By Nelson Manneh
Captain Ousman Jallow, told a General Court-Martial that he was among those that left the country together with the President and his to Equatorial Guinea. He said so while testifying as the Fifth Prosecution Witness (PW5) on Thursday the 16th May 2018, in the trial of General Umpa Mendy and General Ansumana Tamba
The General Court-Martial is trying the two Generals on a single count of desertion charge.
The witness told the court that he had worked together with the accused persons when at the State House. He said General Umpa Mendy was the then Personal Principal Officer to Yahya Jammeh (the then President of the Gambia) and General Ansumana Tamba was the then Commanding Officer at the State House.
He said he went together with the two generals (the accused persons) to Equatorial Guinea and
spent only three (3) days there and came back to the Gambia. He said he came home because he had accomplished his mission which was to escort former President Jammeh’s family.
PW5 said upon his arrival in Equatorial Guinea, they were taken to a presidential villa and they were later moved to another place on the second day of their stay. He said that he decided to tell his protocol to inform the President’s wife and family that he wanted to leave. He adduced that he joined an aircraft which brought them to Mauritania. In Mauritania, PW3 continued his testimony that he then went to the Gambian Embassy in Mauritania and he explained himself to the Ambassador and gave him the phone number of the then acting State House Commander.
He said the Ambassador then spoke to the Commander and the following day they took a vehicle and travelled back to The Gambia. He said on his way coming he was communicating with the then acting commander till he reached and from the terminal, he took a vehicle and went to the State House with his materials.
PW5 said he left Equatorial Guinea together with four other people among them Major Muhammed Saine and other two who were civilians whose names he did not know.
Lance Corporal Ismaila Bojang, the Fourth Prosecution Witness (PW4) who had earlier told the court-martial that he is working with the Gambia Armed Forces under the Police Unit, said he was asked just to question the two Generals and the Generals wrote their statements by themselves.
He said when he was questioning them there was an independent witness present by the name Mr. Fatty, adding that he is not having the statements with him but if he sees them he will be able to recognise them. The statements were then given to him and he identified them. The State prosecutor B. Jeng applied for the documents to be tendered as exhibits and the court accepted them as exhibits.
During cross-examination Lawyer, Uzoma Achigbue asked PW4 whether apart from questioning the accused person he did not do anything. PW4 respond in the negative.
At this stage matter was adjourned till the Wednesday and Thursday the 23rd and 24th of May 2018 respectively for continuation of hearing.