The former Director General of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and eight other officials of the agency were on Thursday charged with conspiracy and murder before the Banjul Magistrate Court.
Yankuba Badjie & Co are charged with the murder of Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the opposition United Democratic Party member who was tortured to death on April 15, 2016.
The other accused persons are Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Baboucarr Sallah, all operatives and Lamin Lang Sanyang, the medic.
The NIA under the 22 years of former President Yahya Jammeh were the most feared agency in the country. Their only duty was to arrest, detained, torture, forceful disappearances and even killing innocent people on the orders of Jammeh.
Yankuba Badjie and Co like many others have ever been pointed finger at for aiding and enabling former President Jammeh in executing ungodly acts in the country.
The late Solo Sandeng was arrested on April 14th 2016 at Westfield Junction while staging a peaceful demonstration calling for electoral reforms. He was picked up, taken to the NIA where he was reportedly tortured to death. He was buried in an unknown location by the NIA.
His death prompted another peaceful protest on April 16th, 2016, led by the UDP Party leader Ousainou Darboe and members of his executive, calling on the then government of Yahya Jammeh to produce Solo Sandeng ‘dead or alive’. They were equally rounded up and detained, charged and later convicted to three years imprisonment for each of them.
While serving their jail term, the coalition that nominated current President Adama Barrow from the same UDP Party as leader to challenge former President Jammeh was formed.
On December 1st, Gambians went to the polls and elected President Barrow ending the long time ruler Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years regime.
During the first week after loosing the elections, then President Jammeh ordered his controlled courts to released Mr Darboe and Co in a sign of smooth transition, though it never ended well as he later reversed his decision of conceding defeat and rejected the results, thereby plunging the country into a political impasse which almost ended with a military intervention until the last minute when a solution averted such to happen. Mr Jammeh then flew to Equatorial Guinea where he is now living in exile.