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Ex-police unveils NIA operative who ordered Tumani’s disappearance

Mar 3, 2020, 12:43 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Former police officer, Alpha Touray on Monday told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) how Sheikh Omar Jeng, an operative of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) now State Intelligence Services (SIS) ordered the disappearance of late ex-soldier, Tumani Jallow.

The late army officer was accused of knowing something about the arson attack on the former APRC bureau, where thousands of Gambian voter cards were being kept, some months before the 2016 presidential elections.

Narrating how the whole episode unfolded, the Kiang Sebetu born, recalled that one day he was taken to APRC bureau to guard and observe movements.

He explained that when he was transferred, he started normal duties and met police officers, Kaddijatou Jallow and Adama Mbaye, but they later went home and he spent the night with Tabally.

The following day, he said, Tabally told him to spend the night at the guard post alone.

Touray told the commission that they were attached there in case of imminent attacks or damage, they can arrest such person.

On the arson attack on the APRC bureau in 2016, the former police said that he heard à car sound and he went to look which kind of vehicle it was.

“All of a sudden I saw two people behind him, who threatened to shoot him if he moves. I was kicked down and taken aback. They undressed me naked and tightened both my hands and legs, with my mouth sealed. They were many and dressed in combat uniforms with masks. They were also armed with pistols and I knew they were soldiers. They told me they were terrorists and that anyone who loves Jammeh will be killed.”

As they alighted, the TRRC witness maintained that he saw someone removed a gallon from the vehicle and they later set the office ablaze and ran away.

He testified that the former mayor of KMC, Yankuba Colley ordered for him to be taken to Kanifing Police Station. At the police station, he was interrogated and was asked to write his statement and was put behind the counter.

“Later, the CID officers were asking me whether I knew those that burned the place and in what languages they were speaking. I told them they were speaking Mandinka, Wollof and English.”

He said in the evening, they called all that were working at the APRC bureau and upon arrival they were taken to NIA for questioning.

At the NIA, he narrated that Sheikh Omàr Jeng asked whether he knew the perpetrators and what they told to him. But in response, he said they told him that they were terrorists that they would kill anyone who loves Jammeh.

“He told me why I let them burned the place because it can cause Jammeh lose the elections, but I told him I was not in the position to stop them because I was not armed.”

Touray further explained that he was beaten at the NIA on the orders of Sheikh Omar, further stating that he was made to lie down and they used baton to beat him, which made him sustain injuries.

He recalled that at the NIA and on a particular Wednesday, he was taken to Kanifing Police with Tumani Jallow and Jarrai Badjie.

He added that Tumani was taken to Criminal Investigation Department Office, where he was interrogated by one Pateh and Yankuba Sonko, the former police chief.

“I heard them blaming Tumani that he knew something about the incident and didn’t want to talk. I was locked in a cell where I met families of alleged perpetrators.”

He said he was taken back to NIA where he was kept for two weeks, saying Tumani was taken away but prior to that he heard the NIA officers saying they will use electricity to torture him (Tumani).

“When Sheikh Omar called Tumani, I sympathised with him because I knew he was going to suffer. And since then, I never saw him anymore.”

The witness revealed that he was later released without any charge leveled against him.

This, he said, was at a time when they knew that he didn’t do anything and was released alongside other colleagues, Adama Mbaye, Lamin Tabally and Ebrima Sonko but we left Jarrai Badjie and Matar Ceesay.

Touray claimed that he later got to know through Google that the APRC bureau was burnt and that there were 50, 000 voters cards meant for the people of Cassamance to enable them vote for Jammeh in 2016 presidential election.