The Chronicle Gambia

Dismissal Of Omar Sarjo From The Army – GAF Says The Ex-Soldier Was A Fraud

The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) has clarified Sunday that the embattled Corporal Omar Sarjo was dismissed in 2017 on the grounds of false pretense by falsifying his biographical and academic documents to meet the entry eligibility.

His dismissal from the Forces according to the Army was not based his relationship as a son Salif Sarjo, the leader of Casamance separatist movement MFDC, as it was alleged which in fact prompted the Investigation.

“It may be recalled that in 2017, the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) received an intelligence tip off that ex – Corporal Omar Sarjo, with Regimental Number 84GNA/13529 was alleged to be the son of Mr. Salif Sarjo, the leader of the MFDC separatists in Casamance, Senegal. Given the sensitive nature of the allegations, the GAF deemed it fitting and appropriate to conduct an investigation into the matter to establish the veracity of the allegation.”

GAF says in a statement that a joint investigation with the National Intelligence Agency. “Although there was no evidence to prove that ex – 84GNA/13529 Corporal Omar Sarjo is the son of Salif Sarjo, the outcome of the investigations, however revealed that the ex – Corporal gained admission into the GAF on 1 July 2005 as a member of Intake 27A under false pretense.”

Accordingly, GAF states that its findings revealed that Ex Corporal Sarjo’s real name is Saikou Sarjo which was later changed to Saikou Sanneh to conceal his identity.

Omar Sarjo, dismissed from the Gambia’s military

“He enrolled in schools in Kabekel, Marakissa and Darsilami Upper Basic School where he obtained a Grade Nine—West African Examinations Certificate using the name Saikou Sanneh. In 2005, he fraudulently used the Junior Secondary School Leaving Certificate of one Omar Sarjo, who is believed to be his cousin from Kabekel and enlisted into the GAF as a member of recruit Intake 27A,” the statement added.

GAF further claimed that Corporal Sarjo changed his identity to gain enlistment into The Gambia Armed Forces thereby making a false declaration and entry into The Gambia Armed Forces and therefore, his enlistment into The Gambia Armed Forces constituted a flagrant breach of the Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) for Soldiers.

“The investigations substantiated that former Corporal Sarjo engaged in falsifying documents, consciously presented fraudulent academic credentials, impersonated third parties by using their biographical identities/information as well as used multiple names or aliases to conceal his real identity which are all offenses punishable in the Armed Forces.”

However, it concluded that there was no evidence to prove that 84GNA/13529 Corporal Omar Sarjo is the son of Salif Sarjo. The military body stated that pursuant to The Gambia Armed Forces Regulations for Discipline 1994, he was subsequently charged under Section 75 (a) for willfully making a false entry in an official document and Section 78 of The Armed Forces Act for Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.

“It may be equally instructive to note that this disciplinary measure is not an exception but the rule and is in line with established administrative military procedures. Additionally, similar cases, once discovered, have been treated in a similar manner in the past.”

While Omar Sarjo was dismissed from GAF in 2017, the matter was recently brought up by the government’s spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh when he cited the former military officer at a presser while discussing some achievements registered by the so-called Security Sector Reform. Sankareh described Omar as the son of the MFDC separatist leader Salif Sarjo. This has reignited a dead debate and led Omar to breaking his long silence in by denying that he’s a son of Mr Sarjo as claimed by Sankateh.

A statement was making rounds on social media last week purportedly released by Salif Sarjo warning The Gambia government of making lies against him.

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