Haruna Jammeh’s Last Words to His Killer: ‘Where Are We Going?’
A member of the Junglers, a death squad former president Yahya Jammeh Tuesday testified before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission and gave disturbing details of the brutal killing of Haruna Jammeh, the ex-leader’s cousin.
Omar Jallow alias Oya is the first confessed Jungler (sometimes spelt as Jungular) to appear before the TRRC. His appearance followed that of Lt. Malick Jatta who claimed he was a member of ex-president Jammeh’s patrol team and denied being a Jungler.
In his testimony, Jallow narrated how he was instructed by his commander Tumbul Tamba to go with Solo Bojang and Alieu Jeng, two other Junglers to pick Haruna from the National Intelligence Agency in Banjul where he was detained for undisclosed reason. Jallow said inside the vehicle Haruna was sandwiched by him and one of his colleagues as they transported him to former President Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai.
Jallow and Haruna had known each other well, He testified that he used to go to Haruna’s house for lunch, was close to his wife and Haruna would help him whenever he needed help.
Along the journey, Haruna spoke to Jallow in what would be their last conversation.
“At some point, he just hit [touched] me and said ‘where are we going?’ and I said ‘we’re going to Kanilai’. So we proceeded,” Jallow told the Comission.
He told the TRRC that along the way before they got to Kanilai, Solo stopped the vehicle in the bush around the back way to Kanilai for what would be the execution of their mission. He said Sanna Manjang (a senior Jungler) got out of the vehicle with a rope in his hand, gave it to him and Jeng and asked them to tie it around Haruna’s neck and wrestle him to the ground.
“So we tied the neck. But at that time I was not informed that this was the mission, that we were going to kill Haruna,” Jallow testified.
“You thought that was a sport?” asked Lead Counsel Essa Faal.
“No I thought they were threatening him,” Jallow responded.
“So we tied his neck and Sanna Manjang told us to [wrestle] him down. We [wrestled him down]. He asked us to pull the rope and we pulled the rope. He was just sitting on top of the car. He jumped from that place and stamped [on his neck] and he died,” Jallow testified.
At that juncture, Haruna’s daughter Aisha and other family members inside the hearing hall bowed their heads in shock.
“The all three of you killed him?” Faal asked.
“Yes Counsel,” Jallow replied.
“You used to eat at his house.”
“You were friends with him.”
“He helped you.”
“You executed him in cold blood.”
Emotional Faal took a deep breath before proceeding with the cross-examination.
“What did you do with the body,” he asked.
“We took the body to the same well where these Ghanaians were killed. We took him to that well and threw him there,” Jallow replied.
Before his killing, Haruna Jammeh, a cousin of the ex-president mysteriously disappeared from Kanilai and the government kept quiet about his disappearance.
In another development, Jallow confessed that he participated in the extrajudicial killing of dozens of Ghanaians and other nationals who were reportedly arrested while attempting to go to Europe through the so-called back-way. He also confessed to torturing Imam Baba Leigh, Imam Bakawsu Fofana, another person he couldn’t remember and the 30th December alleged coup plotters.
On the torture of Imam Baba Leigh, he testified: “We were ordered by Nuha Badjie to torture him. We beat him using sticks, elastic pipes and I saw blood and bruises on him. The torture lasted for about half an hour.”
Jallow will reappear at the TRRC to continue his testimony.