After 13 years at NIA, Baba Saho denies torture claims

Feb 11, 2021, 12:02 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Former Intelligence agent of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Baba Saho yesterday denied all allegations levelled against him before the Truth Commission for torturing detainees at the NIA Headquarters. 

Mr. Saho was adversely mentioned by several witnesses who testified before the commission that he (Saho) was involved in their arrest, detention and torture. The witness was also branded as ‘the wicked person’ who would as well electrocute detainees on their genitals without any sympathy.  

At the beginning of his testimony, the witness was asked to explain the structure of the NIA but he told the commission that he didn’t know. 

Counsel Faal told the witness that the suspects of 1995 Farafenni attacks were brought to the NIA for the investigation panel. However, the witness totally denied knowledge of such, saying he was not in the country. 

In the case of Batch Samba Jallow and Sainey Faye, the witness totally denied his involvement in arresting or torturing them. Counsel Faal further reminded him that Sainey claimed that he (Saho) didn’t just torture only him but many others.

According to Counsel Faal, it is claimed that the witness was involved in torturing nine individuals, adding that the allegation suggested that he was notorious. 

“There has never been a time that I tortured these people. I didn’t know any Ebrima Barry who was alleged of the coup. During that period, I was not in the country and could not have been involved in these tortures.”

Explaining the 2006 abortive coup incident, he testified that he was already out of service but Jammeh called him to work on the panel of investigation. 

When Counsel Faal further told him that he (Saho) participated in the torture of 2006 suspects, the witness said the allegation is unfounded, Counsel Faal added that the evidence TRRC gathered is that Mr. Saho did torture, arrest and electrocute detainees on their genitals. Counsel Faal then read a televised statement of Wassa Camara who alleged Saho’s involvement in interrogating and torturing him. But Saho said the statement was false. 

The testimony of Momodou Hydara was played and he confirmed that Baba Saho was involved in torturing Wassa. In reply, the witness said he couldn’t be harsh on somebody that he wanted to extract information from.

Counsel asked him whether he had ever complained about the illegal confession of the suspects, but the witness responded that he was by then taken to Mile 2.

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