By Rohey Jadama / Yankuba Jallow
Kafu Bayo, the seventeenth prosecution witness and 14th April protester, told the Banjul High Court that IG Sonko ordered for him, Solo Sandeng, Modou Ngum, Ebrima Jabang and Nogoi Njie, to be handcuffed at the PIU headquarters.
“We were handcuffed and put in shackles and thrown into a pickup. Myself and Ebrima Jabang were handcuffed together and thrown inside the pickup. Nogoi and Solo were loaded in a different pickup and we were brought to NIA,” said the witness.
The seventh prosecution witness added that Yankuba Colley, former Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council and one Lamin Beyai, working at the NIA, came to the PIU headquarters while they were detained there.
When asked by Lawyer Gaye about the time they arrived at the NIA, the witness responded that he cannot remember the exact time but was quick to add that it was between 4-5. The witness told the Court that upon their arrival, five of them were taken to one big room. Mr. Bayo, said on the 14th April 2016, they went out to show their anger and frustration; that they felt that the Gambia should change because the system was bad.
“We gathered at Bambo in Serrekunda. From Bambo we took the direction of Westfield. Upon our arrival at Westfield, we were saying together: “We need political reform, and we want the border to be open between Senegal and the Gambia, due to the fact that we are one people. We realised that there is hardship in the country and if the border is closed, that is a plus,” said the witness.
The witness continued: “While we were standing, we saw the paramilitary coming. When they arrived they didn’t ask anybody and the only thing we had, was our banners. They started beating us and some of us were thrown inside the truck. We were taken to the PIU office in Kanifing. Our names were recorded”.
Testifying earlier, the sixteen prosecution witness Ebrima Jabang, while responding to questions from his evidence-in-chief from, the lead prosecutor Lawyer Antuman Gaye, told the Court that from his observation, Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie and Modou Ngum, were all physically fine and there was no sign of sickness on them, when they boarded the pick and were taken to the NIA.
At this point, a piece of cloth was shown to the witness by Lawyer Gaye. The witness looked at it and responded that the piece of cloth was given to him by the Doctor.
“You said you were there for fourteen days. Did you get to know the name of the Doctor?” asked Lawyer Gaye. “Yes. I later get to know his name through the media as Lamin Sanyang,’’ the witness responded.
Asked whether if he was to see Lamin Sanyang again, he will recognise him, the witness responded in the positive. At this juncture, Lawyer Gaye took leave of the Court for the witness to identify Lamin Sanyang.
The witness stepped out from the dock, walked up to where the accused persons were seated and pointed at the 9th accused person.
At this point lawyer Gaye applied to tender the piece of cloth as an exhibit. Without any objection from the defence team, the Haftan and long trouser was admitted and marked as exhibit C.
Ebrima Jabang further told the Court that he was later taken to mile two, where he spent a period of two months. When asked whether he received any medical treatment at Mile two, the witness responded in the negative. Asked again whether his wounds were healed when he was taken to mile two, the witness responded: “No”.
The accused persons in this trial are Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Baboucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang. They are standing trial on twenty-five charges ranging from murder, causing ggrievous harm, unlawfully causing grievous harm, conspiracy to commit felony, accessory, forgery, making document without authority, fabricating evidence, making a false death certificate, disobedience to statutory duty, abduction in order to murder and abduction in order to subject persons to grievous harm.
The case continues today May 29th 2018, at 12 noon.