Prisoner says commissioner lied in TRRC testimony

Jun 16, 2020, 11:24 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Baba Galleh Jallow, a life sentenced prisoner who yesterday testified before the TRRC, revealed that the current commissioner of Operations at The Gambia Prisons Service, Lamin Sowe, lied to the commission for not being an orderly to former prisons director, David Colley.

Lamin Sowe denied before the commission that he did work closely with David and did not run his mission, However, Jallow said that was false as Sowe was the right hand of David Colley and he knew all that was happening at Mile 2 (state central prison).

Prisoner Jallow was accused of murder case and armed robbery in 2004. He was arrested by Omar Dumbuya and Famara Jallow at Willingara Police in Senegal and brought to Basse Police Station.

He testified that when he was brought to Basse, he was undressed naked and beaten seriously by three people for three days. 

"I was taken to the magistrate’s court, where I pleaded not guilty. I was referred to Janjanburreh Prison and later to Mile 2 for remind."

He continued that when he was taken to Mile 2 with other detainees, upon arrival, Lamin Sowe put his finger in his (Jallow) anus before he was taken to security wing at number one confinement.

Jallow, who had so far served 16 years in jail, said the food he was given at Mile was bad that he won’t even give that to his dog at home. 

Jallow who once felt sick as a result of beriberi, said the 'cherreh' and pap food have killed many people, saying it’s pap that caused beriberi.

He added that he was beaten by the prison officers with Omar Sey, Mballo Kanteh, Alhajie Soriba, Makudu, Modou Sonko, Ousman Nekle and many others.

He said Sukaru Conteh and two to three people died as a result of the beaten.

He said when Aunty Rose became the leader of the prison, she did call them his children and no officer dare beat them at the time.

The witness further told the commission that the prison officers frequently denied prisoners medical attention, while adding that David Colley only allowed those he liked to have access to hospital. 

"I went to court and appeared before Justice Munyagen but in the end, I was convicted and sentenced for death."

Mr. Jallow told the commission that there was no change at Mile 2 since former President Yahya Jammeh's left, citing bread they receive as the only change being made.