Sunday, August 18, 2019

AT THE COURT-MARTIAL: Dw4 Gives Testimony


By Kebba Secka

Sergent Babucarr Sanneh alias ‘Nyakare’, testified that he was called by the then Adjutant, now third accused in this case, Yaya Jammeh, on July 7th 2017, to report to Fajara Barracks, for questioning; that on his way to the barracks, Lt. Yusupha Jallow called him several times prompting him to hurry up or else he (Jallow), was going to pick him up. Sanneh said upon arrival at the barracks, he went to the then Adjutant who told him that he was supposed to meet a panel of investigators.

According to ‘Nyakare’, the Board Of Inquiry (BOI) set up at the barracks, was a panel of seven members he could remember. ‘‘At the BOI, I was asked whether I know who uploaded the timber that appeared to be in Single Nyassi’s profile and I told them no,’’ Sanneh said. He went: ‘‘Major Armandi and Corporal Emmanuel Jassey, the main gate commander, asked me whether I was a facebook friend with Single Nyassi, and I answered in the affirmative,’’ he explained; that he told the BOI that he personally requested friendship with Single Nyassi and Nyassi accepted his request. Sgt Sanneh said capt Pharring Sanayang asked him whether he was happy with the Presidential Coalition Team (PCT) and he told him not to be asked such politically influenced questions. ‘‘I told him that I am a soldier who should serve any commander in chief that comes to power,’’ Sgt Sanneh said. According to Sanneh, when he told Capt. Sanyang that he was not a politician, that he should not be asked politically motivated questions, the enquiry ended for that day; that on 26th July 2017 at around 10 am, Lt. Yusupha Jallow picked him up from where he was detained and taken to the NIA in Banjul; that at the NIA, he met a BOI whose members comprise personnel of the GPF, NIA and GAF; that the members of the GAF on the BOI were Capt. Alhagie Camara and Lt. Yusupha Jallow; that he was asked the same questions when he met the Fajara BOI.

Sanneh said there was no statement taken from him during his first appearance before the BOI at the NIA; that on the 29th July 2017, Lt. Yusupha Jallow picked him from his detention cell and took him to the NIA in Banjul, where he met the same BOI; that upon arrival, Lt. Yusupha Jallow called him to a corner and urged him to comply with whatever the investigators want him to say; that when asked whether he ever met ex-General MA Bah, he answered in the affirmative; that he told them that he knew the ex-General a long time ago, when he was a pay master and financial director for GAF; that the purpose of visiting MA Bah was to watch a football match and nothing else. According to Sgt. Sanneh, when he said this to the investigators, Lt. Yusupha Jallow got up from where he was sitting and pointed his pistol towards his left ear, while shouting on top of his voice that he was telling lies. ‘‘Lt. Yusupha Jallow accused me that I went to the ex-General’s compound to meet with ex-General MA Bah, ex-General Musa Savage, ex-General Silla Kujabie and General Momodou Sowe,’’ Sgt Sanneh told the Court Martial.

When the case was called on Tuesday July 24th 2018, DW4 Sanneh rejected claims by the investigators. Staff Sergent Babucarr Sanneh told the General Court-Martial that the State had some offers for him, provided that he would accept to be a state witness in the trial against the twelve accused members of the Gambia Armed Forces. ‘‘Lt Yusupha Jallow told me in his office that if I accept to be a State witness, I will be promoted to the rank of Major; that I will be given a well-furnished house and a vehicle or $100, 000,’’ he said.

Sgt Sanneh in his evidence further explained that Lt. Yusupha Jallow informed that the State was going to airlift him to any destination with his family, if he would find himself threatened after serving as State witness. ‘‘I told Lt. Jallow that I was not interested with the State’s offer; that I am a Muslim and I am content with what God has given me,’’ he said; that when they got out of Lt. Jallow’s office, he pointed at a packed car and he told him that the car was his, henceforth. ‘‘I told Lt. Yusupha Jallow that their offers will not enable him to allow innocent lives to be detained at the Mile 2, because he will face God one day, Who will asked him about it,’’ he narrated; that when he told Lt. Jallow these statements, he told him to prepare and spend the rest of his life at the Mile 2 with his comrades.

According to DW4 that was the last day he saw Lt. Jallow until on the 17th of November when he first appeared before a panel of Court-Martial at the Yundum Military Barracks. When asked what he can tell the Court regarding the WhatAsapp Group, Sgt. Sanneh said he was a member of a whatAsapp group called True Friends, created by Sgt. Yususpha Jatta alias Yarro; that the purpose for creating the group was to teach one another, the correct way of speaking the Jola language; that another reason for the creation of the group, was to make fun among themselves but not to nurture any ill will against the State. ‘‘We pick a word and asked one another how it is called in Jola,’’ he said. Asked by Defense Counsel how many lines he was using for WhatsApp, DW4 said he was using three line, namely Gamcel, Qcell and Africell, but pointed out that he was using the the Africell line for the WhatsApp group called True Friends.

During cross examination, State Counsel A.N Yusuf told DW4 to call out the Africel line he was using in the True Friends Group. DW4 responded that he could not remember because it was a new line that was bought after he returned from Darfur on 5th March 2017. When asked by AN Yusuf to remember the other lines he was using for WhatsApp, DW4 said he knew the Qcell and Gamcel numbers. ‘‘Do you use your Africell line purposely for WhatsAapp,’’ asked State counsel. ‘‘No Sir,’’ DW4 responded; that he used his new Africel line to call his younger brother who was is in the diaspora, and other members of his family. ‘‘What is your Gamcell number,’’ asked State Counsel Yusuf. ‘‘My Gamcel number is 9849428,’’ said DW4.

More on this sitting in subsequent publications.

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