By Assan Sallah
Gambia’s former deputy Ambassador to Guinea Bissau cum Intelligence operative Gibril Ngorr Secka has been appointed as the new Adviser to the Interior Ministry. He serves as Adviser to Hon. Yankuba Sonko, the current minister of the Interior, who was also Adviser in the same Ministry.
Ngorr Secka as widely called, is a veteran intelligence officer and was the Director of Intelligence at the level of the Ministry of Interior since January 2018, a position he held until he became Adviser.
A product of Muslim High School in Banjul, Ngorr Secka was enlisted into the Gambia Police Force (GPF) on 26th September 1985 and passed out in 1986. He was deployed to the Special Branch of the GPF. Then some officers were issued with a departmental transfer from the GPF to the National Security Service (NSS) and Ngorr Secka was among those personnel. These officers were the late Samba Bah (former Interior Minister) , the late Ebou John, Joseph Mendy, Joseph Gomez, Tijan Bah, current deputy DG of NDEA, Ousman Tamba, Habib Mbaye, etc.
During that time, Ngorr Secka was attached to the president’s office as a Plain-cloth officer.
The then NSS was later changed to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) during former president Yahya Jammeh’s regime and Ngorr Secka rose through the ranks until he became director of Operations at the NIA.
In the early 2000s, Ngorr Secka was attached to the Gambia’s Embassy in Sierra Leone, where he worked as an intelligence (NIA) officer at the embassy.
In 2004, he came back and was appointed as Director of Operations at the NIA until March 2006.
Arrest and detention
Gibril Ngorr Secka’s first arrest was after the 21st March 2006 coup plot led by the late Col. Ndure Cham. When the former NIA chief Daba Marenah (late) and Co were arrested for their alleged involvement in the March 21 coup, there was a shakeup at the NIA. Ngorr Secka was made deputy Director General of the NIA, where he served briefly.
While serving as deputy DG, Secka was arrested and detained at the State Central prison Mile II.
His arrest was not officially mentioned, but he was implicated because he had a different opinion with the jungulars and some senior NIA officers when he complained that the jungulars should stop the torture of detainees and should not use the NIA office as a torture ground.
This complaint did not go well with the former dictator Jammeh and his men, and he was accused of having knowledge about the coup as former director of Operations. Yahya Jammeh and his men were not happy that Secka was sympathizing with the detainees. He was detained at Mile 2 for nearly two years and later got released without any explanation and was not charged or taken to court too.
In 2008, after his release, he was sent to Guinea Bissau as Deputy Ambassador until October 2009, when he was recalled following his alleged involvement in the 2009 alleged coup. Upon his return, he was arrested for the second time and framed in an alleged coup plot together with former Chief of Defense Staff, General (Rtd) Lang Tombong Tamba and seven others.
He was pardoned and released together with Lang Tombong Tamba and Co; and many other political prisoners in July 2015. He was not re-instated until 2018, when he was appointed as director of Intelligence at the level of the Ministry of Interior.
The author Assan Sallah is a Gambian journalist living in Germany. He was news editor and security affairs reporter at the Daily Observer.