” Ensa Badjie stated, adding that on 10 March 2009, he was escorted from Mile 2 to the NIA in the night, where he said he was beaten to sign the statement, but he refused.

“I was later taken to the main panel where I explained everything and preferred writing my own statement but it was not possible. It was one Barrow who wrote my statement for me, but I refused to sign it despite the torture that was inflicted on me,” he said.

“Eventually, I had no choice but to sign the statement because I was hanged, but I could recognized Omar Cham among the officers who tortured me despite it was in a dark room,” Ensa Badjie narrated.

He further said that all his accounts were confiscated, including his treasury bills and they were still with the NIA, because they did not want him to hire a lawyer.

He added that after seizing his properties, they alleged that he had a three-storey building at Kotu, and then investigations showed that the building was owned by one Ansumana Jammeh, the younger brother of the president.

He said the president had given him $5,000 and 3,000 Euros, while he (Badjie) was in Taiwan for his personal use.

“They also alleged that I used to beg for donations on behalf of the police force, which was found to be a lie,” he said, adding that he had never used the name of the president to obtain money from the public.

He said Pa Mbye was reinstated, and Sillaba was brutally tortured to lie against him.

The case continues today.