By Bruce Asemota
Tamba Masireh, the 7th accused person in the NIA 9 trial, has opened his defence before presiding judge Kumba Sillah-Camara at the High Court in Banjul.
Masireh, who until his incarceration in 2017 was the chief detective inspector under the Operations Unit of the NIA, said he was posted at the Atlantic Hotel on 14th and 15th April, 2016. He said he was very intoxicated that day and never participated in the arrest and detention of the UDP supporters but came to know Nogoi Njie, Modou Ngum, Ebrima Jabang, Kafu Bayo, Fatoumatta Jawara and Fatou Camara during his trial. He disclosed that Babucarr Sallah was his immediate boss and they were both stationed at the Atlantic Hotel on the 14th and 15th April 2016 and were both very intoxicated. Tamba Masireh revealed that he was woken up by Babucarr Sallah at about 4:00am on 15th April, 2016 and informed that their presence was needed at the NIA headquarters by the officer commanding, Haruna Susso, the 5th accused person.Tamba said upon receipt of the information, he left with Babucarr Sallah for the NIA headquarters with their motor bike and upon arrival at the parking lot, he had an accident and sustained injuries on his leg. He denied participating in the burial of Solo Sandeng at the NIA command complex in Tanji. He said he never entered into the complex. He noted that because of the injuries he sustained, he was left inside the vehicle outside the NIA complex. He explained that after the burial of Solo Sandeng, he was joined in the vehicle and they left for Banjul. He denied that he, Babucarr Sallah and Lamin Darboe tied Solo Sandeng with a rope. He also denied prosecution’s claims that he was seen with Babucarr Sallah escorting Solo Sandeng, Ebrima Jabang, Kafu Bayo, Modou Ngum Fatoumatta Jawara to the investigation hall. He stated that the testimonies of the 13th, 14th and the 8th prosecution witnesses against him were false and unfounded that he tortured Kafu Bayo, Ebrima Jabang, Modou Ngum, Fatoumatta Jawara and Nogoi Njie. Hearing continues today.