Abdou Annabi Jammeh, a Prison Warden attached to Mile2 Central Prison, told the TRRC that David Colley took the Gambia Prisons Service as his Family House.
He appeared in connection to his detention and the Royal Family in Prisons, the Prisons Farm, his view on David Colley’s administration.
Are you by any chance related to Yahya Jammeh?, Faal asked. He said he belongs to the same clan with Yahya Jammeh and their family was the first Jammeh in Kanilai. He said their grandfather called Ngajaw and his first son was his father, who was a bone healer and some members of the family possessed the same knowledge and he is among them.
Jammeh told the Commission that he still do the healing in his home work places and Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital respectively.
On the condition of food at Mile2, he said it was terrible and the cells are not good as well and he came to know this when he was arrested too and human beings are not supposed to be kept in those conditions. He added that the hardship of Prisoners is the food and living conditions; adding that overcrowding is also a problem.
Jammeh confirmed that Prisoners used to sleep in the toilets. However, he said he cannot attest to the fact that Prison reasons were stolen but when he heard about it he said they were in darkness.
On the torture of inmates, he said it is true that he witnessed it because there was a time he was called to answer to the Prison Headquarters and upon arrival, he was told to wait while there were Officers behind David’s Office such as Yahya P. Jarju, Commissioner Ebrima Jammeh alias Chief Torturer also known as ‘ Royal Family, ASP Adama Badjie, PO Lamin Jabang and a host of others including the recruits.
According to him, there was no cordial relationship between Yahya Jarju and David Colley and he took him there to implicate him. He said the Prisoners beaten were Soriba Conde, Lamin Jah, Omar Jallow, Derrick Bride, Stern Leigh, Modou Sonko, Amadou Saidy and Makodou Jahateh.
He alleged that Ebrima Jammeh alias Chief Torturer was given the orders and while this thing was happening, David Colley was peeping through his Office Window. On whether David gave the orders for the tortures, he responded in the positive.
Jammeh alleged that the said Prisoners were tortured and the purpose of their gathering was for investigations to be conducted regarding Mobile Phones found with Prisoners. However the phone disappeared during the course of the investigations and it was alleged that he took the mobile phones.
On what exactly they were doing at the investigation ground, Prisoners were place on a desk and beaten up on orders of Ebrima Jammeh alias Chief Torturer. At this stage, he said Yahya Jarju said please stopped but Ebrima Jammeh was more powerful than him, inspite the fact that Yahya Jarju was more senior.
He said David Colley trusted Ebrima Jammeh than his former Deputy, Yahya Jarju and this was the reason he concluded that Ebrima was more powerful than Jarju. He added that David Colley did not want to see someone who speaks the truth, Instead he always wants to be associated with people who will infringe pain on others.
The Prison Warden further alleged that Ebrima Jammeh was running the show and among those who transported the Prisoners to the office was Adama Badjie and Sanna Kujabi. He said Omar Jallow was beaten severely with a horse Pipe. Mr. Jallow was beaten on his back, buttocks and legs as well.
During the beatings, no medic was present and Omar Jallow intimated to Yahya Jarju that Anabi Jammeh did not do anything it was just because the beatings were severe that’s was why they mentioned him. ” Omar Jallow was beaten about four times” as he was beaten on off of the table.
If someone tell the TRRC that Ebrima Jammeh did not beat Omar Jallow, he said that would be lies. On the issue of Lamin Jah he said Ebrima Jammeh and his subordinates beat him as well. Mr. Jah was place on the table and beaten for three times. He alleged that Ebrima Jammeh was always the first person to beat which he said was a sign of indication to his juniors that if they don’t do it, he will do it.
Jammeh confirmed that a hole was dug at the Prisons and Prisoners were threaten that they will be buried in there and that there was an order from the top to implicate Anabi and if they failed to do that they will be buried.
At this point Faal told him that Ebrima Jammeh claimed to have Tortured only two people which the witness said was false; adding Jammeh was called a Chief Torturer because he is a bad person.
The witness informed the Commission that while at the Security Wing, he saw a delegation coming towards him and was later told that an order came from David Colley that he should be detained. However, in that Process, he told deputy director Thomos that they were brothers from the same village and that he should go back to Colley and told him that he will not be detained like that.
At this juncture, Thomos told him that if he is not going to be detained then they will replace him with his Officer incharged, Kebba Ceesay but he told Ceesay not to comply because they should follow the due process of the law. However, he eventually accepted based on the Powers they showed him.
Former Deputy Director, Thomos Jarju, Wally Corr (TRRC Orderly), Kebba Ceesay, Jarju asked me to take off my Jujus, ranks, shoes and I was left with my uniform and under shirt, he then asked me to enter Cell No 9 of the Security Wing. I was unlawfully detained in the security Wing for about 9 months but I saw it as if they had their own law.
However, around the 6 months, I was taken to the NIA but they rejected and asked me to go back because I did not do anything.
He said he told the NIA Officers that he was detained at the Security Wing for 6 Months abd they kept on taken him there but the NIA insisted that he didn’t do anything and that’s why they were unable to handle his case and it was only David who knows why he was detained. My wife used to come to Mile2 and they used to refer her to NIA. I trusted one of my subordinates, but the subordinate was afraid to tell his wife because he would have been detained as well.
Consequently, his family, decided to file a suit against David Colley but neither David nor him (Witness) appeared at the High Court.
On how he was released, he said Ousman Sonko, former Minister of Interior, heard about the problem when David Colley said his family can’t do anything to him. However, during the tour of sister securities, it was realised that David had detained some Officers.
He said Prison Officers, PO Faye Camara, Yankuba Jammeh, Mamadou Musa Jeng asked him to come out and took him to the charge office were CSP Karfa Tamba told him to change his statement or risks going back to the Security Wing but insisted that he will not change it and all of a sudden, Ebrima Jammeh, Chief Torturer arrived and asked him whether he will change his statement.
Karafa Tamba later wrote guilty on his documents and demoted several other officers demoted and each of them were asked to pay a fine of D1000.00 and only saw his family for the first time after 9 months in detention and when his brother together with his friend saw him they cried. For 9 months he was putting on the same shirt and trousers which he threw in the River after he was provided with other clothes by his brother.
I was not allowed to see a lawyer or family visits and my wife came there for several times but they don’t allow her to see me. All my rights were seized. He said Wally Corr assisted him while in Prison. He added that as a result of the food he developed ulcer and do vomit after eating. Prisoners used to have rest but I was always indoors and it went up to an extent I developed sickness and this was unfair and inhumane.
At this juncture, Lead Counsel Faal intimated to him that what he and his colleagues were doing to inmates was the same thing which was meted on him as well. As a prison Officer you knew what the system was?, He responded in the positive.
As a Prison Officer contributing to that terrible environment, how did he feels, he said he have faith in God. However, Faal told him that he knew first hand the hardship Prison Officers were going through and yet after his release, he continued to work as a Prison Officer despite saying that the system was terrible.
On his relationship with David Colley after he was released and started working at the Prisons again, he said prior to commencing work he was not feeling well as he was vomiting blood and after he reported to Jeshwang, he told the Commander he was not feeling well but the commander told him even if he is to die he will be sacked.
As a result of that his brother working at the State Guard was contacted and told that he was not going to work and the Director General of the NIA, Yankuba Badjie was told about it but he never calls him.
He alleged that Chief Torturer is someone who was very pompous because he got the backings of David Colley and David Colley took his work as if it was family business and was even referred to as “Manda” Colley. The current Director Antumana Manneh, used to advise him but he never took heed. Ousman Sonko was part of the rudely behaviour of David Colley in Prisons