By Lamin Sanyang
Lieutenant Colonel Solo Bojang, former commander of the Kanilai Battalion, is currently struggling with serious health conditions since his released from prison on Friday, January 22, 2017.
Family sources reveal that Lieutenant Colonel Bojang coughs blood. He was allegedly tortured during his incarceration at the then notorious National Intelligence Agency NIA. He is reportedly undergoing treatment in Foni.
‘‘I was in tears when I saw my husband after years of being in agony in the hands of the former regime,” Fatou Bojang, Solo’s distraught wife said.
Bojang, a close aide of former president Yahya Jammeh who doubled as erstwhile Manager of the Kanilai Family Farms (KFF) was earlier arraigned before the Brikama Magistrates’ Court on 12 May 2014 and charged with three counts of ‘Abuse of office’, ‘Conspiracy’, ‘Theft’ and ‘False information’.
He was acquitted and discharged on all counts except one charge which was False Information and was handed with an optional sentenced of D50, 000. The family has reportedly paid the fine but was nonetheless escorted out of the courtroom by the security forces that whisked him away to an unknown destination. . .Bojang has since suffered series of unlawful detentions at different centres by the NIA until his recent prison sentencing by a military court martial. He was among those released by President Barrow.
Sources say in 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Bojang led the armed thugs sanctioned by former president Jammeh to carry out “witchcraft cleansing”. During the exercise hundreds of villagers were forced at gunpoint and escorted to Kanilai and Kotu where they drank concoctions. Several people died instantly while others followed shortly after their release. Many others fell sick and later recovered but are still living with the stigma of being officially painted “witches and wizards”. .
The leader of The PDOIS Halifa Sallah openly condemned the exercise, saying it must stop immediately. He was arrested and taken to court. The charges were dropped against him due to international pressure leading to the end of the exercise. .
Meanwhile, former Lieutenant Colonel Solo Bojang is also accused of being a member of former President, Yahya Jammeh’s thug squad known as “Junglers”.