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Soldier “wrongly” jailed implicated General Martin in his torture

Lance Corporal Babou Janha
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A driver of Colonel Ndure Cham, jailed for 10 years, 4 months at Mile 2, told the Truth Commission on Tuesday that his allege involvement in 2006 foiled coup plot is baseless.

Lance Corporal Babou Janha

Babou Janha, an ex-driver of ex-Colonel Ndure Cham, has claimed he was tortured for 4 hours at the premises of the National Intelligence Agency on orders of General Alagie Martin and Musa Jammeh commonly known as Maliyamungu.

Martin, a General in the army currently working at the army headquarters, was implicated in several other incidents of torture by various witnesses of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.

Martin was a member of the State Guards Battalion during the rule of the former dictator Yahya Jammeh.

And late Musa Jammeh, who named himself after a feared killer of late Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin, was believed to be a killer who operates on the orders of former president Yahya Jammeh.

In 2006, close to a dozen senior officers of the Gambian army were accused of plotting a coup against the former ruler led by Colonel Ndure Cham.

Cham, presumed killed by state operatives following the incident, escaped and several suspects of the foil coup were taken into custody.

Janha, his driver, said he had no idea about the coup but he was arrested and taken into custody. He said he was taken to the NIA where his 4 hours torture was ordered by General Martin and Musa Jammeh.

Janha said the interrogation panel at the NIA have asked him to be a state witness in the case and he told them he does not know anything about the coup and could not thus testify.

They also asked him to name people with known connections to Cham or those who frequent his office, another task he failed.

“Musa Jammeh slapped me and there they started beating me mercilessly. They were kicking me and hitting me with rifle butts. The group that was beating me came with Alagie Martin from State Guards including Musa Jammeh, also call Maliamungu,” said Janha.

After his torture, he said he neither received any medical attention nor any medication.

Among the people who were implicated with Janha were Colonel Bunja Darboe, Colonel Pierre Mendy, Colonel Yahya Darboe, Captain Wassa Camara, Captain Fally Sanyang, Corporal Samba Bah and former Accountant General Alieu Jobe.

Janha was later nailed by what he considered to be a fraudulent court martial on charges of concealment of treason, conspiracy and others.

“I was in a solitary confinement and stayed in cell for 19 hours every day for 9 years, 4 month,” he said. He was taken to a maximum security wing of Mile 2 until he was pardoned by President Jammeh in 2015.

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