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Sunday, October 24, 2021

SM Dibba was not tortured – family

The family of late Sheriff Mustapha Dibba, founder of the National Convention Party and former vice president and Speaker, has submitted a statement to The Standard to state that Mr Dibba was arrested for alleged involvement in the Ndure Cham coup of 2006, but was not tortured as suggested by TRRC witness and veteran politician MC Cham.

The statement reads: The purpose of this statement is to clarify some statements by MC Cham at the TRRC on February 2, 2019. The TRRC was engaged and were notified of the irregularities in the statements made by Mr. Cham.

Firstly, we would like to commend the TRRC for the tremendous national task it has undertaken and which it executed in a very praiseworthy manner.

On the 5th April 2006 at 1:00 am, the late Mr. Dibba was wrongfully arrested and detained at the then National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters, with false accusations of having taken part in the 2006 attempted coup d’état. He was released on the 15th April 2006 and subsequently passed away on the 2nd June 2008.

In the session of the TRRC captioned above, Mr. Cham narrated that he heard noises in his adjoining room and was informed that the late Mr. Dibba was in detention and was tortured to the extent of his hand being broken. Mr. Cham indicated that Mr. Dibba suffered terrible injuries and beatings and needed a cast for his broken hand.

We would like to make it categorically clear that Mr. Dibba was not physically tortured, as narrated by Mr. Cham, during his time in detention. We make this statement as, upon his release there were no physical evidences of such torture on his body. There were no visible bruises, broken bones, swollen body parts or bleeding of any kind whatsoever. No medical treatment was dispensed to him after his release for any injuries, as a result of torture meted out to him during his period of detention.

The late Mr. Dibba’s closest family members and lifelong confidantes, some of whom visited him during detention, can confirm that he did not suffer such injuries as a result of torture, as they would have noticed upon his release.

Given that the TRRC was formed to establish the truth of what happened during this very dark period in The Gambia’s history, we want to bring this statement to the attention of the general public, especially those who heard the testimony, some of whom have made enquiries as to whether the statements were factual. We are therefore setting the record, for the sake of the truth, which is important to the nation, the late Mr. Dibba’s family and friends.”

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