Former Army Captain and close aide of the exiled Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, Saihou Jallow said he wants an unconditional apology from the Gambia police force, including the Standard Newspaper for allegedly circulating what he called fake news against him. Failure of which, Jallow has vowed to institute legal action against the GPF and the Standard Newspaper for allegedly defaming his character and reputation in the eyes of the Gambian public and the global community. He said there is no iota of truth in the police charges proffered against him including the Standard false publication. This followed, a publication made by the Standard Newspaper on its Friday edition claiming that he (Saihou Jallow) and co facilitated the murder of Gambia’s former spy chief Daba Marena and others.
According to documents The Standard is privy to, Lt Jatta stated that on the fateful day, Marena, Lowe, Bah, Corr and Ceesay together with Masireh Jammeh and a lady identified as “Julia” were brought by Lt Yusupha Sanneh, Sgt Sainey Jammeh, Lt Saihou Jallow and Cpl Omar Jallow and handed over to the Junglers including himself Ismaila Jammeh, Michael Correa, Sanna Manjang, Alieu Jeng and others, the paper reported.
He said the five men and the woman were taken to a garden with a well. He said while he and Alieu Jeng stood aside, the orderlies who accompanied Daba and the others were led by Jungler Sanna Manjang in shooting the apprehended people. He continued: “Tumbul Tamba and Bora Colley were all present and they gave directives. During the process, Alieu Ceesay attempted to escape but was gun shot [sic] by Omar Jallow. One Julia, a lady, was killed by Sainey Jammeh and during their killing; they were all shot and thrown into the well.”
Speaking to this medium, Sahou Jallow said Malick Jatta was ether insane or drunken when he allegedly falsely accused him and his colleagues of being complicit in the murder of Daba and co. He said Jatta is allegedly speaking out of malice and prejudice.
“I am tired of this blackmail against me, Yusupha Sanneh and Sainey Jammeh. I call it a blackmail. Malick Jatta is lying to the teeth. None of the orderlies he mentioned took part in the murder of Daba Marena and co. He is just making things up. I sincerely believe that Malick Jatta has lost his mind and sense of reasoning. How dare can he accused us of murder? This is a serious allegation. I can swear to the Holly Koran that I was not involved in the murder of Daba and co,” he said in the Wollof dialect.
“ I remember the late Tumbul Tamba calling the State House switchboard and he asked us to communicate to the president Yahya Jammeh that mission has been accomplished. I don’t know what he meant by mission has been accomplished. Tumbul’s message was delivered to the president. He later came to the State House under the company of Harry Sambou, the former Defense Permanent Secretary, and Ousman Sonko, the former Interior Minister. While in the room, the trio started discussing what story they should compose to relay the death of Daba and co to the public. I remember Yahya Jammeh asking me to leave the room. I hid myself somewhere close to the room to listen to their conversation. It was agreed in that meeting that a press release should be issued to say that Daba and co had an accident while being escorted to prison, and they escaped. It was later announced in the news that the detainees escaped while being escorted to Janjangbureh. I shouted when I heard the news. Yusupha Sanneh was on duties with me on the day in question,” Jallow added.
Saihou Jallow said as orderlies they don’t take part in the execution of detainees or people lined up to be killed by Jammeh. He said Malick Jatta and his fellow jungullars were known for carrying out such executions in the country.
“For the record: I was in Mauritania with the president when the March coup happened. The late Daba Marena, and Tumbul Tamba were among the delegation to Mauritania. I remember upon our arrival Daba Marena gave me $100 dollars. He even advised me to be loyal to the president and the government. I learned about the news of the coup from Daba. I used to call Daba Dad. It was after the death of Tumbul Tamba that president Jammeh confided in me that Daba was not part of the coup. He told me that Daba was innocent. He said Tumbul was part of the March coup; hence he decided to implicate Daba. He said had been that Daba was not killed, he was going to get to the bottom of the truth. This would have led to the arrest of Tumbul and his collaborators at the time.This was what president Jammeh told me after the demise of Tumbul Tamba and Musa Jammeh,” Saihou Jallow said.
Mr. Saihou Jallow said he was removed as Jammeh’s orderly in the aftermath of the failed coup. He was replaced by Tumbul’s brother Sisawo Tamba.
“I was threatened with death by Tumbul Tamba shortly after the coup. He told me, that they know that Alieu Ceesay, one of the murdered coupist, is my friend and if I am not careful; I will be killed too. He said they don’t trust me. He ordered for my transfer from Jammeh’s orderlies team. So, for Malick Jatta to falsely accused me, is wrong. I was mad as hell when I learned that my friend Alieu Ceesay was killed. I remember Yahya Jammeh asking me not to board his official car when he was supposed to attend a parade in the aftermath of the coup. It took some time before I was allowed to get close to Jammeh,” he said.
“Before his death, I visited Tumbul Tamba at the RVTH, where he was admitted. He confessed to me that his men killed Alieu Ceesay. He apologized to me for having threatened my life in the wake of the failed coup. He said he meant his threat at the time. He told me that his plan was to kill me, because he suspects that I was sympathetic to the late Alieu Ceesay ,” he added.
Mr. Jallow told Freedom Radio Gambia that his former colleague Lt. Colonel Sarjo Jarju now on foreign mission in Mali, even contacted the former police Crime Management Coordinator (CMC) to tell him that he (Jallow and co) were innocent of the charges brought against them by the police. He said despite Sarjo’s intervention, the police are still entertaining such “bogus” charges against him and his former colleagues.
Mr. Jallow also said he came to know about the arrest of Marcie Jammeh and Haruna Jammeh, when he visited their family home in Kanilai. He was a friend to the Jammeh family.
When he enquired about the duo, he was told that they have been taken into custody by state security agents. He said Tumbul Tamba engineered the arrest of Marcie and Haruna.
Saihou Jallow also said he recommended Masaneh Kinteh to be hired as Chief of Defense staff shortly after the firing of Lang Tombong Tamba. He recalled Jammeh seeking his opinion as to who he thinks could be the best replacement for Lang Tombong Tamba. He suggested Masaneh to Jammeh.
At first, Jammeh was bit apprehensive when Jallow suggested Kinteh’s name to him because Jammeh told him that he cannot afford to have a Mandinka CDS. Jallow then spoke highly of Masaneh, and in the end Jammeh agreed. Jammeh told him that he cured Masaneh when he suffered from a fractured hand. He also told Saihou Jallow that he even paid for Masaneh’s trip to the UK to seek further medical treatment.
For more on the story, tune in Sunday’s Leral show. Stay tuned.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai