Defunct NIA officer adversely mentioned in several tortures

Nov 13, 2020, 11:38 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officer, Lamin Darboe, has been mentioned by TRRC witness Amadou Jogoh Sowe and others for administering several “horrible tortures” on detainees in the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh.

Mr. Sowe, who migrated to The Gambia in 1993, testified that in 2015, he was involved in petty trading and got to know Abass Jarju. According to him, he later realised that Abass did help people who wanted to travel to Turkey with visas.

He said Abass was later arrested in connection with monetary issues, saying he didn’t work with Abass at the time of his arrest. The witness added that he was also arrested and taken to NIA Headquarters in Banjul, saying he was interrogated by Lamin Darboe, Basirou Sey and Baldeh.

"They asked me where Wurry was because he was having a box they needed but I told them I didn't know his whereabouts. That was the time they cuffed me and I was stretched on a table and seriously beaten, until I had to ask them to stop and that I would show them where Wurry was."

He told the commission that after the horrifying beatings, he went with the NIA officers to Wurry's house but they found an old man whom they took to NIA Headquarters. 

Mr. Sowe stated that he was beaten for the second time and later escorted to his house to search for Wurry. He added that he fainted twice as a result of the torture.

"Upon arrival, they took hundred thousand dalasis from my saving box along with my mobile phone. They later called Wurry to know where the box was, he (Wurry) told them to pick it outside of his house. We went there and took the box to the NIA but after opening it, we found stones in it and I was beaten to produce the real box."

He testified that Abass and Saidou Sowe were also tortured by NIA officers. 

The witness said he spent more than two months before he was taken to court. 

"We were going to court and it was last year that we got acquitted and discharged."

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