Nov 3, 2008, 4:59 AM
Continuing his testimony in court yesterday in the ongoing treason trial, Ousainou Kujabi alias Rui Jabbi Gassama said among the services he (PW2) rendered to Kukoi Samba Sanyang and Ngorr Secka, in their alleged coup plot, was to help them see a big marabout at Jabbi Kunda in Guinea Bissau.
Mr. Kujabi who is state witness number two (PW2) told the court: "I accompanied Kukoi Samba Sanyang and Ngorr Secka, the 6th accused person, to one Tantai Suwary."
"He prepared some concoctions for them to apply on their bodies as a means of protection, and also to help them effect the coup plot against the Government of the Gambia successfully."
"The marabout also asked the two to make a sacrifice of 21 bulls - 7 red, 7 black and 7 white bulls."
Mr. Kujabi further testified that "the marabout told us in 'Jahanka' that the bulls should be killed at the sea when the sea is full with water (at high tide) at 5pm. But I deliberately deceived Kukoi and Ngorr Secka, since they can't speak 'Jahanka' the language in which the marabout was talking to us, and told the two that the bulls should be killed early in the morning of a Friday during last year, Tobaski day."
He said that Kukoi Samba Sanyang and Ngorr Secka carried out the instructions given by the marabout in Bissau by killing the bulls, and sharing the meat among the poor people. He added that each of the bulls killed cost 100,000 Franc CFA.
According to PW2, he always seen Kukoi with a briefcase, and believed that he (Kukoi) was the provider of the money that was used to buy the slaughtered bulls in Bissau for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of the Gambia.
"Ngorr Secka and Kukoi Samba Sanyang further told me to help them with four-wheel drive vehicles, and I showed them the cars, and then I told the two that these cars belong to me," PW2 testified, adding that "we discussed about the price, and I told them each is for 5 million Franc CFA. Then Ngorr Secka later asked if they were to rent them from me, and I told them 75,000 Franc CFA (that is, for hiring the vehicles)."
According to PW2, the vehicles were expected to bring some of the mercenaries by land, while others were expected to come by boat.
He said that the 300 mercenaries were not supposed to come with arms.
Kujabi told the court that, according to their plan, Kukoi and his mercenaries were to pass through Gulumbou to Tambacounda (eastern Senegal), and have a rest at a motel in Tambacounda.
From there, they will pass through Kaolack to Barra in The Gambia, and finally to Farafenni as their destination, "where Kukoi and his men will meet one boy called Ebrima Marreh."
In his testimony at the high court in Banjul, before Justice Emmanuel Amadi, the second prosecution witness also told the court that he met Lang Tombong Tamba and Lamin BO Badjie two times. He said this was before the third meeting that was scheduled at the house of the first accused person (Lt. General Tamba).
According to PW2, during their first meeting Lang Tombong Tamba picked him (PW2) at the same junction at Tallinding, and drove him to the house of the 3rd accused person.
"Immediately as I entered BO Badgie's house, I saw a kitchen or a store and, when we turned, I saw a big line-house. And it was in that house, me and Lt General Tamba entered the palour." PW2 added that "while in the house a light was in front of me."
"I was told that I cannot know the other people until after the coup to overthrow the Government of the Gambia," he continued.
Kujabi testified that Lang Tombong Tamba later dialed Kukoi Samba Sanyang and told Kukoi that Rui is here. Kukoi Samba Sanyang then told the 1st accused person that he (Kukoi) has seen the boat, and that it was in good condition.
"Kukoi told Lang Tombong Tamba that they should respect me, since I have done all that was expected of me."
"I saw Bo Badgie myself, and also I was told by Lang Tombong Tamba that the 3rd accused person is BO Badgie. Lang Tombong Tamba drove me back to where he picked me."
"Lang Tombong Tamba, for the second time, picked me at the same junction at Tallinding, and this time used a different direction towards Serekunda."
"We left the highway, and took a street that was in a bad condition."
According to PW2, small cars cannot use that route during the rainy season."Few minutes later, we entered a compound. I realised that it was the same compound of the 3rd accused person."
PW2 again testified that the light was on, and that the 1st and 3rd accused persons encouraged him, "and they told me not to worry."
He said Lt. General Tamba and BO Badgie told him: "if you continue like this, we will give you what we promised you."
He said whenever he (PW2) is leaving BO Badjie's house he (BO) would "escort us to 1st accused person's car."
Kujabi said BO always received them at the door of his house, and welcomed him (PW2) and Lang Tombong Tamba to his parlour. According to PW2, Bo Badjie always shook his hand, and tells him 'welcome.' PW2 further told the court that the 1st accused only picked him at night time, for all these three meetings.
"The first accused person Lang Tombong Tamba and Bo Badgie gave the day of the coup as 'Black Friday,' that was scheduled for Tobaski day 2009, and the attack will take place at once," Kujabi also told the court.
He said that the accused persons were to monitor anywhere the President is, whether in Kanilai or State House and other fortified military barracks.
Mr. Kujabi said that these assessments would help Kukoi, Lt. General Tamba and Bo Badgie know how to attack the camps, without the soldiers coming to the aid of each other.
PW2 also said that Ngorr Secka gave him (PW2) a phone number in Guinea Bissau. They agreed that whenever he (PW2) arrives in The Gambia, he will use that number to dial him (Ngorr Secka) in Guinea Bissau, so that he will give Lang Tombong and Bo Badgie the Gambian number of Ousainou Kujabi alias Rui Jabbi Gassama for him (PW2) to be contacted.
PW2 said that the 6th accused person did that simply because he (Ngorr) did not want PW2 to have the numbers of the 1st and 3rd accused persons.
"Lang Tombong Tamba and Bo Badgie used to call me with a private number, while I was in Bissau. And it was at that time the 6th accused showed me the pictures of Lang Tombong and Bo Badgie, before he gave the two accused persons my phone number."
He further testified that the 6th accused person (Ngorr Secka) showed him the pictures of the two accused persons as the people he (the 6th accused person) is working with to overthrow the Government of the Gambia.
In his testimony, PW2 said that he used the 3994440 number to call Ngorr Secka in Bissau. PW2 said that later the 6th accused told him (PW2) that the 1st and 3rd accused persons would call him (PW2). PW2 also testified that from then on, the 1st accused person and the 3rd accused person started to call.
"I came to The Gambia to know what the accused persons are planning and, therefore, I can reveal it to the Gambian authorities."
He said that he (PW2) does not want to see the same certain group of people destroy our nation and nice buildings of The Gambia that "I (PW2) did not leave here."
"I don't want to see The Gambia to be in the same situation as in Burundi, Ethiopia, Liberia and even Guinea Bissau." PW2 testified that there is hunger in the countries mentioned, because of war. He further told the court that innocent people are dying for the shake of a selfish group of people.
"Since I am a military intelligence officer, I know how dangerous those arms are," adding that "only one explosive of mortar 120 will destroy the whole State House into powder, let alone a human being."
Mr. Kujabi testified that if the people he trained come here, they will not fail.
"Jean Michele a Franco-Russian and Micheal Smith an American are all soldiers who trained the mercenaries," he added.
"When I came to The Gambia, I went to State House and to the Director of the NIA and revealed the secret of the accused persons.
According to PW2, at State House I met one Captain Jallow."
"I explained to him that one boat is coming with arms to The Gambia from Bissau, and that I want the authorities to arrest the boat with the arms."
"I asked Jallow to give me one officer to go with me, so that the officer can take a picture of Ngorr Secka and that of Kukoi."
"Captain Jallow asked me to wait so that he will call his boss, the chief of the guards at the State House. When the man came, I repeated the same thing and they told me to wait, that he (Captain Jallow and his boss) will give me one officer, but did not provide me with any."
"I later reported the matter to the Director of NIA, who told me that he will take me direct to the President."
PW2 said that the Director General of NIA tried to make an appointment with the Secretary General at the President's office.
"I don't know his name, but I use to hear the Director of NIA calling one Sallah who," PW2 said, "did allow the DG of NIA to see the President."
According to Mr. Kujabi, "I told the director of NIA not to tell Sallah about the coup, because I (PW2) did not know which side of the two groups the secretary is siding with." "It was this day I received a telephone call in 9999999 numbers threatening me, that "it is you who revealed the secret, but you will know."
According to PW2, because of that call "I feared; then I decided to leave for Bissau" where, he said, he is free from all threats since the Bissau President knew him (PW2).
Mr. Kujabi further testified that Kukoi Samba Sanyang and Ngorr Secka did not pay him (PW2), because he was arrested by the Government of Bissau on a Saturday while the payment date was on the following Monday. "The Guinea Government asked me whether I know anything about the coup plot in The Gambia. I said 'yes,' because I was the one who went to The Gambia, and gave them my number in Bissau so that whenever they need me anytime, I can be called."
PW2 also told the court: "I spent 45 days training the mercenaries in the bush of Bambadinka in Bissau, while Ngorr Secka was working in the Gambian Embassy in Bissau."
He added that Ngorr Secka always visited the training grounds, every Friday, and also brought food with a truck for the mercenaries. According to PW2, the 6th accused person was the focal person between Kukoi and Lang Tombong Tamba and Bo Badgie.
PW2 went on to say, "the accused persons have their own hidden agenda for the coup plot."
According to PW2, their first reason for the coup is that "only the President decides on what the people want. He can put you here today and tomorrow put you in another situation."
"I know this because I am with them," PW2 added, further stating that their second motive for the coup is: "The President puts women on top of men, but 1st , 3rd, 6th accused persons and Kukoi are not happy with this."
He said the third motive is that "President Jammeh brings strangers into The Gambia to monitor the population, for people not to do corruption."
He said with the permission of the Guinean Authority, the Gambian Authority met with their Guinean counterparts to show him (PW2) some pictures of Gambian ambassadors. According to PW2, "I recognised Assan. He said "the 6th accused person told me that his name is Assan and not Ngorr Secka."
PW2 also testified that he saw the pictures of Lang Tombong Tamba, Bo Badgie and Ngorr Secka in a newspaper from The Gambia, but the said paper was taken from him by the Gambian authorities.
According to PW2, it was "when I saw 6th accused person on the Daily Observer of the 12th of October 2009; it was on that day that "I knew that the 6th accused was not Assan, but Ngorr Secka."
He said that the 6th accused also told him that Lang Tombong Tamba is the Chief of Army in The Gambia, and Bo Badgie is the director of NIA in The Gambia.
PW2 further informed the court that it was the 6th accused person, who later told him that the 1st and 3rd accused persons are no more working in their jobs.
PW2 said he we and asked the 6th accused how it would then be possible for the 1st and 3rd accused persons to carry out the coup. "Ngorr Secka told me that the accused persons have friends in their respective work areas, who can continue this mission of the coup plot."
He said that he (PW2) did not know the name of the boat, "but if I see the picture, I will recognised it, since it was me who led the Gambian authorities to take the pictures of the said boat."
PW2 further told the court that many people were brought to the NIA, and were asked to stand in line so that "I can identify Lang Tombong Tamba, Ngorr Secka and Bo Badgie. I did that by torching them, while pictures are shot in the act of torching."
Mr. Kujabi also said that Ngorr Secka is always directed by one Kabirou Saidy around Bissau, since the 6th accused person does not know Bissau well. He said that the 6th accused person "will never allow Kabirou Saidy sit with us at the Samaritan Restaurant" but rather preferred the said Kabirou Saidy to stay in the car and wait.
At this stage, the DPP tendered the picture of the boat, the Daily Observer newspaper, the pictures showing the 1st , 3rd and 6th accused persons being identified by PW2 at the NIA, and a picture of the Samaritan Restaurant in Bissau to the court which were marked as exhibits, without any objection by the defence counsel.
Below is a report in question and answer format of the cross-examination of Mr. Kujabi by defence lawyer Pap Cheyassin Secka.
Q- Gassama or Kujabi, can you remember exactly when you first met with Ngorr Secka?
A- I do not know.
Q- Did you say in your evidence-in-chief that the training of mercenaries was for 45 days?
Q-Did you remember the period between the time you met Ngorr Secka and the beginning of the training?
A- I cannot remember.
Q-Did you have the permission of the Bissau authorities to conduct military training in their territory?
A- No, I did not have permission.
Q- Did the Guinea Bissau authorities know that you are conducting an unauthorised training in their land?
A- No, they did not know.
Q- Where was these 300 people staying?
A- In the bush of Bambadinka.
Q- Just as you have the picture of the boat, do you have the picture of the training ground?
A- No, I do not.
Q- Did you say that they have to bring food for the mercenaries every Friday?
Q- And you said that the food used to come by vehicle?
Q- You said that you were assisted by two Europeans?
A- I told you that is one American and one Franco-Russian.
Q- Are they still alive?
After posing these few questions, defence lawyer Pap Cheyassin Secka made an application to the court for the hearing to take place at the time convenient to the court, that is, on Thursday the 1st day of April 2010.
This is to enable the defence have proper briefing from Lang Tombong Tamba, Ngorr Secka and Bo Badgie, counsel said.
According to lawyer Secka, "the evidence that have been laid deals with military tactics and military intelligence, and counsel does not have knowledge on that."
Lawyer Secka further submitted that "the court have a duty to give reasonable time for the defence to prepare their case against the charges."
He said this opportunity includes briefing counsel on the matter. It was obvious, he said, that the matter of training does not appear in any of the briefs of the state.
Therefore, lawyer Secka submitted, "justice rushed is not justice assured."
The DPP did not object to the application, and the matter was adjourned to Thursday 1st April 2010 for continuation of hearing.