Monday, July 22, 2019

AT THE COURT MARTIAL: ‘I Never Met Salif Sarjo’ Lt. Yaya B Jammeh


By Kebba Secka / Nelson Manneh

Lt. Yaya B Jammeh said he had never met Salif Sarjo, an insurgent fighting in Casamance, Senegalese but acknowledged visiting retired General MA Bah, at his residence. Lt Jammeh made these statements during cross examination by the prosecution, in the ongoing trial of 12 soldiers (referred to as the WhatsApp Group) facing charges of sedition, mutiny and others at the General Court Martial.

Lt. Jammeh recalled visiting retired General Bah on three occasions but was quick to add that the reason for the visits was cordial.

When the case was called, MB Abubakar with ER Dougan and Captain Yusupha Jallow announced their presence for the State while SK Jobe together with Suwaibou Jammeh, Lt Commander Alieu Sanneh, Captain Modou Demba and Captain Kebba Jabbie, appeared for the Defence.

MB Abubakar asked PW 1 what his relationship was to General MA Bah and the witness responded:

“He was my General and I worked under him at Defence Headquarters.” Asked whether he visited other Generals in The Gambia Armed Force, the witness answered in the negative, adding that there are many Generals in the Gambia Armed Forces and he cannot visit them all. The prosecution insisted for the accused person to tell the Court why he visited General Bah the but witness gave the same reply that he was his boss; that another reason was the General was relieved from his service and he went there to pay a courtesy call on him. Asked whether he has ever visited the former CDS, the witness answered in the negative saying, “I have never visited the former CDS.”

MB Abubakar asked the first accused to tell the Court the number of times he visited the second accused person (Lt Abdoulie Jarjue) and the third accused person (Lt Yaya Jammeh) at the AU Villa. The witness said he visited them on two occasions, one of which was to supply fuel. He told the Court-Martial that while on leave, he had a funeral in his home town of Kanilai and wanted Lieutenant Yaya Jammeh to assist him with fuel. According to the witness, that marked his second visit to the third accused person’s residence at the AU Villa. Abubakar put it to the witness that in the month of Ramadan 2017, they were preparing a coup plot but the witness refuted this claim. MB Abubakar applied to the Court to allow the witness to have a look at Exhibit A which is a cautionary statement of the first accused person (Capt Yaya Jammeh) and this application was not objected to by Defence. The witness was allowed to read the cautionary statement and he read the first four lines as requested.

“What was the subject of your discussion?” asked Abubakr.

In reply the witness said he could not remember.

The prosecution then put it to the witness: “I am putting it to you that your discussion centred on preparations to mobilise a cross section of society to destabilise the Government of the Gambia.”

“No. Incorrect,” replied the witness.

Sitting continues on Monday June 11th for the testimony of DW2 (Lt Abdoulie Jarjue) and further hearing.

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