Former Daily Observer editor, Malick Mboob, said Yahya Jammeh’s hitman Musa Jammeh made him a scapegoat in the investigation that followed the May 2006 vast data breach at Freedom Newspaper (www.freedomnewspaper.com), exposing the publisher’s list of subscribers.
He told the Commission that the panel of investigators absolved him of any wrongdoing, but Musa Jammeh made it loud and clear that he already told President Jammeh that Malick Mboob was identified as the prime suspect.
Mboob appeared Thursday before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), narrating his ordeal in the hands of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA). At the time of his arrest, he was Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) public relations officer.
He then added that the only time he had an exchange with Pa Nderry Mbai was when Freedomnewspaper carried a story about Yahya Jammeh’s mum being admiited at Royal Victoria Hospital (RVTH). The story was published by the North Carolina-based news site, and Mboob urged him to always contact him if he needs any information.
“Let me put it very clear: Musa Jammeh was not part of the panel of investigators,” he emphasized but was quick to indicate that he used to instill fear because of his closeness to the President.
“Nobody can challenge him at that time,” he remarked.
As if the earth was moving under his feet, Mboob’s trouble started going from bad to worse …
He told the Commission that after they took his statement, the security successively conducted searches at his RVTH office and his studio in Welingara.
“They searched everywhere. Nothing was found,” he said. “They took me back to the NIA HQ in Banjul.”
He further stated that at around 2:AM in the morning, noises of vehicles entering the NIA premises alerted them.
Malick Mboob said he was taken back to NIA conference room where Musa Jammeh, Tumbul Tamba and Ismaila Jammeh were waiting for him – the duo are reportedly said to be linked to Yahya Jammeh’s kill team.
As the situation grew tense, he said he was bombarded with a series of questions. But when asked whether he is of the view that President Jammeh is a dictator, Malick Mboob told the commission that he responded in the affirmative.
At this juncture, Mboob said Musa Jammeh expressed his dissatisfaction with the statement he penned, but also went further to remind him that he was still the prime suspect.
A back and forth ensued when he decided not to rewrite his statement as suggested by Musa Jammeh, scapegoating in high gear.
“It’s either you kill me, but I am not going to change my statement,” Mboob retorted while his interlocutor promised to give him a ‘VIP treatment.’