Monday, February 17, 2020

In The NIA 9 Trial: UDP’s Modou Ngum Alleges Torture


By Yankuba Jallow

Modou Ngum of the United Democratic Party (UDP) before the Banjul High Court presided over Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara, alleged that he drank his own blood whilst under custody at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), because he was refused water to drink.

Ngum, the eighteenth prosecution witness (PW18) in the ongoing criminal trial of former intelligence chiefs, said he was termed by the NIA as the UDP Youth Mobiliser and unmarried.

“They held my sexual organ and told me that they will castrate me, because I am not married,” the witness said.

Whilst giving evidence, the witness said he was taken into a dark room and tied on a table. “They tied me on the table and I was blind folded. I was wearing an underwear and a t-shirt at the time they were beating me. They told me that we are the people who had offended the Government and they told me the shameless Bakawsu Fofana was also beaten on the same table. They beat me and spoiled my body. My eyes were untied and my head was put in water in a container. One of them told me that they use to beat soldiers to death,” Ngom stated.

Ngum adduced that he was taken into a hall where his statement was taken.

“Before I got into the hall, they warned me not to mention that I was beaten, threatening that if I mention this, they will come back and beat me until I die,” he said.

He alleged that at the time they were obtaining his statement, he was thirsty but was afraid to request for water, because the officers earlier told him that they will not give him water. “I was drinking blood from the injuries I sustained on my body,” he said.

The witness was asked to demonstrate how he drank his own blood and he demonstrated it before the Court. The witness said he was later taken back to the ‘Bambadinka’ cell, where the late Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie, Ebrima Jabang and Kafu Bayo and himself, were held. He was shown a ‘kaftan’ shirt and trousers, jean trousers and a long sleeve shirt so that he can identify them. He identified them as his; that they were given to him by the doctor, Lamin Sanyang (the ninth accused person).

“Whilst we were in ‘Bambadinka’, they knocked at the door and took Solo Sandeng away and by that time, he couldn’t walk properly. We were there and they came for Nogoi Njie and took her away. I didn’t see Solo Sandeng up to now. As for Nogoi, I saw her when we were escorted to Mile II, after spending 14 days at the NIA,” he concluded.

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