By Mafugi Ceesay
A former senior manager at Gamtel has attributed his arrest and detention by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to his refusal to cut the transmitter of Citizen FM radio station.
Ebrahima Yarbo, 67, explained that in April 1995 the NIA summoned him to their offices.
“Upon arrival at the NIA, I met FRI Jammeh, Samba Bah, Numo Kujabi and Francisco Caso.
Numo Kujabi requested that I accompany them to Gamtel House to switch off Citizen FM’s radio transmitter. I told him that wouldn’t be easy and that it was not under my remit to do such. They informed President Yahya Jammeh that I refused to cut the transmitter and that I must be part of the groups who were not in support of the regime at the time,” Yarbo testified.
He said he was detained at the NIA for three days and released. He said a week later, at about 3am he heard people knocking on his door and telling him to go out. “I telephoned the police but they complained about the lack of fuel. I told them that I was just next door to them. When the police arrived, they found people armed with rifles who identified themselves as NIA personnel. The police made it clear to them that was not the way to arrest someone. Anyway, I was arrested for refusing to cut down the radio’s transmitter. He said he spent 4 years and 4 months in prison.
Yarbo said he was charged with treason but was acquitted and discharged. However, he said upon release he given a letter stating he would not be reinstated at Gamtel.
Meanwhile, another witness, Mahmoud Babadi Sarr, a former commander of The Gambia Navy also narrated how he was subjected to inhumane treatment for allegedly taking part in the planned coup involving Colonel Ndure Cham in 2006.
He said he came back from a peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan and reported to CDS Ndure Cham’s office where he was informed a scheme was in the offing to remove President in a coup. Sarr said after the plot was thwarted, he was detained at the state central prison for over three years.
He said on 21 March 2006 he was fired from the army without any due process.