NIA helped Jammeh’s grip on power by spying on people

Mamos Media

By Adama Tine

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) in its report found that the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was spying on government employees and citizens with the view to keep former President Yahya Jammeh in power.

The commission described the act as an abetting tool that incited numerous rights violations and abuses against the citizens with impunity.

“The NIA deployed operatives to sensitive installations and government offices to spy on the citizens with the view to strengthening Yahya Jammeh’s grip on power,” said the truth body in a report that was earlier submitted to the Gambian president, which is now made public.

“The NIA operatives deployed in these locations were very powerful and committed numerous rights violations and abuses against the citizens with impunity,” it also said.

“The NIA became a weapon of oppression and subjugation for former President Yahya Jammeh,” the commission further said in the report. 

According to the report, NIA agents acted with total impunity and disregard for human dignity in pursuit of Jammeh’s agenda of self-perpetuation, which was to be achieved through instilling fear and terror in the hearts of Gambians.

According to the commission, Omar Cham was an NIA agent posted at the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), to spy on employees and the institution’s operations between 2001 and 2003.

Under Jammeh’s rule, the intelligence agency was known for its ruthless operations, where nobody was spared, especially those who questioned or spoke against the regime.

The intelligence headquarters was also used as a torture chamber, where NIA agents collaborated with Jammeh’s hit squad referred to as “Junglers”.

The NIA will do the arrest and hand over detainees to the hit squad for either torture or execution. The TRRC said detainees were tortured through severe beatings, electrocution as well as being stripped naked by Jammeh’s hit men and the NIA agents.

AT/COB/DAJ/05/01/22

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