27 March 2019

Gambia: Witness Critical of President Barrow's Reinstatement of Soldiers

Photo: Claire Bargelès/RFI
Banjul, The Gambia (file photo).

Modou Lamin Bah, an erstwhile orderly to ex-Chief of Staff Baboucar Jatta, has expressed dissatisfaction over the manner Government has reinstated soldiers who were dismissed by the former Government.

"As I speak to you right now, the person I was dismissed with now serves the Army, while I am told to wait by the Government," he said.

Bah said his dismissal was as a result of General Lang Tombong Tamba's interference in a drug case he was investigating; that whilst on duties at the Military Police Unit, he received a call from a civilian who informed him about a drug case; that he decided to go to the place where the suspects were lodged in Kololi, in order to arrest them, but they escaped.

He said following this, retired General Lang Tombong Tamba, an erstwhile CDS of GAF sent Babucarr Bah and Captain Borra Colley (Jongulers), to arrest him, as he was alleged to have received a sum of $22,000 Euros in the alleged drug case; that the complainant was one Mamud Ceesay.

"General Lang Tombong Tamba came to the Military Police Unit and ordered that they take us out. He addressed us saying 'if we do not produce the said money we took from the complainant, he would take us to Mile Two Prisons," he said; that they were detained at Yundum Barracks for six months before they were transferred to Mile Two Prison. He said two reports were made by the investigators whereas one mentioned that he shot the complainant, and the other stated that no shot was fired.

"Captain Bojang wrote a report from the Fajara Barracks that I shot at the complainant on his leg and collected the sum of €11,000 and D5,000 respectively," he said.

He said the investigators sent the case for reinvestigation because of the controversies in the two reports; that when the file was brought to the head of the Military Police Unit for re-investigation, he was threatened by Lang Tombong not to involve himself in the case if he wants to maintain his rank.

He further disclosed that Lang Tombong ordered for him to be dismissed from the Army; that Lang Tombong told him that he proved to be stubborn but he does not know what was ahead of him. Following this incident, he said he was transferred to the Police for prosecution; that this was done on the command of Lang Tombong Tamba; that he was charged with scandalous misconduct at the High Court. According to him, he languished at the Remand Wing of Mile II prisons throughout the course of his trial. He concluded that he and his co-defendants were acquitted and discharged on 6th November 2012, after spending over four years in Mile Two Prisons.

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