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Post 94 coup: Jammeh, others indulge in luxury as Nigerians

Former military leaders accused of Koro Ceesay's murder
22

Former army Captain Ebrima Kambi said Yahya Jammeh, then commander of military police, was one time driving around in town a vehicle his men arrested with cannabis. He said he had to intervene as his senior to ask him to stop.

At the time of the military takeover in 1994, several Gambian soldiers, as evident in the testimonies of several Commission witnesses, said the Nigerians were afforded luxurious lives while Gambian soldiers were living on pittance.

In fact, some witnesses before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission have said the so-call special treatment of Nigerians who were in Gambia on technical support may have contributed to the coup.

However, a witness before the Commission on Thursday said former self-style coup leader Yahya Jammeh and his collaborators did gave themselves the same treatment that were given to those Nigerians as Council Members.

Captain Ebrima Kambi, appointed as State House chief of staff by Jammeh, said he “allocated the accommodation to the Council Members” equivalent to those that were given to the Nigerians.

Prior to the coup, Kambi was the head of logistics in the army. He said during the early coup days working with the junta, he also allocated new uniforms and shoes to their bodyguards.

KMC Mayor

Kambi, later arrested by Jammeh and jailed in Mile 2, said prior to his appointment as a State Hosue Chief of Staff, Jammeh promised to appoint him mayor of Kanifing Municipality where he will choose his own salary.

He said he declined the offer, explaining to Jammeh that he was from Kiang and cannot serve as mayor of KMC.

“Jammeh told me I am going to make you mayor of KMC… I told him I cannot be mayor in KMC. I am from Kiang and then he told me now you can stay with me here as State House Chief of Staff,” said Kambi.

Jammeh’s indiscipline

Several Commission witness since it began on January 7 have described Jammeh and his collaborators as a cabal of troubled people struggling with attitudinal issues.

For Jammeh, almost every one of them said he was “indiscipline” and finds it difficult to follow orders. Kambi confirmed this.

He said Jammeh, then commander of military police, was one time driving around in town a vehicle his men arrested with cannabis. He said he had to intervene as his senior to ask him to stop.

“From that day he did not like my face,” said Kambi.

Kambi said he was the one who also influence Jammeh to release the former ministers under Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s government from detention.

He further revealed that a number of the junta members did not like that decision by Jammeh, and thus hated him for it.

Kambi is the tenth Commission witness.

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