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Gibril Darboe Denies Meeting To Discuss Alleged Coup Took Place In His Compound 

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Alleged Coup Plotters

By Landing Ceesay 

Petty Officer Gibril Darboe, the second accused person in the alleged coup plotters’ trial, has denied that there was ever a meeting at his compound in Kafuta to plan a coup.

Petty Officer Darboe and three other people are accused of attempting to overthrow the government of President Barrow. The prosecutors allege that the accused persons held a meeting about the alleged coup in Petty Officer Darboe’s compound in Kafuta village.

Petty Officer Darboe, in his opening defense, denied ever discussing the overthrow of President Barrow’s government with anyone.

When asked by his Lawyer Lamin L. Darboe whether he knows the 1st accused person, Sanna Fadera, who is termed as the alleged ringleader, Petty Officer Darboe told the court that he knows Sanna Fadera. 

“I know the 1st accused before this case. I joined the Army before him. After my military training at the training school, I was posted to the Gambia Navy. Then he (1st accused) also joined the Army and upon completion of his military training at the training school, He was also posted to the Gambia Navy where I work,” Private Officer Darboe told the court. 

Petty Officer Gibril Darboe testified that he was posted at Naval flick at Wharf Njago, Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) in Banjul, where the first accused person worked under him. He further testified that until their arrest in December 2022, he was in the same camp with the first accused person, but not working under him.

Darboe testified that the first accused person is a medical practitioner and works at Gambia Navy Clinics. He stated that apart from working as a naval personnel, he does not have any external affairs with the first accused person.

Darboe testified that he communicated with the first accused person, but he cannot remember whether it was around December or not. He also testified that he cannot remember how many times he communicated with the first accused person.

Petty Officer Darboe testified that he recognized the third and fifth accused persons, but that he had never met them before their arrest.

“I did not meet them (3rd and 5th accused persons) before my arrest. I met them when we were both arrested and taken to Mile 2 prison. That’s the time I started interacting with them,” he testified. When asked by Counsel L.L. Darboe whether he had ever worked with the third and fifth accused persons, Petty Officer Darboe denied ever having worked with them. He also stated that he had never met or done anything with them in public, even before his arrest.Petty Officer Darboe denied that a meeting was held in his compound on December 18, 2022, as alleged. Mustapha Jabbie (PW4) testified that the meeting was attended by the first, third, fifth, and Karamo Jatta (PW7) on that date.

“No, that never happened, I have never set my eyes on them on that day nor had a meeting with them. Before my arrest, I didn’t know Mustapha Jabbie (PW4). It was during the interrogation at SIS Headquarters, he was brought before the panel for identification purposes. I was asked whether I know him, and my response was, I am seeing him for the first time,” he testified. Petty Officer Darboe testified that he knew Sergeant Karamo Jatta during his recruitment training at the Gambia Army training school. Jatta was one of the instructors who trained them. Darboe said that he had not seen Jatta since completing his training at the school until the day he came to testify in court.

“You may be surprised to know that Sergeant Jatta said the 1st, 3rd and the rest had a meeting in your compound. What did you say to that,” Counsel L.L. Darboe asked. 

Petty Officer Darboe denied the allegations and told the court that, that never happened. 

On whether security officers searched his compound before his arrest, Petty Officer Darboe responded in the negative. 

“No security apparatus visited my compound to search. But during the investigation, the investigators went to my house for a search. I don’t know the exact date, but during my session with the panel, they mobilized 3 investigators to search my compound,” he testified. 

Petty Officer Darboe told the court that his reason for joining the Army was to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country, be loyal to the president, and obey all lawful commands. 

“Did you at any time in your military career conspire with the 1st accused and others to overthrow the democratically elected government,” Counsel L.L. Darboe asked. 

“I never at any time in my military career conspired with any of the accused persons to overthrow the government,” Petty Officer Darboe responded. 

“Did you have a meeting with any of the accused persons to overthrow the democratically elected government,” Counsel L.L. Darboe asked again. 

“No, I never convened any meeting or conspired with the other accused persons. I am not aware of any meeting anywhere in connection to a coup,” Darboe testified. 

Petty Officer Darboe testified that he had no knowledge of any coup plot. He stated that he never had any conversations with the first accused about a coup and that the first accused never visited him at his compound to discuss a coup.

“I never met the 3rd accused, and I never discussed anything with him regarding this alleged coup.  I never see the 3rd accused in my compound as I said earlier, I got to know the 3rd accused after my arrest,” he said.  

It could be recalled that four members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and one member of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) are currently on trial for treason before Justice Mahoney of the High Court of the Gambia.

The five defendants are accused of attempting to overthrow the government of President Adama Barrow. They have been charged with five counts, including treason, concealment of treason, and inciting mutiny. 

The defendants standing trial are; Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (1st accused) Petty Officer, Gibril Darboe (2nd accused) Corporal Ebrima Sannoh (3rd accused), and Corporal Omar Njie (4th accused), Fabakary Jawara (5th accused) is the Police Officer charged alongside the Soldiers. 

However, Corporal Omar Njie (4th accused) has been freed by the court after his lawyer filed a “no case to answer” submission. 

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