The soldier who sold out the former Chief of Staff Colonel Ndure Cham is in police custody. Staff Sergeant Musa Johnson was on Monday arrested by Ecomig and Gambia National Army officers at Farafenni barracks.
The former army chief, accused of masterminding the March 21st 2006 abortive coup, had on several occasions evaded arrest. He had reportedly entered the Gambia several times before Sergeant Johnson sold him out in September 2013.
Cham was a godfather to Staff Sergeant Johnson whose three attempts to enlist in the Gambia National Army were unsuccessful. Without a certificate or skills, Johnson’s chances were very limited. His dreams to enlist in the army became successful through Colonel Cham’s influence. Cham fused him into the army as an engineer apprentice before undergoing six weeks basic military training. Johnson was posted at the Engineering Squad.
Colonel Cham had throughout treated Johnson as his biological son. He was sympathic to uneducated, hopeless and abandoned Johnson who had no means of survival. Cham helped and showered money on him. The duo remained in close contact even after the March coup. Ndure Cham did not therefore hesitate to contact Johnson when the need arose in September 2013. The fugitive colonel desperately needed money. He assigned Johnson to sell one of his (Ndure’s) homes in the Kombos and wire him the proceeds. Johnson sold the home and pocketed the money. He did not stop there but went extra mile to sell Cham to the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officials.
Johnson was motivated by the huge reward ousted President Yahya Jammeh had placed on Cham’s head. He armed the secret agents on the whereabouts of Ndure Cham who was waiting to receive money at Casamance town of Kafountine. Johnson led the secret mission involving soldiers and spy agents to Kafountine.
An ambush was laid for Cham. And no sooner had he welcomed Johnson at his Kafountine house than Gambian security men descended on him. Cham was beaten to coma, tied and thrown into the trunk of a waiting van. He was driven to Banjul and then to Tanji NIA office and celled for five days. Cham was transported to Kanilai for execution after he had regained consciousness.
Musa Johnson was compensated with a promotion to Staff Sergeant rank. It was not clear whether he was given the monetary reward.