I have transcribed Nogoi Njie’s Affidavit into WORD document for the benefit of your readers. It is a shocking and captivating reading – I transcribed it all at a sitting. It will surely become a Gambian National Historical Document – a Testament to Torture.
In the High Court of The Gambia – CS No. HC/186/16/nif/048/A4
Ebrima Solo Sandeng ………………………… Applicant (presumed killed by The State)
Inspector General of Police ……………………………………………………… 1st Respondent
National Intelligence Agency (N.I.A) …………………………………………. 2nd Respondent
Commissioner of Prisons …………………………………………………………. 3rd Respondent
The Attorney General ……………………………………………………………… 4th Respondent
Affidavit of the detained torture victim Mrs. Nogoi Njie in support of summons for
A Writ of Habeas Corpus
In the matter of the presumed State killing of Mr. Ebrima Solo Sandeng
I, NOGOI NJIE, currently detained at the Central Prisons at Mile 2, businesswoman and of Gambian nationality, make oath and say as follows:
I am the deponent herein and I swear to this affidavit in support of the summons for the issue of a Writ of Habeas Corpus ad subjiciendum in respect of Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
The facts deposed to in this affidavit are matters within my own knowledge.
On the 14th day of April 2016, I decided to travel to Banjul to get some medication for my mother who suffers from diabetes and hypertension.
I took a taxi and got down at Westfield junction to get another taxi van to Banjul when I saw a group of people by the said junction one of whom I recognized as Ebrima Solo Sandeng. I asked him what was happening and he told me that they were requesting for certain changes to be done and I further asked whether they were doing so in the street and he answered “yes”. I then bought a bottle of water nearby and asked a young boy to get me a seat in one of the taxis to Banjul.
As I waited, some Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers came and hit me on my back saying to me that I was running away. When I was about to explain to them why I was there, one of the PIU officers whom I can identify facially started beating me. He then asked me to climb into a truck that was nearby. I asked him “What have I done to climb onto the truck, I cannot climb”. I was then taken into the truck by some PIU officers and taken amongst others to the PIU Headquarters in Kanifing.
I, amongst others were brought down from the truck and taken to into a room. I was the first to be called out of the room and put in handcuffs. I was then taken directly to the national Intelligence Agency (NIA) Headquarters. I was taken to the NIA Headquarters in a double-cabin pick up together with one Modou Ngum in the company of two PIU officers. Upon arrival at the NIA, 2 other pick ups followed. One of the pick ups had Ebrima Solo Sandeng alone. The third pick up transported Ebrima Jabang and Kafu Bayo.
We were all in handcuffs. Photographs were then taken of us at the said headquarters. Thereafter I was asked in the wollof language by a man unknown to me but who was being called by the name James at the NIA Headquarters; “What Political Party do you support?” I then answered “That is not what I am here for. You should be asking me my name, where I am from and what has brought me here”. The said man then said to me “What brought you here” and I said to him “I do not know”. He then said to me “You do not know it now but by the time we are ready with you, you will know”.
He then took me into a room and a lady was called in and I was asked to remove my clothes for her to examine me. I then asked what they were looking for by which time some other NIA Officers including James were also in the said room. One of them then said that they were looking for the things I was carrying at the Westfield Junction and I said to them I was carrying nothing except my money which dropped when I was being put into the truck.
I lifted up my top clothing except my wrapper and a body search was carried out on me by the said lady who was earlier called. I was then asked whether I had any charms on me I answered in the affirmative. I started to remove them when James asked the lady to use a knife to cut them off me. When the lady cut the charms, I was asked to remove my earrings and then taken into another room and then another. In the 3rd room I was taken to, I found two men and a woman there. They asked me my name and where I was from. I was then asked whether I was a supporter of the APRC or the UDP. I told them that I was not there for that. A well-built fair-coloured man came into the room and said to me “Here you either say something clear or we will show you that we have drunk more pepper than you”. While he said this he placed his finger on the top side of his head as a gesture.
I was then asked what I knew about the issue at hand and I said “I know nothing about it”. The fair coloured man again came into the room and repeated his earlier statement. He left and then returned with the said James and James asked me to follow him which I did and on the way we met a young man who was asked to take me with him.
I followed the young man and we got to a white storey building and there I saw some people in a room downstairs. The young man then said to them “She is here”. When I looked at them they were fully clothed in black wearing black hoods and gloves. All I could see was their eyes. I became very much afraid and as soon as I shouted they surrounded me and grabbed me, put a rope around one of my legs and pulled the same tight as a result of which I fell down. I resisted and struggled with them to avoid my other foot being tied and that was when the mask on one of the men came off.
I held onto a NIA officer named Sheikh Omar Jeng, alias Sir Jeng, who was present and asked him to help me so that I won’t get killed and he said to them “leave her alone, I will bring her, you go”. They then left me and waited aside while I sat down at the bottom of the stairs of the said storey building holding onto Sheikh Omar Jeng asking him to help me so that they won’t kill me. He then pulled me up and walked away with me when the said men in mask started shouting out that they will not take this nonsense from Sheikh Omar Jeng and that he should allow them to take me. One of them then took hold of my middle left finger and bent it until it broke. My finger is still swollen and I have not been given any medical treatment for it. One of them then said to me “Will you go or not” and I said “Yes but I am afraid of you”. Another one said “Don’t waste time because a lot more are coming”. That was when they jumped on top of me and tried to remove my clothes and when I resisted they pulled my clothing and tore it removing same from my body. I was left naked except for a short wrapper I wore underneath my clothing.
They then took me to a building containing rooms and I sat on the ground by the said building. I was asked to enter into one of the rooms and then one of them said to me “Here you will cry until your mouth tears up and no one will hear you”.
I got into the room and found three men inside again fully clothed in black with black hoods and gloves. They asked me to lie down on a table and when I did they started beating me continuously like an animal for long time. Probably for about an hour, however I can’t tell what time it was. My whole body was damaged and bleeding. Suddenly I heard some people in the next room shouting the word “Excuse”. An adjoining door was then opened and I was pushed into the next room. In there I saw more than 10 people in plain clothes including James and from there I was moved to the next room again through an adjoining door.
In that room I found some elderly men sitting around on benches. They asked me what my name was and where I was from and I told them. They then asked me what political party I support and I again replied that I was not brought here for that. They then said that they need to know and that was when I told them that I am an opposition supporter. They asked me which of the political parties and I said “UDP”. The old men then said that they want me to come over to their own party and I asked them which party. They then said “Yaya Jammeh’s party”. I then said to them “So you are members of Yaya Jammeh’s party” and they answered “yes”. I then said to them “you beat me mercilessly and now you want me to join your party”. One of them who was black in colour said to me “Do you see us with whips, we did not beat you”. I then said to them, “You know who beat me and where the beating came from. You gave the orders for me to be beaten”.
The old man then asked me to follow James out of the room and while leaving the room the old man who sat on the benches began hitting my backside asking me whether I had beads around my waist and I told them to ask their wives. James and the old man took me to a cell which had been urinated in as I could smell the stench coming from the cell. They called a young man short in height and asked him to open the cell which was locked with a key. The cell was opened and I was pushed in and asked to sit by the men inside. There I found Modou Ngum, Kafu Bayo and Ebrima Jabang.
We sat there for about 5 minutes and then they brought in Ebrima Solo Sandeng. They had already beaten him. His body was all swollen and he was in severe pain. I then asked him to come closer to me away from the urinated area and as he laid flat on the ground I bent down and started to massage his head and body. His body was bleeding all over. He then started to sleep and I sat up.
A few minutes later, barely five minutes, the cell was opened and someone called out at Solo. He woke up and answered. He was then asked to come out of the cell which he did and was taken away and a few moments later I heard and recognized the voice of Solo screaming.
Three men including James came back to the cell and called me out and asked me to come out which I did. A fourth man, very tough and tall who had a scarf tied around his head then asked to take me away. In fact he was the one who collected Solo from the cell. He attempted to tie my eyes and I resisted telling him that it was night time and so he should not tie my eyes. He then said to me that he did not want me to know where they were taking me to and I said to him there is no need to tie my eyes because those he is taking me to I can see them standing over there.
As we walked away from the cell I saw a table in an open area surrounded by seven men three of whom were fully clothed in black wearing hoods and gloves. The said tough guy who was taking me then stopped and said to them in Mandinka that he had brought them an onion and they responded that he should put me on the table so that they can break the onion in two. I then said to them that I was not an onion but a human being like them and an age mate of their mothers. They asked me to lie down on the table but I refused.
I then saw Solo lying on the Bahama grass next to the table flat on the ground badly beaten and bleeding profusely. I then shouted the name of God and called out to Solo. In fact at that moment I thought he was dead. He did not respond to my call. I then saw his head moving from one side to the other.
They then started beating me with hose pipes and batons while pouring water over me. I was still wearing my short wrapper then and even when I fell they continued beating me and ask why I was mentioning God there. I again called out to Solo but he did not respond. He was completely naked just the way his mother gave birth to him. They continued beating me and when the water got finished they brought some more. The beating continued until the early hours of the morning of 15th April 2016. During intervals of beatings they would ask me why am I supporting the opposition and when I answer they would use both their hands to slap me on both my ears simultaneously.
After the beating I could not get myself off the ground. The people who beat me were fully clothed in black and were behaving and jumping around like monkeys and from the stench coming from them I believe they were highly drugged. Two men on either side of me carried me and then one of those in full black clothing with a hood on and gloves asked them to leave me and as they did I fell down on the ground. During this time they had picked Solo up and carried him behind the building and I could hear him moaning while they resumed beating him. I tried to get up when the said guy in the hood slapped me again simultaneously on both my ears. Then the old man who had accompanied James to get me from the cell said to the guy in the hood “Leave her alone, don’t kill her” and he shouted “leave me, this is my job”. A dispute then arose between them and the others began to mediate. The same men who earlier helped me again helped me up and carried me. They took me to an open room like a parlour where I found Fatoumata Jawara and Fatou Camara. I then asked them whether they were also brought to the said parlour and they said yes after they had been beaten. This happened on Friday the 15th day of April 2016. Later that day three sheep were brought into the said headquarters and given to these men. They slaughtered the sheep and had a barbecue rejoicing in celebration I believe of what they had done to us.
The following day they brought us sponge mattresses to lie on. A while later Fatoumata Jawara fainted and Fatou Camara was having problems breathing. I then pulled them towards me and started crying and asked them to be brave. There was a young man at the gate close to where we were.
The young man then called Sir Jeng to tell him that we were not feeling well and Sir Jeng in turn called one Dr Sanyang who came to check us after which he told Sir Jeng in our presence that I had High Blood Pressure and Diabetes while Fatou Camara had breathing problems. The said Doctor went on to tell Sir Jeng that if we are touched again and anything happens to us they will be responsible. At the time all three of us could not even walk.
Sheikh Omar Jeng (Sir Jeng) with the help of others then took us to the NIA clinic within the headquarters and locked us up in there. The doctor prescribed some medication for us and cream to heal our wounds. They started giving us medication as well as massaging us with hot water with the help of four women who in twos took it in turns morning and evening to guard us in the said hospital. On this day the NIA officers were given a cow to cook and enjoy themselves. Benechin was cooked and a bowl was sent to us but we refused to eat the food.
After a week we were given clothing by Sir Jeng to wear which are now wearing because they had torn all our clothing. He said to us that he has a lot of sympathy for all of us. He further stated that he was in charge of the NIA but the instructions to torture us came from above and as such he could not do anything about it. I then said to him “You are the boss here and people were brought into your house to torture us, yet you say you are the boss. What you are saying is very interesting. If this is so then you are useless here”.
Thereafter we were being taken care of and they started treating us nicely like a child you beat and then give him or her sweets or biscuits to coax to a point that I told Sir Jeng that all these nice things he was doing with the aim of pleasing us was immaterial.
After remaining in the clinic for more than a week we were moved to a cell at NIA and thereafter taken to Mile 2 Central prisons and brought to court the 4th day of May 2016. Ebrima Solo Sandeng was however not brought to court.
I make the above statement to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
SWORN BY THE SAID NOGOI NJIE
This 11th day of May 2016 this
statement having been first read
over to her in the Wollof language
which she seemed perfectly to
understand and made her mark
hereto in my present.
COMISSIONER FOR OATHS
HIGH COURT OF THE GAMBIA
Absolutely , Nogoi Njie’s testimony is now a historic document which will be used in books and television series in the very near future . Gambians should start to make documentary video and distributes them in the country so that the population will truly understand what is going on in The Gambia . According to the sources ,some NiA officials claimed that they are not aware of these human rights volations in the country . Yaya Jammeh has special squad within the Army and NIA who did the torture and killings for him. The top leadership of security forces are very aware of it . Every one in the Analysis and interrogations units are all aware of this human rights violations .
1. The UK Prime Minister and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: West Africa Section – Richard Petherbridge e-mail: email@example.com (he also dealt with the Mile 2 Executions matter back in October 2012).
2. EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org I reminded her of world’s outrage at the rape and torture of Franca Rame, the wife of Italian writer Dario Fo Dario – and how the Italian Police “celebrated” that rape.
3. ICC’s Fatou Bensouda – Jammeh’s former Attorney General and practicing law in this very High Court: e-mail: email@example.com I reminded Fatou that she made a firm statement about pre-election violence in Burundi recently.
4. Sheriff Bojang, Gambia’s Minister of Information: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org I reminded my old friend Sheriff that he was demonstrating infront of the UK Parliament about the killings and torture of Palestinians to which the Israelis continue to respond that “The Palestinians started it”.
Luntango, thank you for putting this disturbing affidavit into readable form, and the steps you have taken to inform relevant powers. My question for those in the know is can anything be done outside the Gambia to bring any form of legal action against named Gambian officials.
Since Nogoi cannot take any action against her torturers in the Gambia, can any of her relatives or interested parties sue these officials in other jurisdictions and be effective as soon as they set foot outside Gambia.
What the furore over the Panama Papers (which also names Amadou Samba of The Gambia) shows is that there is a great demand to block all avenues to tax avoidance, corruption and money flight from poor countries like The Gambia. Legal proceedings in London are possible and Nigeria has been able to trace some Abacha Loot. I am sure that with Gambian Lawyers like the two Darboes practicing in London, legal proceedings for abuse and theft by individuals who run off to UK are very possible – more so now that London is (ironically!) to become the home of the new International Anti-Corruption Centre.
Thank you my in law.
Dida, thank you very much for valuable contributions. It is great to have these emails. This is what we need. I hope your in-law Bax will follow your foot steps and stop the negative propaganda.
Again, I am appealing to all Gambians to give us the phone numbers of state house, NIA, police and army headquarters. We also need the phone numbers of top leadership in security apparatus as well as the cabinet ministers. If you know the Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy contact details please provide or forward it to kaironews for publication.
We must realize that this is a fight we must all be involved. We have so many victims already and we do not want any more. Jammeh is using people who are less intelligent, lack moral values and conscience to conduct human rights violations.
Once again thank you Dida.
Excellent. Men and women of conscience must not look away in the face of absolute tyranny and immeasurable violence being meted to our own flesh. Complementing Dodou Manneh’s effort in documenting this untold mischief deserve our commendation.