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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Soldiers explain how Umpa and Tamba were arrested

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By Omar Bah

The two soldiers, who arrested generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba, yesterday testified before the Court Martial in the ongoing trial involving the two former GAF members.
The first to take the witness box was Captain Morro F. Sanneh who told the Justice Advocate, Aminata Saho-Ceesay that he led the team that went to arrest General Umpa Mendy while Baboucarr Ngum said he was the leader of the team that went to arrest General Ansumana Tamba.

Captain Sanneh, the second prosecution witness informed the court that he works with the Gambia Armed Forces, Military Police Unit at the Defence Headquarters in Banjul, and his duties include disciplining offenders and conducting investigations.
He recalled that in January, 2018, he was called by one Captain A. Njie who asked him to report to the Yundum Military barracks.

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“Upon arrival I was asked whether I know the compound of General Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba. I told them I do not know that of Tamba but I once went to General Mendy’s residence and that I can locate the place in Busumbala,” he told the court.
He said that was the time he was instructed by Captain A. Njie to lead a team to arrest Umpa Mendy.
“Upon our arrival at Mendy’s house I knocked and one girl opened the door for me. We went in and asked the girl the whereabouts of Mendy but before she could answer, a lady came out and told me Umpa Mendy was not around.”

He continued: “But I insisted that she should take me to Umpa’s room. That was the time the lady took me to a room which I knew was not his room. I decided to search all the rooms and while working towards the room where Umpa was, the lady called his name and asked him to come and answer.”
Captain Sanneh said he then pushed the door and entered and found General Umpa Mendy on a bed and beside him a little girl.

“When I entered the room I told (Mendy) that we came for him…He said okay, but he requested for us to allow him to put on his shirt which we did. After that I handcuffed him and we drove to Yundum Barracks where I handed him over,” Sanneh said.

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He said the following day he was asked to accompany Umpa to his residences in Busumbala and his family compound in Kachumeh Village to search and surrender some of his documents.
Captain Sanneh said after the search, Umpa Mendy surrendered his passport and other documents.
At that juncture, the passport was tendered and marked as exhibit PE3 as requested by the state prosecutor.
Meanwhile, the third prosecution witness, Captain Baboucarr Ngum, said he lives in Farato and works under the Military Police Unit in Yundum and among his responsibilities is to enforce disciplinary action.
He said he knows General Ansumana Tamba because he worked with him at State House during Jammeh’s regime.

“I can recall that on the 21st of January, 2018, I received a phone call from Captain A. Njie who instructed me to report to the Yundum Barracks as quickly as possible. When I arrived Captain Njie told me the two Generals in question are in town and I should move fast to Ansumana Tamba’s residence and bring him to the Barracks,” he explained.

He said after the arrest, he collected General Ansumana Tamba’s passport. The passport was shown to the court and was marked as exhibit PE4.
The case resumes on 16 May for cross-examination of PW3.

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