Momodou Dahaba, a former supporter of dictator Yahya Jammeh, has said that he was hired into The Gambia police force as a police Detective Inspector, without undergoing any formal police training, Freedom Newspaper can report. Dahaba, was posted at the Bundung police station as a Detective Inspector. According to Dahaba, General Lang Tombong Tamba, felt that he (Dahaba) deserved to be hired—given his support for Jammeh and the former APRC rule. Lang then asked the former IGP Essa Badjie to hire him into the police. At the time of his hiring, Dahaba said, he had no experience in law enforcement. He also had no police training.
Speaking to Freedom Radio’s prime time Sunday Leral show, said it was Lang Tombong Tamba, the former Army Chief of Defense Staff, who facilitated his employment with the police.
“I was hired into the police without any formal training. It was Lang Tombong Tamba, the former CDS, who spoke to the former Inspector General of police Essa Badjie, AKA Jesus to absorb me into the police. I was hired as hired as detective. I was attached to Bundung police station, Criminal Investigations Department (CID). I had no police training at the time of appointment,” Dahaba said.
Mr. Dahaba was a former soldier. He briefly served the army but was fired white attending his military training in Farafenni. He said he was fired by the late Major Momodou Gaye. He claimed that he had rough past with Gaye, prior to him joining the army.
The late Gaye had made a visit to the Farafenni barracks, where he saw Dahaba, during a military barracks, and ordered for his firing from the force.
After his removal from the army, Dahaba said, he picked up a job at the Kairaba Beach hotel, as a security officer. He also worked as bus driver during President Jawara’s rule.
When Jammeh and his colleagues toppled Jawara’s thirty years rule, Dahaba said he embraced the coup, and rallied support for the coupists. He said the school bus that he was driving at the time of the 1994 coup, was commandeered from him by the coupists. He had to drive them to Banjul.
He felt that he was a victim of the former Jawara regime and he decided to support Jammeh.
When asked whether he had attended any police training during his employment with the force, Dahaba replied in the negative.
“I was shortlisted to be trained, but as soon as I heard that they were going to send me for training, I left the force. I was not interested in any police training. For the record, throughout my employment with the police, I have never arrested or tortured anyone. People can come forward and counter me, if they feel that what I am saying is a lie. Very few knew that I was a CID officer,” Dahaba said.
Dahaba later had a fallout with dictator Yahya Jammeh. He fled to neighboring Senegal. He later reconciled with Jammeh and returned to Banjul.
He said he has been arrested on two occasions during Jammeh’s rule.
In one of his arrests, he said he was falsely accused of obtaining money in the name of dictator Jammeh, through false pretense. He was briefly detained and released after it was discovered that he was mistaken with another Dahaba.
His second arrest, he said, had to do with a complaint that was filed against him by his APRC comrades, who accused him of talking about the fall of Jammeh. He said the APRC supporters were opposed to his proposal for the party to buy its own land for a political bureau. Dahaba was opposed to the party using a property that wasn’t its own. He told his colleagues that the party was likely to be evicted from its bureau, if Jammeh was no longer in power.
The APRC supporters then reported him to the NIA, where he was summoned for questioning. He questioned and released.
Dahaba said Jammeh was partly responsible for his fall from power. He added the former dictator had surrounded himself with selfish folks, who were not telling him the truth.
“Jammeh was misled by his supporters. They were not telling him the truth. I was so close to Yahya Jammeh, but our relationship later became strained. Some people lied against me to him. Jammeh used to snub me, he used to malice me. He wouldn’t want to talk to me. He even expelled me from one of his countrywide tours. At some point, I had to sit home and leave him alone,” Dahaba said in the local Wollof dialect.