By Nelson Manneh
The former Commissioner of Police, Malamin Ceesay, has on Monday 8th March 2021 informed the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that the “Junglers” (hit-squad of ex-president Jammeh) tortured the 2006 coup plotters.
Ceesay said all the accused persons were seriously tortured and they sustained injuries on their bodies. He said in 2006, the former Inspector General of Police informed him that the NIA was about to constitute a panel to investigate Bunja Darboe, Wassa Camara, Yahya Darboe, Pierre Mandy and Alieu Jobe, who were accused of taking part in a coup and the police needed to take part in the investigation.
Ceesay said a panel was established and the panel comprises the following from the Police: Demba Sowe, himself, Sainey Ndure, Lamin Cham, Boto Kaita and Abdoulie Sowe.
He said the team from NIA comprised Momodou Hydra, Baba Saho, Foday Barry, Ousman Jallow and officers he cannot remember. For the Military Intelligence, he said Nfally Jabang was present among others.
The witness said when the panel was set up, the police was invited and the NIA conducted the questioning and the Police took the accused persons’ statements. He said the junglers were part of the panel and they were the ones responsible for escorting the accused persons, as well as the torturing of the accused persons even before they appear before the panel.
He said Bunja Darboe, Wassa Camara, Yahya Darboe, Pierre Mandy and Alieu Jobe, were the suspects. He said they were many, but he could not remember the names of the other suspects.
Ceesay said he did not participate in torturing the suspects, but his presence alone makes him part of those who extracted evidence from them. He said senior officers were present and because they wanted to satisfy the previous government, they did not stop what was happening.
The witness alleged ex-president Yahya Jammeh was aware of what was happening during the investigation (including the torturing) because Musa Jammeh, Tumbul Tamba and Alagie Martin had cell phones and were communicating with him.
“Whenever they have evidence from the accused person, one of them will go out and communicate to Jammeh,” he said.
Ceesay said as far as the investigations were concerned, the NIA was heading the process. He said the IGP and the NIA Director-General should be blamed for what happened during the investigation.
He said the junglers who were from Statehouse were the ones torturing the suspects and Musa Jammeh was their leader.
The witness said the interrogation and questioning was done by the NIA and the police was only responsible for taking statements of the suspects. He accepted that the panel had failed in some of their responsibilities which led to the long time imprisonment of the suspects.
on the arrest and investigation of Duta Kamaso, the witness said he cannot remember participating in her case. He also denied all allegations that were leveled against him, adding he did not remember participating in the torture of anybody, including Duta.
On the disappearance of the two Gambian American citizens, the witness said Amadou Kujabie, one Gomez, Ousman Jallow, one Camara, himself and a lawyer from the Attorney General’s chambers, were the people who participated in the investigation of their case.
Ceesay said the panel was established to trace the whereabouts of the two Gambian-Americans and in doing so, a search was conducted. He said he later came to know that the panel was established to fake the public because he was told by the Minister of Interior at the time that the President was interested in the case.
The government wanted to conceal the truth since they knew that the International Human communitywas about to investigate the issue, he said.
Ceesay said when the international investigator came and went to his office, the government at the time started to suspect him and he started to receive threats from private numbers. He said he was also put on surveillance by the state agents.
“Initially, I don’t know the whereabouts of the two Gambian Americans, but when I was told that they found them in Guinea Bissau, we went to Bissau, but could not trace these people,” he said.
He said before they left The Gambia for Guinea Bissau, he did not visit the NIA because there was an NIA representative within the panel. The witness said at the end of the investigation, they were not able to come out with anything.
On the killings of the West African migrants, the witness said investigation was conducted and it wasintended to help the government to cover-up.
“The state was responsible for the cover-up of the killings of the West African migrants,” he said.
He said he was not present when the migrants were arrested in Barra, but for the fact that he signed the report made by the panel, he accepted taking part in the cover-up exercise.
Malamin Ceesay, a former commissioner of the Gambia Police Force, was born on the 1st January 1961 in Fuladou in Central River Region of The Gambia.