Widow recounts husband’s disappearance

Mar 10, 2021, 12:40 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Adama Conteh, a widow of late Lamin Tunkara yesterday testified before the TRRC, narrating that her husband disappeared and allegedly killed by former president Yahya Jammeh’s government.

The witness said Lamin Tunkara was her husband and they were married for months before his disappearance. She added that Lamin was born in Badibu Kinteh Kunda but resided in Tallinding.

Explaining what led to her husband’s disappearance on 24 July 2005, the witness said Lamin was called by someone and she heard him saying ‘I’m coming’.  She added that Lamin was taken to Banjul but he never returned till after 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., when he was cuffed and brought to the house.

“Those who led him to the house didn’t wear uniform and they were about 10 in number. They asked me to leave our room and they got inside for a while and left. Lamin’s step mother Fatoumatta Jaiteh recognise one of those who arrested Lamin. Lamin later called me and informed me he was taken to the Banjul Police Station. We visited him and tried to bail him but it wasn’t possible. We returned the following day with Lamin Sabally to secure his bail but it was also impossible.”

The following day, the witness testified that Lamin called her with another line and stated that he didn’t understand what was happening because he had been transferred to Kairaba police.

She told the commission that she went to the police station to give him food and other needs.

The emotional widow further stated that Neneh Cham was the lawyer who made efforts to release Lamin on bail but to no avail.

“The next day, Lamin’s younger brother went to the police station but couldn’t find him. As he informed us, we took a taxi to the station at night and asked the duty man about Lamin’s whereabouts. The duty man said Lamin and the Ghanaians were taken away but he didn’t know where.”

The witness said Lamin once told her that the reason for his arrest was his link to migrants who were to travel through ‘backway’ to Spain.

After Lamin’s complete disappearance, the widow said she went to Mile 2 (the state central prison) to check for her husband but his name wasn’t in the register.

She said during her visit to the NIA, a man advised her to stop searching for Lamin.

The witness stated that when Martin Kyere narrated the way Lamin and colleagues were killed, that was the moment she believed that Lamin had died.