By Nelson Manneh
Captains Morro F Sanneh and Bubacarr Ngom have testified before the general Court-Martial on Thursday May 10th 2018, in the ongoing criminal trial of Generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba. The two Captains served as the 2nd and 3rd prosecution witnesses respectively and were the two who led the teams that arrested the two Generals. Captain Sanneh said he led the team that went to arrest General Mendy whilst Captain Ngom told the Court-Martial, that he led the other team that arrested General Tamba.
When the case was called before the panellist of the Court-Martial in the presence of the accused persons, State Counsel B Jeng, Captain B Jaiteh and Captain B Sanneh, announced their presence for the State whilst Counsel Uzoma Achigbue and C.S. Thomas, appeared for the accused persons.
Captain Sanneh, PW2, said he worked with the GAF at the Military Police Unit at Defence Headquarters in Banjul; that his duty is to discipline offenders and investigate matters; that sometime in January 2018, he was called by one Captain A. Njie who asked him to report to Yundum Military Camp.
“Upon arrival I was asked if I know the compound of Generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba. I responded that I don’t know that of Ansumana Tamba but I once went to General Umpa Mendy’s residence and I can still locate the place in Busumbala,” the witness said.
“That was when I was told to lead a team to effect his arrest,’’ he said. Captain Sanneh explained broadly to the Court Martial, how the General was arrested and said after arresting him, they drove to the Yundum Baracks where he handed him over and left; that he was asked to return with him the following day to make a further search of his house in order to surrender some of his documents; that he gave him his passport and other documents.
At this juncture the State prosecutor applied for the passport of Umpa Mendy to be tendered which was tendered and marked as exhibit PE3.
During cross examination of the witness, Counsel Uzoma Achigbue told Captain Sanneh whether it is in their practice to tell team members their mission before leaving, but the witness countered, saying it depends on the team leader.
Sanneh said the order given to him was oral not documented; that he made a statement after the arrest but could not remember the date. The statement was tendered and marked as exhibit DE1.
On his part, Captain Bubacarr Ngum, PW3, in his testimony, said he lives in Farato and works under the Military Police Unit in Yundum; that among his responsibilities is to enforce disciplinary action on offenders and the security of VIPs; that he knows the accused persons because he has worked with General Ansumana Tamba at the State House during the former regime.
Captain Ngum said on the 21st of January 2018, he received a phone call from one Captain A. Njie who instructed him to report to the Baracks ; that upon arrival, he met Captain Njie together with Captain Sanneh; that Captain Njie told him that the two Generals are in the country and they should move fast to their residences and bring them to barracks; that he was assigned to go for Ansumana Tamba which he did and brought him; that Tamba also surrendered his passport, which was shown to the Court and was marked as exhibit PE4.
PW3 added that on 21st of January 2017, whilst he was at the airport when former president Jammeh was leaving, he was standing with the former CDS Ousman Badjie and saw General Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba accompanying the former president to Equatorial Guinea.
The matter was adjourned to the 16th of May 2018, at 10am for cross examination of PW3.