Human Rights, News

TRRC witness alleges GRA boss Yankuba Darboe masterminded her sacking and incarceration

By Pierre Njie

Veronic Carayol, former Deputy Commissioner at Customs and Excise Duties (CED) now known as the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has alleged that the Commissioner General, Yankuba Darboe masterminded her sacking and incarnation at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in 2014. She was detained for 28 days before being charged and taken to court.

According to her, Yankuba Darboe, who was a Deputy Commissioner General, once instructed her to write a list of Memo of all the workers at GRA.

“He (Yankuba Darboe) instructed me to write a Memo of all the workers at GRA. I told him Sir, this your Memo will one day set this our institution ablaze,” she remarked.

She made the revelation at Dunes Hotel in Kololi, while testifying before the Commission.

She alleged that Yankuba Darboe authored a story on Kibaro Newspaper, a Gambian online news medium, in which he tarnished her image and personality.

“Yankuba Darboe authored an article on Kibaro Newspaper an online Newspaper based in US attacking my credibility, personality and all what not,” said Mrs. Carayol.

She said a friend of hers in UK forwarded the article to in her email and she read it and informed the friend that she knew who authored the article.

GRA Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe

“I suspected that it was Yankuba Darboe who authored the story. I was skeptical in the sense that I could recall him (Yankuba Darboe) instructing me to write a Memo of all the workers at GRA. I wrote the Memo and gave it to Abdou Jallow who was the acting Commissioner General to sign. At this point in time Yankuba Darboe had traveled to Dakar, but prior to his leaving he had instructed me to write the Memo,” she explained.

Why were you fired? Asked the Lead Counsel Essa M. Faal.

The witness paused a moment and cried bitterly. “I was forced to go and farm at the former president Yahya Jammeh’s farm in Kanilai. I was the program manager at the time and refusing to go might mean that I was not loyal to former President Yahya Jammeh,” she asserted.

She said accommodation in Kanilai was not good as they were lodged in an open space where the former president used to organize wrestling competition and other cultural festivals. The witness said they (the officers) were sleeping in an open space and she decided to book for a room at the Sindola Hotel in Kaniali. She described the act as inhuman, adding that the former president Jammeh is erratic.

Mrs Carayol told the TRRC that she was arrested upon her arrival from Kanilai by the NIA officers led by one Mr. Darboe.

“I was arrested by an NIA officer with the surname Darboe, who found me eating and requested that I should follow him. I asked him to give me some time to eat, but he refused, saying I may run away. I went with him and I was put in a pickup and was whisked away to the NIA headquarters in Banjul,” she disclosed.

She informed the Commission that prior to her arrest she was hinted by an NIA officer that she was going to be arrested.

She recalled meeting the former Secretary General, Momodou Sabally and five other detainees at the NIA headquarters.

“I was charged with four counts and they are abusive of office, giving false information to a public servant, unlawful publication and corrupt practice, respectively,” she noted.

 

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