Witness reveals involvement in several operations, tortures

Jan 15, 2021, 10:02 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Basiru Sey, an Intelligence agent and former soldier who yesterday testified before the TRRC, recounted several operations he had involved while serving as NIA officer.

The Banjulian joined the army from 2001 to 2013 and later joined the NIA in 2015.

He explained that Special Operation Unite at the NIA was responsible of executing commands from the then President Yahya Jammeh. Witness stated that they were also responsible of arresting high ranking individuals and beat them up had they resist complying.

Dwelling on the issue of money counterfeit, witness said it was Lamin Darboe who informed them that there were money doublers who they needed to pick from their destinations. 

"I was part of the operation with Alasan Baldeh, Gribil Kanji and Alieu Sumareh. We first apprehended Abass Jarjue at the Futurelec Building in Kotu and escorted him to Banjul. We also arrested another man called Sowe, who we believed was given by Abass the counterfeit money. He added that Sowe later gave the money to one Juku Sowe. “Sowe was beaten before he told us where the money was," he revealed.

The witness further stated that Juku Sowe told them that the criminal issue on money doubling was good for the country. But according to Sey, the comment made him slapped Juku and later moved him out for him to be tortured.

Sey told the commission that Abass was also tortured seriously by the ‘junglers’.

"The location of the money was later disclosed to us. I went there with Alasan Baldeh and upon arrival at the location; we saw two big iron valises in which we believed contained some foreign currencies. We transported the valises to Banjul and when we opened them, we only found six blocks inside. That is what made us angry about Juku Sowe."

Dilating on the claim as to whether the NIA director general didn't know about tortures that were happening at the premises, the witness said that's false.

He added that Tamba Mansareng and Sallah used to carry out their own operations to get money at night, saying they used to chase the boys with cannabis and prostitutes to take their monies.

Mr. Sey continued that there was one elderly man that they were asked to arrest. According to him, they were briefed that the man used to make fake passports and dealing with counterfeits. Sey narrated that the man was beaten upon arrival at the NIA Headquarters because he was strong headed.

Explaining the arrest of one Camara, the witness said Camara was given Jammeh's cattle and he didn't know whether it was for sale or not. He said Camara was beaten mercilessly until he suffered some bodily harm.

On the issue of the marabout from Darou Hairu, Sey testified that he was also arrested and detained with either his (arrestee) father or son for about three months.