More details have emerged about how Gambia’s spy police, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) had setup Journalist Alhagie Ceesay which led to his arrest, brutal torture and subsequent charges of sedition and publishing and spreading false information meant to bring hatred against the President Yahya Jammeh.
Speaking openly for the first time on The Fatu Network, two of the principle state witnesses Fatoumata Drammeh and Zainab Koneh, said they were both called to the offices of the National Intelligence Agency where personnel of the Agency told them of an elaborate plan to setup journalist Alhagie Ceesay whom they said was already classified an enemy of the state.
At first, the two young girls who worked as protocol officers at the State House (the official seat of the Gambia’s presidency) said they found it difficult to make sense of what the state was up to. But after spending a few hours at the NIA, they said senior officials started coaching them about what was already appeared to be a ready-made plan to have an innocent journalist caged.
First the mobile phones of both Fatoumata and Zainab were seized upon arrival at the NIA offices and when their phones were eventually returned to them, they were told to expect a WhatsApp message from a familiar number. They were warned not to delete the WhatsApp message sent to their phones.
Unknown to the two girls was that the NIA had already hacked into the phone system of Alhagie Ceesay through a tacit support of his local mobile phone service provider.
As promised, minutes when they were released from the NIA, both Fatoumata and Zainab received a message from a number confirmed to be Alhagie Ceesay’s. But as it is, both girls said they had already blocked Alhagie Ceesay which meant that he could not have contacted them directly.
Unknown to the two girls was the fact that the NIA had already gone through their phones and unblocked Alhagie. The NIA then used the internal systems of the local mobile phone service provider of the journalist to directly send a WhatsApp picture extracted from Facebook to the two girls pretending that it was journalist Alhagie Ceesay.
According to the girls, immediately the WhatsApp picture was sent, they received a call from the NIA saying that the message they received should not be deleted from their phones. That message in question was a Facebook picture a man pointing a hand gun on the head of the Gambian president Yahya Jammeh.
What followed later was even more shocking. According Fatoumata and Zainab, immediately the message was sent in to their phones, a team from NIA was dispatched to arrest Alhagie Ceesay. Then both girls were summoned to the NIA where they were forced to sign two already written witness statements implicating journalist Alhagie Ceesay.
Speaking on The Fatu Network which was persistently interrupted with crying, the two girls said they had initially refused to sign or endorse the content of the statements but they were repeatedly warned of the consequences which could include dismissal from their jobs as well as arrest and detention of both them and their parents. Fearing of the unknown, they said they eventually signed the witness statements.
Fatoumata and Zainab said they were then escorted to the offices of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) where they were coached repeatedly what to say in the court. At one point they said the DPP even told them that they should say they were “deeply traumatised when they received the WhatsApp message containing the picture pointing a handgun on the head of the president Yahya Jammeh.”
The matter ended up in court and both Fatoumata and Zainab were lined up as the principle state witnesses. They gave evidence in court once and later decided to flee the country because as they put it “we know that what Alhagie Ceesay was going through was only a mare setup. It seems the state has a bigger interest in Alhagie but we decided to leave the jurisdiction of the Gambia because we didn’t want to be part of a scheme that will put an innocent young man in trouble.”
However what many people don’t know is that Alhagie Ceesay’s troubles started when President Yahya Jammeh eyed Zainab Koneh who was also Alhagie Ceesay’s girlfriend. President Jammeh has already moved Zainab into the State House, provided accommodation to her parents and secured her a job of protocol officer at the State House.
The Fatu Network has already documented how President Jammeh was using employment in to the protocol division of the State House to lure young girls into a trap and who are eventually sexually molested. This is one report by The Fatu Network containing extensive revelation about President Jammeh’s sexual exploit of young girls (http://fatunetwork.net/en/talk-shows/item/777-more-revelations-about-president-jammeh-s-sex-exploits-of-young-gambian-girl)
Now that the two main principle state witnesses have revealed the extensive sinister scheme through a setup to incarcerate journalist Alhagie Ceesay, many are calling on Yahya Jammeh to release an innocent man whose only crime was to be the ‘boyfriend’ of a pretty young girl who the President also eyed.