By Omar Bah
Yankuba Badjie, former director of the notorious National Intelligence Agency, the body accused of orchestrating violence on critics and opponents of the Jammeh regime, has rejected an invitation to appear before the Truth Commission.
Badjie is currently held at Mile 2 Prisons for the alleged murder of Solo Sandeng, along with six others, who all but one reportedly declined to testify at the TRRC.
It is not known who is this sole former intelligence officer who has agreed to testify is.
According to reliable sources close to the former chief spy, Badjie and his colleagues were approached by officials of the TRRC to appear at its public hearings and explain the NIA’s operational procedure which would be one of the next sessions when the commission resumes. But according to our sources, all of them except one have so far refused: “Five officials from the TRRC came to Mile 2 and requested to meet Badjie and the others currently detained with him and during the meeting, they told the former NIA officials that they wanted them to testify at the commission on how the NIA was run. But Badjie and others told the TRRC officials that they are not comfortable with that idea because the prosecutors in their trial could use whatever they said there against them,” our source said.
Our source further disclosed that Yankuba Badjie and his men are of the opinion that the request had come rather too late and they are not happy with the government’s decision to prosecute them while host of others like the Junglers, who have admitted to committing heinous crimes, are working freely in the streets.
Badjie and his colleagues believe that going to the TRRC now “could jeopardize their case when they have already opened their defense and that if the government had taken them through the same procedure they have done with the Junglers, they would have testified on all what they know when invited to the Truth Commission.”
According to our source, the former NIA DG was not also happy with the manner he was taken out of prion to testify at the Janneh Commission ‘against his will’.
“He said they came for him in the early hours of that morning and said to him he was wanted by the Prisons DG and when he arrived at the DG’s office, he was told he is needed by the Janneh Commission. But he asked them to give him a chance to put on his clothes and also inform his fellow prisoners so that they would know his whereabouts, but they refused and whisked him into the truck and drove him to the Janneh Commission and forced to testify,” our source alleged quoting Badjie.
Frozen US assets
The former NIA director was among a list of 13 alleged human rights abusers and corrupt actors who have had their assets frozen and slapped with sanctions by the United States.
But according to Badjie, he was shocked when he received news that US froze his assets because he does not have a single butut or asset in the US.
Yankuba Badjie was appointed as the DG of NIA in December 2013 and is alleged to have presided over abuses throughout his tenure. During Badjie’s tenure as DG, alleged abuses were prevalent and routine within the NIA, consisting of physical trauma and other mistreatments. He had denied all accusations. In April 2016, while he was DGUDP’s Solo Sandeng was arrested and allegedly murdered at the NIA. In February 2017, Badjie was charged along with eight subordinates with Sandeng’s murder and they denied all charges. One of them Louis Bass died while another was set free.