EX APRC MP DEMBA DEM ALLEGES THAT GAMBIA’S VICE PRESIDENT ISATOU NJIE SAIDY WAS IMPLICATED IN THE MARCH COUP
Mr. Demba Dem, a former APRC Member of Parliament has alleged that Gambia’s Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy was implicated in the March 2006 foiled coup, in which the erstwhile Army Chief of Defense Staff Colonel Ndure Cham plotted to overthrow the administration of dictator Yahya Jammeh. Speaking on Freedom Radio on Monday, Mr. Dem, who was brutally tortured in the wake of the foiling of the March coup said the original statements that were taken from Malafi Corr, Lt. Ebou Lowe, and the rest of the executed detainees by the panel tasked to investigate the coup allegedly suggests that the Vice President was aware of the coup. Mr. Demb alleged that Interior Minister Ousman Sonko and Lang Tombong Tamba intervened to ask the investigators to tear (destroy) the statements taken from the coup suspects. “I was at the NIA when Interior Minister Ousman Sonko and the former CDS Lang Tombong Tamba ordered the investigators to destroy the statements that were taken from Malafi Corr, Ebou Lowe, Alpha Bah, and others since the Vice President’s name came up during the investigations. The original statements taken from the late detainees suggest that the Vice President was aware of the coup,” Demba Dem alleged.
“I was not surprised that Daba Marena, Alieu Ceesay, Ebou Lowe, Alpha Bah and Malafi Corr were executed because these folks know the main brains behind the coup. Daba Marena in particular told me before he was executed that Lang Tombong Tamba implicated him by claiming that he (Daba) tried to ignore his phone calls when he was in Mauritania with the President. Lang said he couldn’t reach Daba to brief him about the coup. That was how Daba was arrested and later executed. If Daba was not killed, he would have pursued the coup plotters because he was good at investigations,” Demba Dem further alleged.
According to Demba Dem, MA Bah a former GAF Financial officer implicated Lang Tombong Tamba in his statement during the investigations, but Mr. Bah was sent to jail for some months before the President was able to realize the truth. Bah later testified against Lang Tombong when the state pressed treason charges against the former army boss.
“The March coup was at an advanced stage. The coup failed largely due to poor timing. I heard the Vice President’s name mentioned during the initial investigations. I was there when Ousman Sonko and Lang Tombong asked the panel to tear the original statements. MA Bah is alive. Tamsir Jasseh is alive. The former Speaker Sheriff Dibba, and other influential people in the Gambia were implicated. There are senior government officials and army chiefs who were implicated in the Ndure Cham coup and are still working. Ndure Cham fled with the list of his collaborators,” Dem alleged.
Dem said the late Second Lieutenant Alieu Ceesay was part of the arresting team. Alieu, he said, was later arrested after one of the security detainees implicated him. He said Alieu Ceesay, Daba Marena and co were picked up from their cells at the mile two prison, and later executed.
“The detainees were brutally tortured before they were executed. I have nothing against Isatoou Njie Saidy. I am speaking the truth and nothing but the truth. Ousman Sonko and Lang Tombong Tamba facilitated the destruction of the original statements linking Isatou Njie Saidy to the coup. All I know is that her named was being mentioned by the security detainees. But Lang and Ousman Sonko refused to accept the indicting statements against the Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy,” Dem further alleged.