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SIS, police demand whistleblower Badjie hand over office keys

Aug 23, 2017, 11:13 AM | Article By: Sanna Camara

Baboucarr A.M.O. Badjie, the embattled legal adviser of the State Intelligence Services (SIS), was yesterday summoned at the police headquarters where instruction was issued for him to hand over keys to his office.

Badjie’s office currently stores between three to five thousand executive directives from former President Yahya Jammeh’s office from 1994 to 2016, investigations and panel reports, budget estimates of the agency, correspondences with other government departments, documentations regarding external cooperation with other agencies, and detainee lists, all covering same period – 1994 to 2016.

The Legal Affairs Office of the SIS also stores administrative documents such as transfers, restructuring, strategic planning, intelligence estimates and annual work plans of the unit heads of the agency.

Sources said Badjie refused to comply with the instructions on the grounds that “the integrity of the documents in that office must be protected”.

“Badjie’s lawyer, Lamin Darboe, had to rush to the police headquarters yesterday to reinforce the point that his client cannot go to the NIA for any handover without formal writing from the Personnel Management Office,” the sources said.

Mr Badjie had been served with an interdiction notice from the Personnel Management Office (PMO), notifying him of his suspension over violation of the ethics of his job at the agency. 

The notice was issued following the allegation to the PMO by the head of the intelligence agency that Badjie was violating terms of his service by revealing official secrets to the press.

The outcome of the investigation into the allegation made by the SIS boss to the PMO is not yet communicated to Badjie, even when the investigation panel had submitted their report since July, the sources said.

Earlier on, Badjie sent a petition to President Adama Barrow to inform him of alleged evidence tampering at the SIS and the need to urgently to embark on staff audit at the agency, especially as 66 per cent of their recruits were non-literates brought in by some army generals under Jammeh. 

Escorted by panel members

Badjie was escorted by two members of the investigation panel from Kairaba Police Station to the Serious Crimes Unit of the police headquarters, where the said instructions were relayed from the Crime Management Coordinator (CMC), Demba Sowe.

Police CMC Sowe, just like SIS Director General Ousman Sowe, were both onetime dismissed from the former NIA.  Police CMC Sowe had served as director of external cooperation, director of analysis, and director operations, respectively.  CMC Sowe was also detained at Mile II at one point in relations to scandal.

“CMC Sowe was reinstated into the police by the ex-DG of the NIA Yankuba Badjie who is now a suspect in the murder trial of Solo Sandeng,” sources said.

Administration procedures not followed

Meanwhile, Badjie’s lawyer has expressed concern that his client’s office keys were handed over to the director general of the SIS Ousman Sowe by someone at the police headquarters even though the investigations were still ongoing. 

“This is another reason why Badjie must not hand over the keys to the CMC since the integrity of the about 10,000 documents in that office may have been already compromised,” lawyer Darboe, Badjie’s counsel, is reported to have told the police yesterday.

Besides, the PMO must also write to Badjie to state the outcome of the investigation, giving basis for their decision – whether Badjie should be transferred, dismissed or reinstated.  All these depend on the PMO, not the DG of the SIS, Darboe argued.