Loum admits being independent witness for alleged 2006 coupists

Jan 6, 2021, 11:41 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Babou Loum, a resident of Barra and member of former President Yahya Jammeh's Green Boys (a group that claimed loyalty for Jammeh) yesterday admitted before the TRRC that he was called by Sgt. Ndure to become the independent witness for the March 2006 alleged coupists.

Explaining his involvement, Mr. Loum testified that in March 2006, late Sgt. Ndure from the Serious Crimes Unit of The Gambia Police Force called him to become an independent witness to sign the accused person's statement. Loum said he told Ndure that he was not a security officer but Ndure asked him to just do it.

He added that he went to the NIA and found five military men with AK-47 guns, saying at the beginning, he was scared at the sight of the guns.

"I met Lamin Cham who called an accused person and told him that I was going to witness the writing of his statement, which he agreed. I was an independent witness for Alieu Jobe, Fareng Sanyang, Bunja Darboe, Wassa Camara, Yahya Darboe, Tamsir Jasseh and others but I couldn't recall them."

He told the commission that he was never paid for his services as independent witness. He added that it was only Sgt. Ndure who gave him fare to travel back to Barra. 

The witness further told the commission that after the incident, he was called at Justice Department to refund the money he used to spend on transportation. He said he was given D250 as refund for his expenditure.

Loum, however, denied witnessing any torture or use of force on the accused persons to write their statements.

At that juncture, Counsel Faal told him that he was part of those who led the witch hunters to Barra and he was working and threatening people as an NIA agent. However, the witness denied leading the witch hunters but even though he was not an NIA agent, he used to relate information to the NIA, if he thought it could be harmful to the nation.

He further admitted signing 32 statements for 12 accused persons and had been a witness in court proceedings from 2006 to 2012.