Some senior Jolla army officers recently met with the Army Chief of Defense Staff Yankuba Drammeh to enquire from him what sources called “the veracity of a document” that came to the attention of the concerned officers, in which the officers have been accused of allegedly inciting the army’s intake 30 to organize a protest march, that they could use to overthrow Barrow’s government, sources close to the CDS’s office have told the Freedom Newspaper. The incriminating document was in the possession of Colonel Alhagie Sanneh, GAF’s Director of peacekeeping, who has been accused of plotting to overthrow the Barrow regime. They were also accused of being part of the APRC splinter group, opposing the APRC merger with Barrow’s NPP party.
According to sources familiar with the story, Sanneh, wouldn’t tell CDS Drammeh and his co accused colleagues where he got the document from, but sources went on to state that Sanneh had earlier asked CDS Drammeh to shed light as to whether the document in question came from the army. CDS Drammeh has denied having knowledge about the purported document, accusing the Jolla officers of allegedly plotting an insurgency against the Barrow administration.
A source told us that the purported document had allegedly emanated from army’s military intelligence unit, with the ultimate objective of showing seeds of discord in the recently formed political merger between the NPP and the APRC.
“Dishonest officers who are opposed to the APRC/NPP merger are behind that intel report. Their goal is to cause a rift between the APRC and NPP. It is a known fact that any attempt to purge the Jolla officers again from the army might not go down well with the APRC, especially the APRC supporters from Foni. This was a calculated misinformation plot to smear the image of the accused Jolla officers. It was also meant to mislead the Barrow government and possibly end the political alliance between the two political parties,” trusted sources told us.
“It was Colonel Alhagie Sanneh, who discovered the document. The document wasn’t signed. It appears it came from the military intelligence unit. However, Alhagie Sanneh wouldn’t tell the CDS where he got the document from. In the end, the CDS has told them to go about their business. The CDS said the document should be disregarded, that he was not aware of the officers concerned being a subject of investigations,” our sources added.
According to reliable sources, the names of the following officers had featured in the document that Colonel Alhagie Sanneh showed CDS Drammeh:
Col. Dembo Jarju Procurement officer
Col. Dembo Jarju Navy- Director of admin. He is in Ghana right now. He wasn’t present at the meeting that the officers had with CDS Drammeh.
Colonel Alhagie Sanneh-Director of Peacekeeping
Col. Essa Tamba (Jesus)
Lt. Colonel Omar Bojang
Captain Suwaibou Jammeh of the military police
The aforementioned officers had met with the CDS with the exception of Colonel Dembo Jarju, sources said.
The accused officers were taken aback upon seeing the document that Alhagie Sanneh had in his possession. They have denied having any ties with intake 30. They have also denied having any ties with the APRC, talk less of the APRC/NPP political merger.
A good number of soldiers of intake 30 have left the force amid reports of low morale in the force. Some had prematurely left the force, while others were due for retirement.
The accusations contained in the report that Col. Sanneh showed the CDS, followed recent reports of planned demonstration to be spearheaded by some army retirees. The retirees have been demanding for their unpaid retirement and benefits.
The army spokesman Captain Malick Sanyang was contacted for comment on an earlier report that we received suggesting that there were plans to retire certain Jolla officers in the army. Sanyang says the army has no policy of profiling soldiers and officers. He said soldiers and officers are accorded the same treatment irrespective of one’s tribe, or origin.
He added that he wasn’t aware of any plans to send officers on retirement. He said army retirees are usually given notice years before their retirement.
Captain Sanyang isn’t aware of the meeting Col. Sanneh and co had with CDS Drammeh, but trusted sources in the heart of the GAF Headquarters have confirmed that the meeting had indeed taken place.
One of the accused officers Essa Tamba is due for retirement in February of 2022, sources said. Tamba has been serving his country for the past 39 years, sources said.
It would be recalled that some Jolla officers have had their services with the army prematurely terminated during Masaneh Kinteh’s tenure as Chief of Defense Staff. The officers were retired and paid their benefits. Reports have it that some of the retired officers were accused of having ties with the exiled Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh.
“The military intelligence unit is filled with xxxx who are all sympathizers of an opposition party and it was during Bahoreh Jaiteh’s time that Masanneh Kinteh succeeded in tribalising the unit. He gave the task of purging the Jolas to Colonel MA Jallow who is currently in Saudi Arabia but he asked him to put it on pen and paper for his reference. He then refused and immediately removed him as Director of that unit. Kindly make your enquiries to ascertain this information,” a source told us.