TRRC: Jammeh’s security officials wanted to conceal evidence of convoy shooting

Abdoulie P.O Njie, has appeared before the Truth Commission to testify in connection of accidents caused by former president Yahya Jammeh's convoy.

Born in Banjul on 26th December 1966, Njie attended Albion Primary School and Crab Island Technical Senior Secondary School before moving in Norway in 1986 to learn many skills including construction. He returned to The Gambia in 1996 and engaged in vehicle sales.

He disclosed that he even sold 2 Nissan cars to State House during which he had the opportunity to meet Yahya Jammeh and informed of his vehicle dealing. He said he also told the former president that he had the intention of opening a radio station called City Limits Radio and that the radio was going to be apolitical - will focus on music and commercial.

Mr. Njie disclosed that he accrued one million dalasis from the sale of those vehicles and that over D300,000 was used to buy equipment for the station.

He told the Commission that one day Baba Jobe went to the station and he took him round the premises. “Thereafter, Baba Jobe asked me to sell the radio station to him but I told that I was not the sole owner of the radio; that I owned 50% while my partner owned the other 50%.

Mr. Njie told the Commission that one particular year former GRTS DG, Momodou Sanyang asked them to cover a wrestling contest for him, which he did by providing live coverage and the former president was happy. He added that up to the time he last saw Yahya Jammeh, their relationship was okay.

The witness said one Ebrima Sankareh, a Gambian journalist who was in exile wrote to say City Limits Radio belonged to Yahya Jammeh. Then Abdou Karim Sanneh, another journalist who he sponsored to study in the UK responded to Sankareh refuting that claim.

He said later he received an expatriate motion to answer to the court which started from 2010 and only received judgement in 2015 by Justice Fagbenle but still now he couldn’t access his radio. In 2004, he set up a construction company and was given a sub contract to work on Lewellyn, Sternly and other streets in Banjul.

The witness recalled a day he and his brother Kissira Krubally, and one camera man Lamin Saidy headed to the Independence Stadium but around Methodist Junction, Bertil Harding Highway, they were stopped for Yahya Jammeh's convoy to pass.

He said after a while he saw a convoy coming from Traffic Light and upon arrival at the junction of the Stadium, he heard gun shots and the convoy did not stop. He said when he opened the car he saw blood oozing from his brother’s hand and leg and he told Lamin Saidy to take photos of the scene.

According to the witness, he then quickly took his vehicle and went to RVH as his brother was bleeding seriously and it took time before the nurses attended to him.

He said he later drove his vehicle to State House and told them their convoy shot at his brother and that he was between life and death but the soldiers told him to leave.

The witness further told the Commission that when he went back to the hospital, he found former CDS Ousman Badjie, Landing 13 Badjie, Bajinka, former State Guard Commander and Essa Badjie, from Serrekunda Station.

At this juncture, his brother, Kissira Krubally was taken to the theater but it was later said that there was no oxygen. Thereafter he saw the said security officers entering the theater but did not know what they discussed.

However, he said he was suspicious that the personnel were there to take the bullets removed from his brother which he thought was to conceal the evidence. He added that someone later told him not to talk to any media; be it foreign or national and that they will take of the boy's situation.

"When my brother woke up, I told him not to talk to any journalist. The following day the Daily Observer wrote VP's convoy shot at Bertil Harden Highway, but this was inaccurate as it was not VP but Yahya Jammeh's convoy," said the witness.

Mr. Njie further testified that the following day, he went to the Daily Observer and told Ndey Tapha Sosseh that the story was incorrect and pleaded with her to stop writing about their accident because he feared for his life and that of his brother’s.

The witness said a delegation led by Sering Modou Njie visited the victim and apologised but that up to date they do not know who shot him.

On his medical treatment, he said Kissira family paid for his medical expenses and his hands got fractured after 3 bullets penetrated it. He said he could heal in the Gambia but was evacuated to Norway.

Despite their visit, there was neither a compensation, investigation nor a police report. However, after a while, he was called to the State House and upon arrival, Ousman Badjie, late Khalifa Bajinka came to the gate and told him to surrender the pictures and the cartridges he had because they already got information that he had them with him. "I was skeptical to go to State House alone and so I went with my aunt and her daughter. I handed them the materials and travelled to Dakar that night."

He said his next encounter with Yahya Jammeh at State House was when a certificate of merit and medal was conferred on him at State House for erecting the slabs in some parts of Banjul.

As a result, Yahya Jammeh wanted him to work for him at the Independence Stadium and other places as well but fortunately for him, he did not get the contract because Jammeh was defeated.


By Awa DK Conteh