By Tabora Bojang
Alieu Lowe, a nephew of former army chief and slain 2006 failed coup leader Ndure Cham, yesterday gave a vivid flashback of brutal torture and violence he suffered at the hands of the NIA and other security operatives following the disclosure of the abortive 2006 coup plot.
Lowe, who appeared before the TRRC in connection to his alleged involvement in the abortive coup and detention at the NIA and Mile 11 Prisons, was among dozens of civilian and security personnel arrested and detained for years in the aftermath of the foiled plot after the authorities accused them of concealment of treason.
He told the commission that he was picked up by two operatives of the NIA barely 24 hours after he saw the departure of his uncle (Ndure Cham) to Casamance, when the coup was thwarted.
He said the two operatives arrived at his house around 3am, dragged him into a waiting truck and subjected him to severe torture by operatives Lamin Cham and Abdoulie Sowe, which already left him unconscious before they reached the NIA headquarters in Banjul.
Further narrating his ordeal, Lowe said: “Arriving at the NIA I was unconscious and had no idea what was going on. Several men dressed in masks and black attire descended on me and started beating every part of my body. One of them sat on my neck and others were beating me on my back while others kicked me. It was very difficult to turn on the other side of my neck,” he said.
Lowe said he underwent several torture sessions lasting hours which were more “severe than other security detainees.
“I was kept in a small cell, not allowed to take shower or change clothes with no access to my family and survived from food remnants,” Lowe added.
After 3 days of horrible detention, Lowe was transferred to Mile 2 with his brother Mustapha Lowe, Ousman Sey and Alieu Jobe.
He said he was detained for 5 years at Mile 2 under maximum security without any court appearance despite the arraignment of other army detainees including captains Bunja Darboe and Wassa Camara.
Lowe said after 5-year incarceration without charge, he solicited the services of a lawyer and the matter was heard at the special criminal court where he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for concealment of treason but he served 9 years 6 months before he was released as part of a prisoner pardon by ex-president Jammeh in 2015.