Musa Fofana and Ebrima Keita on Monday appeared before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC). The duo were Victims of torture and unlawful detention by Jammeh’s “Bulldozers”, one other name of the former president’s group of hit men.
Musa Fofana and Ebrima Keita revealed to the Commission that a former Commander of the “Bulldozers“, Captain Amadou Bojang, was among Yahya Jammeh’s killer and that Captain Bojang threatened to kill both witnesses and put their blood in a Coca-Cola bottle he said he would put “right on his table”.
Musa and Ebrima were arrested by Jammeh’s “Bulldozers” in 2016 for merely expressing their opinions on the human rights violations in the country, at the time.
Narrating to the Commission the circumstances of their arrest, Musa Fofana said: “One day, Pa Alasana Jallow who used to sit at my pharmacy came to chat with us. He later went out and when he came back, he told us that he was from Westfield and that there was a demonstration as a result of which one Solo Sandeng was killed“.
“I was really puzzled and I told Musa that nowadays arrest and detention was too much in the country“, said Ebrima Keita. Expressing my opinion on these abuses is what led to my arrest”. The witness described Captain Amadou Bojang as someone “very wicked“. According to him Captain Bojang told him that if they were to kill people, they will start with him (Ebrima Keita).
Keita said there was a big horse pipe used by one agent Babucarr Trawally to beat him while agent Ebrima Ceesay and others were pushing him down.
“I told them you will kill me but am not going to write a statement”, the said. He said he told the investigators that one Ebrima John falsely claimed to be a UDP intelligence agent. “This was why Captain Amadou Bojang said if they were to kill, they would have started with him”, Mr Fofana told the Commission.
As one of the witnesses confirmed that he heard the sound of the horse pipe used to beat Musa Fofana, the Lead Counsel asked: “How did you feel knowing that your friend and colleague was beaten?” Ebrima Keita responded that he was so angry and that he did not like it.
Musa Fofana testified that a few minutes later, Amadou Bojang appeared and was shouting seriously. “That was the moment I realized that Amadou Bojang was under some ecstatic substance. He gave his subordinates Pick Axe and Spades that put in vehicles.”
The witnesses said one Mbemba Bojang assisted them a lot. “He later informed me that we were going to be killed at 3am.” He however warned the witnesses not to reveal that he (Mbemba) was the one who informed them about their (Bulldozers’) plan.
The witnesses were later forced to board a car and got sandwiched all along a drive to a graveyard. They revealed to the Commission that while on their way, the torturers kept slapping them in front of Amadou Bojang who did not stop the beating or say anything.
The witnesses said Ebrima Ceesay, Baboucarr Singhatey, Babucarr Trawally and Mbemba Bojang were ordered to open the Kanifing South Cemetery but the gates were locked, and that despite that, Captain Amadou Bojang insisted that they should break the gate.
Ebrima Keita, one of the witnesses, told the Commission that Captain Amadou Bojang ordered Musa Fofana, the second witness to dig his own grave and when the witness finished, captain Amadou Bojang told the witness that “he would kill him and that they would bury him like a dog. I retorted to him that I’ve heard this from you but not from Allah”, Said the witness.
The witness further informed the Commission that Captain Bojang told them that they will get lawyers to imprison the witnesses for life. Witness Fofana said after this incident, he knew that the “Bulldozers” could be involved in killings.
Witness Fofana further explained to the Commission that the “Bulldozers” were very rough in their manner of driving because when they went to arrest Pa Jallow, they nearly had an accident.
He said he was held at a Kotu, then Kairaba and Bulldozers’ Stations respectively while Mr. Keita recollected that they were held for three months without trial.
Dwelling on the impact their ordeal had on them, Musa Fofana told the Commission that he couldn’t educate his children because of what he went through. The second witness, Ebrima Keita, said because of this problem he developed hypotension and diabetes.
Ebrima Keita urged Gambians to stay away from tribalism. He further appealed to Gambians to unite and develop the country.
Musa Fofana said Gambia belongs to all of us and urged Gambians to bring up their children in the right manner.