Major Abdoukarim Jah of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) testified before the TRRC yesterday, revealing that former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) Lang Tombong Tamba ordered his arrest and subsequent detention at Mile 2 Prison.
Major Jah was born in Kololi and joined the army in 1983. At around 3:30 am on March 22, 2006, he was asleep when his daughter told him about soldiers who had jumped into his compound.
He said the soldiers were disciplined and he had been informed that they had been sent by Lang Tombong Tamba to arrest him. He went with them and handed them his pistol as requested.
Jah stated that he was taken to the security wing, cell number 5, with no bed, mosquito net or whatever in the cell.
“The next day I was taken out by the black and black: Malick Jatta, Ismaila Jammeh and others to NIA headquarters. In the car, Malick Jatta was drunk and wanted to hit me with his gun, but Ismaila intervened by slapping Malick’s hand. When I got to NIA, Lang Tombong, Ousman Sonko, Foday Barry and Alhagie Martin took me to a large hall for interrogation, and it was more about Ndure Cham’s attempted coup in 2006. “
He told the commission that it was clear to many officials that Ndure had complained about Jammeh’s role, and he made frequent announcements that he would overthrow Jammeh’s government.
He added that Ndure had informed him to take Jammeh out of power and said he could not go along.
He went on to tell them what he knew at NIA; that was his refusal to join Ndure Cham’s coup attempt.
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“I was brought back to Mile 2 by the ‘junglers’ and that was the end of my return to the NIA. On March 26, 2006, I was sleeping in my cell and I heard a lot of noise. Omar Colley aka Jagai called Ebou Lowe’s Names, Alpha Bah, Alieu Ceesay and Daba Marena. Everyone was scared because the junglers were walking around the jail and it was around 3:00 AM I have never seen them since that day until we heard Ousman Sonko’s announcement that they escaped during their transfer to Janjanburreh. “
The witness stated that he was brought before the Supreme Court and charged with high treason. He was not represented by a lawyer at the first meeting, but later secured the service of lawyer Lamin Camara.
He added that his charges were later changed from treason to concealment and that he was referred to court-martial until April 19, 2007.
He further testified that he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison and served nine years and four months before being pardoned by Jammeh on July 22, 2015.
He accused Jagai of molesting people in Mile 2 prison.
Major Jah further revealed that while he was in Kanyiba Prison, he saw Kanji who was arrested but later taken away. From that day on, he said he had never seen Kanyiba again.