By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Immediately after our initial publication about the killing of the 9 Mile II inmates, an anonymous eye witness informed the Trumpet that he was present and was on duty on the night in question. The witness confirmed that he saw everything that transpired before and during the time the executed prisoners were removed from their cells and gathered at the old Prisons Headquarters before handing them over to General Saul Badjie and his team.
The eye witness, who preferred to be anonymous, recalled on Thursday 23 August 2012, at around 21:00hrs, when he saw several numberless tinted class vehicles entered the Mile II Prison complex. He said the vehicles were occupied by armed soldiers and few civilians. He added that among the civilians he could recognise were then Interior Minister Ousman Sonko and then Justice Minister Lamin Babadinding Jobarteh.
He added that the soldiers included General Saul Badjie then State Guard Commander, General Bora Colley then Director General of Gambia Prison Services and several other armed men that had their faces covered and dressed in combat style gears. He indicated that it was General Saul Badjie who handed the list of names of prisoners to Prison Director General Bora Colley.
The witness went on to said that among the prison officers present were then deputy Director General Yaya Jarjue, Lamin Faal Commissioner of Operations, CSP Musa Sanyang, Commissioner Kebba Ceesay, Superintendent Alagie Jobe, ASP Ebrima Ceesay. He added that it was Commissioner Kebba Ceesay and Superintendent Alagie Jobe who were in charge of the Security Wing facilitated the removal of the prisoners from their cells and assembled them at the old prison Headquarters.
The witness indicated that it was CSP Musa Sanyang who recorded the names of the inmates in the Prison diary book and signed by General Saul Badjie as the recipient.
The witness said that whiles the inmates were been removed from their cells, he heard the voice of late Lamin Darboe calling out names of fellow prisoners Amadou Scattered Janneh and Mballow Kanteh. He said Lamin Darboe was shouting in Mandinka language ‘’Amadou, Amadou, Mballow they are taking us out to kill us’’. He added that the entire prison was so noisy but became quite as soon as the inmates were taken out.
The witness also states that he saw the nine inmates been hand cuffed by the soldiers and put in the pickup vehicles. He said the vehicles headed towards Kombo St Mary area. He added that the prison officers on duty and those that were call to return on duties could not tell what was going on or what was about to happen to the inmates. He said they were never informed by General Bora Colley, General Saul Badjie, Lamin Jobarteh or Ousman Sonko as to why they came for those nine inmates.
It could be recalled that on Sunday 26 August 2012, Gambia government made an announcement that the authorities had executed 9 death row inmates by a firing squad. But our investigation revealed that the killing was done on Thursday 23 August through suffocation and strangulation by the assassin team of the exile dictator Yahya jammeh.
The executed inmates are Tabara samba, a Senegalese national, Dawda Bojang, Malang Sonko, Lieutenant Lamin F. Jarjou, Staff Sergeant Lamin Jammeh, Lieutenant Alieu Bah, Lamin B.S. Darboe, Buba Yarboe and Gebe Bah also a Senegalese.