By Nelson Manneh
Muhammed Sandeng, the son of the late Solo Sandeg, has on Monday the 25th of February 2019 appeared before the Banjul High Court to give account of his late father’s demise.
Testifying before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camra, Muhammed said he is still mourning the demise of his late father.
Late Ebrima Solo Sandeng, a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and witnesses who had all testified before the high court identified him as the ring leader of the 14th April 2016 UDP demonstration held at Westfield where many of the protesters including the late Solo Sandeng were arrested by the PIU.
Muhammed Sandeng whilst giving testimony said at the initial stage he did not believe that his father was dead until his mother confirmed the news to him.
The 21 year old university student told the court that their family tried many a times to see their loved one but could not.
He testified before the court that he remembered in the morning of April 14th, 2016, seeing his late father healthy. He added that after leaving their house, he received a called that his father was arrested for his involvement in staging a protest. At home he said he asked his mother for confirmation, and his mother told him that she had a phone call in which she was told that his father was arrested by the PIU and was later taken to the NIA headquarters.
He said that the Sanding family could not establish the whereabouts of the late Solo Sandeng despite the numerous search in different detention centres and numerous calls made to people close to him. He maintained that they only came to know about his whereabouts after a media publication and at the UDP’s press conference held at Lawyer Ousainou Darboe’s residence at the Kairaba Avenue where it was mentioned that Solo was tortured to dead while under the custody of the NIA.
He told the high court that on 4th March, 2017 a team of 20 persons exhumed his late father’s remains in a grave yard in Tanji village where they recovered a cloth, mattress and skeleton which were later taking to the EFSTH.
Sittings continue today at 1pm.
The accused persons are; Yankuba Badjie, an ex-director general of the NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng, an ex-director of operations at the NIA, Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Mansareh, Lamin Darboe, and Lamin Lang Sanyang. The 2nd accused person, Louise Gomez, an ex-deputy director of the said agency, died whilst under the custody of the State, during the course of this trial. However, Yusupha Jammeh, the 6th accused person was acquitted by the Court upon the State’s application for his acquittal.