A former Gambian soldier who has witnessed November 11, became a juggler and National Intelligence Agency agent, put on a team to arrest Corporal Dumbuya who was later killed, among others, claimed he neither participated in torture nor witnessed one.
The Gambia’s Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of country’s former ruler Yahya Jammeh has resumed sessions to huge expectations on Monday.
The witness was a participant in the repealing of the November 11 coup that never was.
Its witness Lamin Senghore nicknamed The Assassin was among the soldiers who attacked and captured both Yundum and Fajara Barracks but he claimed he witnessed no torture nor was he a participant in any.
During the two decades rule of former President Jammeh, institutions such as the National Intelligence Agency and The Jugglers were used for torture and killing of people. But perhaps fortunately for Senghore, he wasn’t aware of any of those things.
In fact, he said he heard of human rights abuses under Jammeh like everybody else though he served institutions that played a leading role in state sanctioned tortures and killings under Jammeh.
Senghore said after taking over Yundum, the arrested soldiers, who previous witnesses said were tortured, were instead jailed. He did not see anyone being tortured.
After taking over the Yundum Barracks, they drove to Fajara where he released two hundred rounds of bullet from his machine gun in thin air. He directed at no target nor did he shoot anyone.
After playing “Rambo” in the camp, he collapsed. Then he said the arrested soldiers were taken to Mile 2, something he heard of while he was collapsed but still conscious.
Then from Fajara which was in fact the execution ground for Abdoulie Faal and Basiru Barrrow, according to witnesses, Senghore became part of soldiers who were ordered to return to the State House by Sanna Sabally.
In any of these times, including during the arrest of Colonel Babucarr Sanyang and others who said they were tortured by Senghore and his colleagues, he maintained his innocence. He said he saved Sanyang and others from torture even though he admitted he was angry with them for matters unrelated to reasons of their arrest.
“I just remind you that you have lied all through your testimony and you are warned that lying before the Commission has consequences. You have a chance to rectify these testimony. My opinion is that you are not being truthful,” said lead counsel Essa Faal.
Senghore was trained to become a juggler, a paramilitary hit squad for the former dictator Jammeh, but claimed he neither tortured nor killed anyone. He said they were a counter-terrorism force.
He also became at one time an agent for the National Intelligence Agency and again he neither tortured nor witness anyone’s torture.
Senghore is the Commission’s 44th witness. It is a crime to lie before the Commission and it is also a crime to lie under oath under the Gambian law.