A former top official of Gambia’s spy agency has dropped a bombshell at the TRRC by providing the commission with the list of the executed West African nationals, who were massacred in July of 2005 during dictator Jammeh’s brutal dictatorship, Freedom Newspaper can report. The list contained the names of West African citizens from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Senegal. They were rounded up at the Barra coastal shores and accused of being mercenaries. What followed later, was their subsequent executions. The migrants were never accorded due process. Jammeh just ordered for their killing.
Mr. Gibril Ngorr M.T. Secka was the Director of Operations at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) when the executions happened. He was the officer, who supervised the detention of the migrants.
The migrants, who were mistaken as rebels, were arrested on July 22nd, 2005, coinciding with the celebrations of Jammeh’s military coup.
Secka recalled receiving a phone call from his late boss Daba Marena, who asked him to go the Naval base at the ports authority in Banjul, because Marena told him that there were some people who were being transported from the coastal fishing town of Barra to Banjul. These were West African migrants found stranded along the shores outside Barra.
Secka phoned Ousman Jallow, the NIA Director of Investigations to meet him at the ports. A bus was also dispatched to the ports to pick up the arrested migrants.
According to Secka, when the migrants arrived, there was a Sierra Leonean lady among them, two Senegalese nationals and other West African nationals.
He said his assessment of the arrivals showed that they were not rebels, but illegal migrants. He added that the migrants were subjected to beatings by soldiers led by Kawsu Camara, AKA Bombardeh. Mr. Camara is living in exile in Mauritania.
Secka said he ensured that the migrants boarded the waiting bus. They were transported to the Greater Banjul Area. Some of them were detained at the Kairaba police station, at the PIU base in Kanifing, and Baba Jobe’s residence in Kotu, he said.
Secka said the detainees names and country of origin was recorded by the police at the Kairaba station. The list contained 51 detainees. Secka was able to get a copy of that list, which he kept until the fall of Jammeh.
He said he has always expected a day of accountability in the case of the West African migrants.He has confided his concerns to few of his colleagues.
According to Secka, the NIA’s counter espionage unit couldn’t screen the detainees because the detainees were moved from the Kairaba police and other places of detention and later executed. A Sergeant came for eight of the detainees at the Kairaba police and took them to an unknown destination, he said.
He later learned that eight dead bodies were found in the bushes of the Ghana town in Brufut. The incident was reported to Secka by one of his Intel officers posted in the area.
Upon realizing the executions, Secka said, he later advised his men to stay away from the case. “These were the same people, who were arrested and taken to the station. Since we couldn’t do what were asked to do, then let stay out of it as an institution. That was my decision and I stayed away from it,” he said.
Lead Counsel Faal interjected: “Thank you. The list saved itself, and here we are thank God. I hope that the family members of these victims would be able to find some degree of closure, perhaps, this is the fate that has befallen their loving ones.”
Secka said he had reported his findings to his late boss Daba Marena during their morning briefings.
Secka’s chilling revelations is likely going to get Jammeh tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague for crimes against humanity. He has backed up his statement with facts and evidence.
Less than a year later, Secka was arrested and accused of being complicit in the Ndure Cham failed coup. He was subsequently tried and sentenced to death. He suffered torture while under detention at the NIA.
He was released and again accused of being complicit in a failed coup in 2009, headed by Lang Tombong Tamba. He served time and was later pardoned by Jammeh with his co convicts.
Secka was on vacation in Europe when the March 2006 coup happened in his absence. He had some health issues at the time of his vacation, and he wanted to seek treatment in Germany.
Secka said he had to cut his vacation short to return to Banjul upon hearing the failed coup. He was promoted to the rank of Deputy Director, only to be fired days later and accused of coup.