By Halimatou Ceesay
Prosecution witness 18 in Solo Sandeng murder trial Modou Ngum, on Tuesday testified before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court. In his testimony he said he was repeatedly tortured and beaten at the NIA headquarters whiles under detention in April 2016.
Ngum disclosed that one of the accused persons by the name Tamba Mansereh told him that he (Ngum) was the youth mobilizer in Tujereng and was one of the people that took the street and showing rudeness, ‘I replied negatively, then they started beating me then I fell down and one of them hit me with his elbow in the eye, as a result I sustained eye injury and I can’t see with it now,” said the witness.
Ngum added that he was very thirsty when he was giving his statement at the hall, but couldn’t ask for water as I did earlier but they refused him so he had to suck his blood from the injury he sustained on his hand.
He further said that after giving his statement I taken to Bambadinka Cell, then later removed from the cell and they started beating him and saying he is the UDP’s youth mobiliser and he was threaten to be taken to a place where he would be tie on a table and beaten until he die if he is a Mandinka and after his death his heart and kidney will be removed but if he survive then they will pull his penis to ensure that he doesn’t function sexually since he is not married.
“I was blindfolded and tied on a table and beaten severely on my back, thigh and buttock, my body was damaged and blood was oozing out all over my body. According to one of them that same place was where Bakawsu Fofana was tied and beaten,” state the witness.
Still testifying, Ngum added that he was later untied, brought outside and the black wrapper round his head was removed, then his head was dipped in a dirty water barrel for some time and one of them ordered for his head to be removed from the water, another one said to him that’s was the place they usually beat soldiers to death. “They poured water on me and seated on a chair beside the Bahamas near the hall for awhile, I asked for water to drink but they refused me, then they asked me to get in the hall and warned me that if I tell anyone that I was beaten, they will beaten again to death.” he said.
Ngum further stated that the hall was occupied with many NIA officials, and he saw the then Director General of NIA Yankuba Badjie and Operation commander Sheikh Omar Jeng 1st and 3rd accused persons entered the hall.
Ngum disclosed that five of them including him, Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie, Ebrima Jabang, Kafu Bayo were in the cell, adding that he spent 14 days in Bambadinka cell before being taken to Mile 2 Central Prisons. “Whilst inside the cell we heard a knock on the door and asked Solo to come out and by then he couldn’t walk properly and after sometime they came for Nogoi then three of us were left inside the cell and since then I didn’t set my eyes on Solo and as for Nogoi I later saw her on the day we were taken to Mile 2 Prisons,” he state.
He said in the cell, someone came to him and introduced himself as Doctor. He said the person checked his body and gave him two different types of medication and a mentholato to rob on his body. He said he did not know the doctor’s name then but later came to know him as Lamin Sanyang.
He said the doctor bought gown, trousers, long sleeve shirt for him. He describes it to the court and clothes were given to him and he identified. The clothes were tendered in court and marked in evidence as exhibits without any objection from the defence.