The Alleged Coup Plotters arriving in court.
By Landing Ceesay
Mustapha Jabbi, appearing before Justice Basiru B.V.P Mahoney of the High Court of the Gambia as the fourth prosecution witness in the alleged coup plotters’ trial, explained his encounter with the four accused persons standing trial.
Mr. Jabbi introduced himself as a businessman and told the court that In September 2022, he was walking on the road and when he heard someone call his name. He turned around, looked back and saw a person approaching him. He stopped and waited for him.
“He introduced himself to me as Fabakary Jawara (the 5th accused). He asked me whether I recognized him or not. I told him that I did not recognize him. He then told me that he recognizes me from where I used to go with my friends for chatting. As we were walking and chatting, I told him that I wanted to buy a 10-wheel truck during our conversation. I then asked him whether he knew someone who sells trucks. He told me that he knows someone who sells trucks, and he will contact that person for me. I gave him my WhatsApp number.
“He (Fabakary Jawara) then sent me pictures of different trucks. I chose the one I wanted and sent him that picture and told him that this is what I wanted. I asked him for all the information about the truck and he sent me all the details. The truck was not in the Gambia, it was Belgium. It was supposed to be shipped to the Gambia. During that time, I was going and coming to process the document for the truck,” the witness told the court.
Mr. Jabbi further told the court that in October 2022, he received a call from Fa Bakary Jawara requesting him to go to his house.
Mr. Jabbi testified that he visited Fabakary Jawara at his house in the evening and Fabakary then told him that he wanted to him something but not on the phone. It is Mr. Jabbi’s testimony that Fabakary Jawara told him that one of his younger brothers Sanna Fadera (the 1st accused) wanted to overthrow the government.
Mr. Jabbi said the following day, Fabakary Jawara called and asked him to go to his house because Sanna Fadera was there.
Mr. Jabbi told the court that when he went to Fabakary Jawara’s house he was introduced to Sanna Fadera.
“He (Fabakary Jawara) told me that this is the person who wants to overthrow Adama Barrow’s government. He told me that they went to a Marabout who gave them herbal medicine (concoction). Fabakary Jawara (5th accused) told me that on Sunday Sanna Fadera was supposed to take bath with the herbal medicine (concoction) and he wanted me to drive them to the bush. On Sunday, I went to Fabakary Jawara’s house and met Sanna Fadera there where I picked them up (Fabakary Jawara and Sanna Fadera) and drove them to a bush just after Busura Village.
“When we reached there, Sanna Fadera (1st accused) alighted and went inside the bush, took bath and came out. That’s the time we entered the vehicle. On our way home when we entered Busura. I pointed my hands to a compound and told them that there is a marabout here. I told them he is a good man. Fabakary Jawara then told me that then let’s go there because he is not far from the highway. At the time, Sanna Fadera’s phone was ringing and said he is in a hurry because he was supposed to report to work. Sanna Fadera then told us that the following day he and Jawara can come back there,” the witness testified.
The witness further testified that they went home, and he dropped them off at Fabakary Jawara’s house and went home.
Mr. Jabbi told the court that there was a day Fabakary Jawara called and asked him to go to his house so that they could go to the said marabout at Busura Village. It is Mr. Jabbi’s testimony that he went to Busura Village with Fabakary Jawara to the said Marabout’s house.
The witness told the court that the Marabout they went to see in Bususra is Yaya Manjang (2nd Prosecution witness), that he introduced Fabakary Jawara to the marabout and asked him to explain his problems to the marabout.
The witness told the court that Fabakary Jawara explained to the marabout that his younger brother called Sanna Fadera (1st accused) wants to overthrow President Barrow’s government and wants the marabout to do a spiritual consultation (listakarr) for him.
“At that instant, the marabout told Fabakary Jawara that anyone who wants to overthrow this government should do it from the end of December to the beginning of January because somebody already prayed for the President. The marabout asked us to go home and call him the following day, that he will tell Fabakary what he saw in the listakarr. After a few days, Fabakary Jawara called and told me that he went back to the marabout with Sanna Fadera. But they did not go with me this time.
“Fabakary told me that the marabout said they should give cola nut and bitter cola as charity. He told me that the marabout directs them to go to another marabout in Mauritania or Guinea Conakry. I told him that if it is Kara Yakuba’s lineage in Mauritania they have a connection with my family. I told him the only person who can have their contact is my uncle Saihou Gassama. He told me to link them with my uncle so that they can communicate with the marabout in Mauritania,” the witness told the court.
The witness testified that Fabakary Jawara told him to ask his uncle to help them with money so that his uncle can help them give out the charity Yahya Manjang (PW2) asked them to give because he (Fabakary Jawara) heard that his uncle helps people.
It is Mr. Jabbi’s testimony that he told Fabakary it will be difficult for him to tell his uncle to help them, but he kept on calling and asking him whether he told his uncle or not then he told Fabakary Jawara that he will tell his uncle.
Mr. Jabbi said there was a day his uncle came to Brikama and he told him that there are people who need help from him and asked whether he can bring them to him. Thereafter, he informed Fabakary Jawara that he spoke to his uncle about them and asked them to go and meet him.
“I then called my uncle and asked whether he is at home in Brusubi or not. He told me that he is there. I told him that I am going there with the people I spoke to him about. When I arrived in Brusubi with Fabakary Jawara, I introduced him to my uncle and told him that these are the people I talked to you about. Fabakary then expressed himself to him and told him what he wanted from my uncle. Then my uncle asked Fabakary which of the marabouts because there are many in Mauritania. Fabakary told him that it is Kara Yakuba’s lineage. My uncle told him that he has a number. My uncle then called the number, but that person did not pick up the call. Then we went home.
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“My uncle called and told me that the money Fabakary Jawara wants is not with him, but he can come and collect it the following day. We then proceeded to go home. On our way home, my uncle called and told me that the man in Mauritania called him. My uncle said the marabout asked him to send him the person’s name, age, father’s name and mother’s name. Then I asked Fabakary, he also asked Sanna Fadera and then Sanna sent him the details. Fabakary sent me the details and I also sent it to my uncle,” the witness told the court.
The witness further told the court that he went back to his uncle with Fabakary and Sanna the following day and his uncle called the marabout in Mauritania but could not reach him again.
It is the witness’s testimony that on the 3rd day, he went there again with Fabakary, and Sanna Fadera but that day Fabakary stayed in the car.
Mr. Jabbi told the court that the instructions his uncle gave him is that he should only go with the person who needs spiritual consultation listakarr. However, the witness told the court that his uncle could not reach the marabout in Mauritania on phone again.
“The 4th day, I called my uncle he told me that he was at Kerr Serigne. That day I only went there with Sanna Fadera. When my uncle called the guy in Mauritania, he receives it and put the phone on speaker and give it to Sanna Fadera. When my uncle gave the phone to Sanna Fadera, I heard the man telling Sanna that he has looked into Sanna’s issue. He told Sanna that there are three things you can get. He said among those three if you get 2 you are okay but 3rd one if you get it you don’t feel comfortable. He told Sanna that you can be head of a clan, you can be a rich man and can also be President. He then hung up the phone. My uncle told Sanna you heard what he said.
“The Marabout told him to make up his mind and choose one among the 3 things. Sanna told me that he wants to be a President. I told Sanna that I would tell my uncle about it. I didn’t tell anything to my uncle and went home with Sanna to Brikama. Later I came back to where my uncle is at Kerr Serigne. There was a day I received a call from my uncle. I met him at his office at Buffer Zone. He advised me that these people are soldiers, and we are civilians. He asked me to limit myself from their issues. I then adhere to the advice and limit myself from the issue,” the witness told the court.
The witness told the court that at one point he had been communicating with Fabakary about the vehicle issue because he spent a lot of money on that vehicle, that’s why he keeps on contacting him.
The witness further told the court that there was a day Fabakary Jawara called and told him that Sanna has a meeting with his people at Kafuta Village when the time comes, he will remind him so that he can drive them there.
The witness told the court that on the 18th of December 2022, Fabakary then called and told him that the meeting he told him about is on that day and Sanna and his friends are at his house.
The witness told the court that at the time he was in Kerr Serigne and told Fabakary that his vehicle had a breakdown, that’s what he is fixing.
Mr. Jabbi testified that he told Fabakary that when he is done fixing his car he will come to his house.
It is his testimony that both Fabakary and Sanna kept calling and telling him that they were waiting for him.
“As I arrived at Fabakary’s compound gate, Sanna Fadera’s call entered, and I told him that I was already at the place. I was sitting in the car waiting for them. He came out with two people. One of them is Karamo Jatta. They told me that they are going to Kafuta. As I was heading to Kafuta, Sanna told me that they should pick someone around Jokor in Brikama. I drove until I passed Jokor Sanna told me that it was there. Someone came out whom I later know as Ebrima Sannoh (3rd accused person).
“When we picked up Ebrima Sannoh, we turned back around Jah oil to go to Kafuta. I was driving, because I don’t know Kafuta, we were about to pass a village Sanna told me it is here. We saw someone waving at us. Sanna asked us to turn it in if we missed the road. The person who was waving at us is Gibril Darboe (2nd accused). When we stopped there, Sanna asked me to sit in the vehicle and wait for them they are going to a meeting when they are done they will let me know.
“I was sitting in the vehicle for a very long time, Sanna came and asked me to come in because the sun was so hot. Sanna then gave me a chair to sit on. But it was far from where they were having a meeting. After a while, They told me that it is time for the Zuhr prayer that we should pray. I lead the prayer. After the prayer I wanted to take the plastic chair to go and sit where I was sitting then Gibril Darboe (2nd accused) asked us to go for lunch as it is ready. I went home with Sanna, Karamo and Ebrima Sannoh and then Karamo alighted at Jah Oil,” the witness told the court.
The witness told the court that he drove Sanna to Gidda Baba Njie because Sanna told him that he wanted to see someone at Gidda Baba Njie in Brikama. It is his testimony, that when they reached Gidda Baba Njie, Sanna asked him to excuse because he wants to see someone in the vehicle.
The witness said he then alighted from the vehicle and saw someone joining Sanna in the vehicle, but he did not know who that person is.
The witness said after a while Sanna called him and told him that he is ready then he went to the vehicle and drove Sanna to Fabakary’s house.
“Then I was there for some time, and I saw on social media that Sanna Fadera, Gibril Darboe and Ebrima Sannoh were arrested. They are accused of overthrowing the government. On the 30th of December 2022 I received a call from Fabakary Jawara, he asked me where you are. I told him that I was at my residence at Kerr Serigne. He told me that he wanted to come and visit me but did not know where I was staying. I told him that I just came from the Jummah prayer, but I want to go to GT Bank at Senegambia because I want to do some transaction.
“I told him to wait for me at GT Bank after my transaction I can go with him to my house. Fabakary told me whether I will recognize his car, I told him yes I do. When I drove to GT Bank I did not alight from my vehicle I was looking around whether I can see Fabakary around. Before coming down from my vehicle, I saw security officers surrounding my car. That’s the time I saw Fabakary with them. They told me that I am under arrest and they need me at SIS in Banjul. When we reach Banjul at SIS, I was interrogated and taken to the Police Headquarters. I was detained for 5 days and then taken to Banjul Magistrate Court. I was charged with two counts,” the witness told the court.
The witness told the court that the Magistrate Court sent him to Mile 2 central prison.
“I was there until sometime and then taken to the High Court but the charges against me were dropped,” the witness told the court.
Sanna Fadera (the 1st accused) and 3 other soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and a Police Officer from the Gambia Police Force (GPF).
The Four (4) Soldiers and one (1) Police Officer are accused of an attempted alleged Coup and been charged with 5 counts including treason.
The People who are charged are; Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (1st accused) Private Officer, Gibril Darboe (2nd accused) Corporal Ebrima Sannoh (3rd accused), and Corporal Omar Njie (4th accused), Fabakary Jawara (5th accused) who is the Police Officer charged alongside the Soldiers.