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Ousainou Bojang Narrates A Harrowing Experience of Being Cuffed And Beaten At ACU

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Ousainou Bojang and Amie Bojang at the court.

By Landing Ceesay 

In a compelling testimony during the voir dire of his case, Ousainou Bojang, who stands accused in the tragic deaths of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers, revealed to the court the harrowing ordeal he endured at the hands of the Police Anti Crime Unit (ACU). Bojang recounted being physically assaulted while his hands and legs were restrained.

Representing Bojang, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe initiated the trial within a trial, citing concerns over the circumstances surrounding Bojang’s statements obtained by the police.

Allegations of coercion, including the use of drugs and physical abuse, were raised by Counsel Darboe against the police regarding the acquisition of his client’s statements.

However, Police Detective Ebou Sowe, responsible for obtaining Bojang’s statements, refuted these claims, maintaining that Bojang was not subjected to any physical abuse or administered drugs during his time at the Police Anti-Crime Unit from September 13th to 23rd, 2023.

Bojang, while testifying, detailed his detention at the ACU, describing instances of late-night torture inflicted upon him by ACU members.

“On a Friday, when I was from the panel, and taken back to my cell. I was there until late at night when three men came there. The other one’s name is SI Kebba Jobe, the other one is called Musa Bah, the third one is a PIU Officer, but I don’t know his name. When they came to my cell, they removed me from the cell and took me inside the crime camp. The one call SI Jobe told me that I was not ready to tell them the truth. He told me that I was the one who shot the PIU Officers and I had a gun. I told him that I didn’t have a gun. I told him that I had never even touched a gun in my life. 

“He told me that, God willing, they will suffocate me to death. Musa Bah also asked me whether I had heard the name Junglers before. I told him that I didn’t know the Junglers and I didn’t know what it meant. He told me that they were even more dangerous than the Junglers. He told me that ‘today will be your last day if you don’t tell us where you kept the gun.’ I told him that I had never had a gun in my life or touched a gun. SI Jobe asked them to remove the handcuff and attach it to the window with my hands. SI Jobe had a baton, and he asked Musa to handcuff my legs and asked me to confess. I told him that I did nothing to confess about. He started hitting me with the baton. Musa Bah had a cutlass. When SI Jobe hits me with the baton, then Musa Bah will also hit me with the side of the cutlass,” Ousainou Bojang told the court. 

When questioned about the specific area of his body struck by Musa Bah with a cutlass, Ousainou Bojang testified in court that he was struck on his buttock. Additionally, he informed the court that SI Jobe had struck him on his back with a baton, leaving visible marks. Bojang also mentioned that the handcuffs had left marks on his hands.

During the proceedings, Counsel LJ Darboe inquired whether Bojang would be willing to display the marks to the court if requested. Bojang affirmed, stating that he would indeed show the marks if permitted by the court.

However, Honorable Justice Jaiteh expressed that the marks would not significantly contribute to the evidence, as the court lacked the expertise to determine their age or origin.

“When they beat me already, I was taken back to the cell. I met some of my mates lying down, and I came fell on them,” Ousainou Bojang told the court. 

“Did you confess after the experience you went through at the hands of SI Jobe and Musa Bah?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou. 

“No, I refused to confess, and I told them if they want to kill me, let them do it. But I will not say what I don’t do,” he said. 

During another meeting with the members of the Police Anti-Crime Unit, Ousainou Bojang mentioned that he was extracted from his confinement and escorted to a specific office within the Anti-Crime department.

“On a Wednesday night, when I was brought and taken to the cell, Ebou Sowe came and opened the cell and took me out. When he removed me from the cell, he took me to an office. He (Ebou Sowe) brought papers, a lot of papers, and placed them in front of me. He brought palm stamps, and then he asked me to give him my right hand. I gave him my right hand, and he placed it on the stamp, then he placed it on the papers. He (Ebou Sowe) took my fingers and thumb, there were checkboxes on the papers and placed my thumb on them. He took my fingers one after the other and placed them on the boxes of the papers,” Ousainou Bojang testified. 

Ousainou Bojang, however, told the court that Detective Ebou Sowe did not tell him why he was taking his thumb and fingers and printed them on those papers. 

“Can you recall any other encounter with Mr. Sowe?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou. 

“On that same night, he (Ebou Sowe) took my thumb and placed it on the stamps and then on the papers. From there, he took me back to the cell,” Ousainou Bojang said. 

“Have you given him statements before thumb-printing those documents?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou again. 

“No, I didn’t give him my statements before doing that,” Ousainou said. 

Late on a Thursday night, Ousainou Bojang recounted that Ebou Sowe arrived and extracted him from his cell. Bojang further stated that Sowe escorted him to an office, where another individual and a PIU Officer were present. Bojang clarified to the court that although he was unfamiliar with the other person and the PIU Officer at the time, he expressed confidence in his ability to recognize them upon seeing them again.

“Did anything happen at that office,” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou. 

“I was taken to an office and asked to sit on a chair. He (Ebou Sowe) asked the PIU Officer to go outside and wait for him. He asked me whether I would drink coffee, I told him that if I had it fine but if I also didn’t have it then fine. Then he took out coffee from his own bottle and put it in a cup and gave it to me. When he handed it over to me, I started drinking it. Shortly After drinking, I felt sleepy and I didn’t understand my system. Then I started feeling dizzy. I slept off, and I was not aware of myself again. The following day, I woke up and saw myself in the cell,” Ousainou said. 

“Did you walk back to the cell by yourself?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou. 

“I don’t even remember the time I went back to the cell from the office,” Ousainou Bojang told the court. 

Regarding Ebou Sowe’s testimony that he obtained his statements on February 15, 2023, Ousainou Bojang denied that and said he was before the panel that particular day. 

“Did Mr. Sowe obtain any statement from you at Anti Crime? Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou again. 

“No, he didn’t,” Ousainou stated. 

“But you were in court when he (Ebou Sowe) said he did it, was he speaking the truth or not.?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked.  

“That is not true, it never happened,” Ousainou Bojang told the court. 

“He (Ebou Sowe) said he obtained the statement in the presence of Alieu Cham (Independent Witness) at the Ant Crime Unit in Banjulinding, did you agree?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked. 

“That is not true,” Ousainou denied again. 

“That day, There was a CID Officer by the name of Jamanka, who removed me from the cell and took me to sit before a Panel,” Ousainou told the court. 

“Do you recall how long you were before that panel?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Ousainou.

“It has taken a while because I was there until lunchtime, and we took our lunch, and then I was taken back to the cell,” Ousainou Bojang told the court. 

“So you were never before PW1, Mr. Sowe, and PW2, Alieu Cham, the witness in giving statements,” Counsel LJ Darboe said. 

“That never happened because I did not even see them,” Ousainou told the court.  

About the said independent witness, Alieu Cham, Ousainou Bojang told the court that he had not met him anywhere other than at the airport Police Station. 

“What happened at the airport on that day?,” Counsel LJ Darboe asked. 

“He (Alieu Cham) came there with Ebou Sowe and a driver called Bah,” Ousainou Bojang testified. 

Ousainou elaborated in court that he was relocated from the cell upon the arrival of Ebou Sowe and Alieu Cham on that particular day. He recounted being escorted to the CID Office situated within the airport Police Station.

“Ebou Sowe came and said that he had come to obtain my statement and Alieu Cham as a witness. He said the charges leveled against me, they are going to ask me whether I will agree or disagree, that is why he came with Alieu Cham,” Ousainou Bojang said. 

“Can you tell the court the charges that you recalled were read to you?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked. 

“The first thing he (Ebou Sowe) told me was that the law accused me of killing people with a gun. I told him that it was not true and I denied the charges. He also told me that I was charged with terrorism. I said to him that I did not agree to that,” Ousainou testified. 

“Can you recall any other charge,” Counsel LJ Darboe asked. 

“He (Ebou Sowe) also told me that I shot somebody and injured that person. I told him that, I disagreed with him. After that, it was recorded on paper, and he asked me whether I could read it. I told him, yes, I can read it. 

“He (Ebou Sowe) was the first person who read it to me and asked whether I would be able to read it myself. I read it myself and told him that I did not agree. He also brought another paper and wrote something on it. I told him that I do not agree to the above charges up to 3 times,” Ousainou Bojang told the court. 

Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh then adjourned the matter for continuation. 

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