By Ousman A. Marong
Director of Operations at Drug Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia (DLEAG), Ebrima Drammeh alias ‘Jim’ Drammeh has told the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission that security officers were cautioned about saying things that will implicate then government of The Gambia under former President Yahya Jammeh.
“We were cautioned to be careful of saying things that we were not sure of, and that could implicate the government. This was the order of the day during the former regime,” he said while testifying before the TRRC on Tuesday.
Drammeh, who one time served as Director of Internal Security and Operation at National Intelligence Agency (NIA) denied claims that the NIA panel that was investigating the case of the West African Migrants was prepared to play ball.
“We were never prepared to play ball that former authorities wanted us to,” said the witness.
“The only hitches to properly investigate the killings of the West African Migrants was due to lack of cohesive information regarding their killings in 2005”, he further said.
It could be recall that in July 2005 about 44 Ghanaians, 9 Nigerians, 2 Cote d’Ivoire, a Gambian and a Senegalese were believed to have been killed under the orders of former president Yahya Jammeh.
Junglers such as Malick Jatta, Omar A. Jallow, alias ‘Oyah’ and Lamin Sillah all confessed before the TRRC to have received orders for the summary execution of more than 50 West African Migrants in 2005.
The migrants were bound for Europe but were suspected by Gambian authorities of being mercenaries’ intent to overthrow exile former Gambian president Jammeh.
“They were murdered after been detained by former president Jammeh’s closest deputies in the army, navy and police force,” said jungler Lamin Sillah.
The witness further stated that claims from then authorities that the migrants were mercenaries was nothing but a ‘balderdash’ (lie).