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City of Banjul
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

‘IGP Sonko ordered for us to be handcuffed’

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By Amadou Jadama & Aisha Tamba

Kafu Bayo, a member of the April 14 demonstrators and a witness in the ongoing trial of former chiefs of the defunct NIA, has told the High Court that the former Inspector General of Police, Yankuba Sonko ordered for Solo Sandeng and four others to be handcuffed.

Bayo said they [April 14 protesters] gathered at Bambo in Serekunda and headed for West Field.
“Whilst we were at West Field, we were having in our hands banners only; we didn’t have anything harmful. We saw a paramilitary vehicle that crossed and arrested us. They didn’t even talk to us and they began arresting us. Whilst arresting us, some of us were beaten by the PIU and we were all thrown in the PIU truck,” he claimed.

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“They called Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie, Kafu Bayo, Modou Ngom and Ebrima Jabang in a big hall at the PIU headquarters to stand aside. We were asked to go outside and the (former) IGP, Sonko ordered for the security to handcuff us.

“We were handcuffed and thrown into the back of pickups,” he said.
“Did you see any other person apart from IGP Sonko?” asked prosecutor Antouman AB Gaye.
“Yes; I saw Yankuba Colley, the (former) Mayor of Kanifing, one Lamin Beyai who was in civilian clothes and works for the NIA. These are the people I know,” he said.

The sixteenth prosecution witness, Ebrima Jabang another member of the protsters, also gave evidence before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara.
Ebrima said Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie, Kafu Bayo, Modou Ngom and himself were all physically active and well they had no sign of sickness. The witness said Kafu Bayo was his childhood friend and he knows him very much.

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“I was arrested together with Nogoi Njie underneath a mango tree at West Field. I was healthy and nothing was wrong with me on that day,” he said.
He was shown two pieces cloth to identify before the court. Heidentified one as a ‘kaftan’ and the other as trousers.

“The clothes were given to me by the doctor, Lamin Sanyang (the ninth accused person) whose name I knew through the media,” Jabang stated.
He was asked to identify the ninth accused person which he did and the clothes were tendered as exhibit by the prosecution.

Jabang said he stayed at the NIA for 14 days and later taken to Mile II where he stayed for about two months.
“Did you receive any medical treatment at Mile II?” asked Lawyer Antouman AB Gaye, the lead prosecutor.
“No,” the witness responded.
“By the time you went to Mile II, were your injuries healed?” asked Prosecutor Gaye.
“No,” the witness retorted.

Under cross-examination, the witness told the court that he isn’t a doctor.
“Did you examine the bodies of your fellow men to ascertain their bodily conditions?” asked Lawyer S. Fatty for the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th accused persons.
“No,” the witness replied.
“Is it correct that you were speaking as a lay man,” Lawyer Fatty asked the witness but he responded in the negative.

“How many of you were put in ‘Bambadinka’ cell?” the lawyer asked.
“We were five minus two –Solo Sandeng and Nogoi Njie,” the witness re-joined.
Hearing continues today.

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