By Neneh Galleh Barry
Ousman Darboe, commonly known as Pa Ousman yesterday told the Truth Commission that their investigations revealed that the jugglers burnt the premises of the Independent Newspaper and Sanna Manjang was burnt in the process.
He said Manjang was seeking refuge at the late Khalifa Bajinka’s house in Mile7 and the Military Medic told them that they were going to Bajinka’s house to treat Manjang.
He said the burning of the Independent affected their operations because they were printing at the Observer and later to the Point Newspaper.
Darboe told the commissioners that their intention of the then regime was, to cripple down the Independent so that they can’t operate anymore.
He said upon his arrival at the NIA, he was taken to Ebrima Kinteh’s office and was later taken to Captain Lamin Saine’s office.
He said he was detained at the NIA till August 2002 but Fatima Jabbie who was pregnant at the time was also brought to the NIA.
He said while in the NIA he wrote an article regarding the arrest of Mrs. Jabbie with a pen name Jalamang Jammeh, noting that Jabbie was detained at the NIA for one day.
Captain Saine and Foday Barry asked him to reveal his sources but he remain adamant because Journalists are not supposed to disclose their sources.
He said on a Monday around 4Pm I told them that hence they were NIA Officers, they should investigate and if the article is wrong, they should constitute a Legal action against him.
In 2003, he said he was invited by the Serious Crime Unit, for the fact that he was communicating with so many people.
After he interviewed one Lamin Njie from Germany, alleged to be shot by security officers and was admitted at the ICU and he managed to interview him and put it on record and when the story was published, he was arrested.
He alleged that Dr. Sarja Taal told them that before he got sacked from the Observer, he will make sure that the person is sacked first.
After chief Manneh was arrested, they took him to the Bakau Station by one Sheriff Sey alias General.
He told commissioner that Former IGP Landing Kinteh told him that Chief Manneh was detained at Sibanor Police Station and from there he went to Gunjur Police Station.
According to the witness Jammeh seized a compound in Bundung and was keeping detainees there; he went there to find out about the where about of Chief Manneh but could not access the place.
Lamin Babai Manneh who was alleged to be involved in November 11 incident went to the Observer Office and asked Sarja Taal the whereabouts of Chief Manneh but it did not end up well.
Sarja Taal then ordered securities at the Observer that he doesn’t want to see anyone from the Manneh family, the witness testify.
Media Organizations such as Reporters without Boarders, CPJ, Media Foundation for West Africa among others all campaign for the release of Chief Manneh, death or alive.
He alleged that, while in detention in Garawol he was beaten and he told the commissioners 7th July 2006 was the day Ebrima Manneh was arrested.
One Darboe from Observer told him to be careful with the way he was investigating Chief Ebrima Manneh but later got advised by him from Sukuta that he should be careful.
He said Mr. Sheriff Bojang Junior called him from Dakar because they wanted him to testify at the ECOWAS Court in connection to chief Manneh’s case.
He alleged was subsequently declared wanted by the Jammeh government because he informed the Ghanaian Government that Jammeh’s government kills the 44 Ghanaians