I have followed the testimony of Ndey Tapha Sosseh at the TRRC. She was my Editor at the Daily Observer. Ndey and I used to enjoy cordial working relationship. She is a good sister.
She adduced in evidence for having met and interviewed a former member of dictator Jammeh’s assassin team—known as the jungullars. The purported interview was conducted in Dakar, Senegal. Ndey wouldn’t disclose the name of the jungular in question. She said she was introduced to the jungullar by her colleague Amadou Scattered Janneh. Janneh met the jungullar in jail, while serving life imprisonment in Jammeh’s gallows.
Ms. Sosseh disclosed that it was through the jungullar she interviewed; she came to know about those behind Deyda Hydara’s murder; the murder of the 50 West African migrants—most of whom were Ghanaians. The jungular also told her how they used to go about assassinating perceived political opponents among others.
The jungullar told her how the late Kalifa Bajinka saved her life and that of Demba Ali Jawo, the former Information Minister, under Barrow’s rule. Sosseh and Jawo were in Kanilai to attend a conference at the time.
Ndey said she told the jungullar that she didn’t know Bajinka, when she was asked as to whether she knew Bajinka.
For the record, Ndey Tapha Sosseh and Kalifa Bajinka, were good friends prior to the alleged Kanilai planned assassination of Sosseh and Jawo. As a Senior Daily Observer Staff Reporter, I used to see Bajinka in Ndey’s office, where I used to scribble my stories.
Bajinka used to frequent the offices of the Daily Observer a lot. He used to come to our office to see Ndey. Bajinka used to drive a red Mercedes Benz with the registration number-JINKAS 1.
Inside the offices of the Daily Observer, it was no secret that Ndey Tapha was Bajinka’s friend.
I also used to see Peter Singhateh in our offices. Peter Singhateh is the brother of the former junta Vice Chairman Edward Singhateh. Like Bajinka, Peter, too, used to frequent our offices a lot. He used to come to the Observer to see Ms. Sosseh. This was prior to Madam Sosseh and Bajinka became friends.
Ms. Sosseh also talked about helping and hosting some of the December 30th coupists, fleeing from The Gambia. She met with one of the coupists in Dakar, Senegal. She wouldn’t name the coupist’s name and yet went ahead to call out Foreign MinisterTangara.
She testified that she aided the coupist to travel to Mali, to join his co accused persons. She said she hosted them in Mali. She also said she participated in helping them to resettle in an EU Capital.
The Lawyer, who took Ndey’s testimony is Horija Balla Gaye. Ms. Gaye is married to Alagi Saidy Barrow, the TRRC Lead Investigator. Barrow was among the December 30th attackers. He goes with the name officer X, per the transcripts publicized by The Gambian government at the time.
Barrow recently married his colleague Horija. They developed relationship at the workplace, which ended up becoming a marital affair.
Clearly, there is a conflict of interest here. In view of Alagi Barrow’s involvement in the December 30th failed coup, and his marital ties with lawyer Horija Balla Gaye, commonsense dictates that she will not do justice to the subject being raised by the witness Ms. Sosseh.
Ms. Gaye’s father Balla Gaye, was dictator Jammeh’s Finance Minister for many years. Now the children of the former status quo, are tasked to document Gambia’s past rights abuses.
That said, it is imperative to note that the two soldiers, who were resettled in Mali were Bai Lowe, a former jungullar, and Dawda Bojang, a former Jammeh bodyguard.
Lowe was living in Germany prior to the December 30th attack. He left Germany for Gambia to take part in the attack. He had a pending Immigration case at the time. Dawda Bojang has no valid visa that could land him into an EU capital.
Any good lawyer should have asked Ndey Tapha Sosseh, how Lowe and Bojang were able to resettle in Europe. But Horija Gaye, has missed that opportunity.
Ndey Tapha even condescendingly snapped at her at some point, when she pressed her on a given question. “Horija,” she remarked.
Since the TRRC is all about “establishing an impartial historic record about Gambia’s past rights violations” it is important for the state to hire non conflicted folks to work in that important institution.
We are yet to be told how Bai Lowe, and Dawda Bojang traveled to Mail, and later ended in Europe, without securing visas from a Western Embassy. Perhaps Ndey Tapha Sosseh should be recalled by the Commission to explain how the duo managed to travel to Europe without going through a Western Embassy.