By Rohey Jadama
Mr. Malang Sonko, a Technician at the State Intelligence Services (SIS) and the twelfth prosecution witness (PW12) in the ongoing trial of nine former officials of NIA, said he saw Tamba Mansireh (7th accused person), beating Nogoi Njie.
The accused persons are: Yankuba Badjie, Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Baboucarr Sallah, and Lamin Lang Sanyang.
Testifying before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court, the witness said on the 14th April, he went to the Whitehouse at the NIA. “When I entered inside the white house, I was with my boss Omar Bojang, the Director of Technical Service. I heard someone crying”, said the witness.
The witness said it was around 10pm towards 11pm. It was a woman and I came closer to them until I saw who was beating the woman.”
When asked by Lawyer Antuman Gaye whether he knew this Tamba Mansireh before the beating, the witness responded in the positive. At this juncture Barrister Gaye took leave of the court for the witness to identify Tamba Mansireh. This was granted by the court. The witness walked up to where the accused persons were seated and pointed at Tamba Mansireh.
“I told him Tamba how you can beat someone, when she is shouting like this. He responded to me that it was not my job. So that was how I held his hand and he started pushing and pulling himself”, said the witness. Mr. Sonko further told the court that Tamba (7th accused), was beating the woman with a black rubber; that after pushing and pulling with him, his watch fell and people came and separated them.
“After picking my watch, that was how I stepped out. The beating took place inside the Whitehouse. It is an open place. By that time I was very angry and I shouted at the Director General and his people and I said how they were able to leave Tamba do what he was doing”, the witness said.
When asked by Lawyer Gaye to tell the court who and who were inside the Whitehouse, the witness responded that it was clear to him that the Director General, Omar Bojang and Tamba Masireh, were the ones. When asked whether the Director General was in court, the witness responded in the positive. At this point Lawyer Gaye took leave of the court for the witness to identify the Director General. The witness walked up to the 1staccused and identified him as the Director General. The witness was asked by Lawyer Gaye whether he got to know the name of the woman Tamba was beating and the witness responded that after the scene, he knew the woman to be Nogoi Njie. The witness said he left for his office but the 7th accused continued beating Nogoi.
At this point, Lawyer Chime, defence Attorney for Yankuba Badjie complained that the witness statement of Malang Sonko is incomplete. However, Lawyer Gaye told the court that he has the original statement of the witness which is complete and that with the permission of the court, he can pass it on to him. This was granted by the court.
Responding to questions during cross-examination, PW12 told the court that he attended Latrikunda Sabiji and Brikama Secondary Schools and stopped at form 4. He further told the court that on the 14th April 2016, he was the Assistant OC, Technical.
“Mr. Sonko do you want this court to believe that at the NIA, an Assistant OC is free to do what they like?” asked Laweyer Chime. “What my job demands that is what I do”, said the witness. Counsel asked, “Is it part of your work to investigate or find out what is happening at NIA?” “Whatever my job directed me, is what I do”, replied the witness.
“Was a vehicle parked where you said you saw Nogoi being beaten?” “No I didn’t see any vehicle there”, responded the witness.
“Was there any construction going on where you said you saw Nogoi been beaten?” asked Chime. “Yes there was construction going on”, said the witness.
At this juncture, the case was adjourned to today 28th February 2018 at 1pm, for continuation of cross-examination of PW12 by the Counsel of the 1st accused person and for further hearing.