Gambia: Major Jah Testifies Lang Tombong Ordered His Mile 2 Detention

19 November 2020

Major Abdoukarim Jah of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) yesterday testified before the TRRC and revealed that former Deputy Chief of Defense Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), Lang Tombong Tamba, ordered his arrest and subsequent detention at Mile 2 Prison.

Born in Kololi and joined the army in 1983, Major Jah explained that on the 22nd of March 2006, about 3:30 a.m., he was sleeping when his daughter informed him about soldiers who had jumped into his compound.

He said the soldiers were disciplined and he was informed that they were sent by Lang Tombong Tamba to arrest him, saying he went with them and he surrendered his pistol to them as demanded.

Jah indicated that he was taken to Security Wing, Cell No 5, with no bed, mosquito net or whatsoever provided in the cell.

"The following day, I was taken out by the black-black: Malick Jatta, Ismaila Jammeh and others to NIA Headquarters. In the car, Malick Jatta was drunk and wanted to hit me with his pistol but Ismaila intervened by hitting Malick's hand. Upon arrival at NIA, I was taken to a big hall for interrogation by Lang Tombong, Ousman Sonko, Foday Barry, Alhagie Martin and it was more about 2006 Ndure Cham's attempted coup."

He told the commission it was clear to many of the officers that Ndure used to complain about Jammeh's role and he frequently revealed that he would overthrow Jammeh's government.

He added that Ndure informed him to join him in removing Jammeh from power, saying he replied that he couldn't join him.

He continued that at NIA, he told them what he knew; that was his refusal to join Ndure Cham's coup attempt.

"I was taken back to Mile 2 by the 'junglers' and that was the end of me going back to NIA. On the 26th March 2006, I was sleeping in my cell and heard a lot of noise. Omar Colley alias Jagai started calling Ebou Lowe's, Alpha Bah's, Alieu Ceesay's and Daba Marena's names. Everybody was afraid because the junglers were walking around the prison and it was around 3 a.m. Since that day I never saw them till we heard from Ousman Sonko's announcement that they escaped during their transfer to Janjanburreh."

The witness stated that he was taken to High Court and charged with treason, saying he was not represented at the first sitting by a lawyer but he later secured Lawyer Lamin Camara's service.

He added that his charge was later changed from treason to concealment, saying he was referred to Court Martial and it lasted till 19 April 2007.

He further testified he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment and he served for nine years and four months before he was subsequently pardoned by Jammeh on 22 July 2015.

He accused Jagai of harassing people at Mile 2 Prison.

Major Jah further revealed that during his stay at the prison, he saw Kanyiba Kanji who was detained but later taken away. He said from that day, he never saw Kanyiba again.

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