By Mafugi Ceesay
Business tycoon Sillaba Samateh, who spent months detained at the NIA during Yahya Jammeh’s days, yesterday told the TRRC that he helped carry three boxes containing babies meant for sacrifices of the former Gambian leader to the office of the late NIA Boss, Numo Kujabie.
Continuing this startling revelation, Sillaba said on one occasion, upon delivering one of the boxes, he heard a baby crying in Numo’s office.
According to Mr Samateh, he was strictly warned by Numo not to divulge the information to anyone.
He revealed that one Nfally informed him that the babies were taken from various hospitals after their mothers died during childbirth.
“I was told that these kinds of babies are carried to the NIA before being transferred or delivered to Jammeh in Kanilai for human sacrifices,” he said.
The business tycoon further revealed that while in detention at the NIA, he was severally asked to clean the offices after torture sessions of people brought there.
“I saw people whose eyes were removed from their sockets and those whose hands were chopped off.
And when that happened, I was ordered to collect human heads, hands, among other parts and put them in the bag,” Sillaba said.
He recalled that he was taken around the NIA premises on three occasions by one Omar Cham to see decapitated human heads. “Cham had threatened to do similar things to me if I failed to comply. I was forced to sign a statement which was not mine,” he said.
Mr Samateh also accused the then director of public prosecution of demanding a million dalasis from him to allow him to escape.
“I myself took some money to DPP Cheng and Lamin Darboe also used to take monies to him.
Also, when I was in detention the NIA always asked me of assistance and I gave them too. I gave Louise Gomez, Numo Kujabie, Wonto, Lamin Darboe.”
He said he was granted bail through the arrangement of Richard Cheng with his sister Jankeh Samateh serving as a surety who herself was taken in custody for a year after he escaped.
“Jankeh was arrested and detained at the NIA before being moved to Mile 2 Central Prisons where she spent a year,” Samateh explained.
He narrated that the statement which the NIA wrote against him had stated that he was selling substances in the name of the president and also scammed people to get their money.
“These were mere allegations and lies they spread against me. I had no business with Jammeh and I have never sat with him. I only saw him on TV or saw his convoy passing, and there is no record at the State House that can reveal that I visited at the time of Jammeh. The NIA manufactured their statement and tortured me to accept the statement and took me to court to be convicted based on that,” Sillaba said.
He concluded that all his assets were taken by Jammeh and his cohorts, after he fled the country.
“It was when I returned home that I went to court to get them back,” Samateh concluded.