By Ousman A. Marong
Captain Baboucarr Bah of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) has admitted torturing a former Gambian minister and renowned opposition politician, Omar Amadou Jallow, widely known as OJ Jallow, during the 1994 military take over of the AFPRC regime under former president Yahya Jammeh.
Captain Bah made this revelation at the ongoing Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) held at the Dunes Hotel in Kololi.
He claimed that he was hypnotized by Almamo Manneh, a former soldier (late) and he decided to hit OJ Jallow on his stomach. “It wasn’t my fault, I was been hypnotized by Almamo Manneh,” he told the team of counsel at the TRRC.
He alleged that Almamo Manneh told him OJ Jallow was part of the people who wanted to bring in some mercenaries to unseat the then AFPRC government under Yahya Jammeh and that, OJ has also embezzled government resources for over 30 years.
“This was what made me angry and I hit him on his stomach, I was not satisfied by hitting him only, so I later decided to use the military baton and continued hitting and kicking him,” he confessed.
He revealed that the late Almamo Manneh also participated in the torture of OJ, adding that he felt bad after confirming that what Almamo Manneh told him was not true. Bah stated that since then, any time he thinks of his cruel deeds on OJ, he feels very bad.
He said: “I wanted to go and meet OJ personally and apologize to him, but due to circumstances I could not“.
Captain Bah admitted his involvement in the torture of OJ and apologized to him and his family.
He said: “I am saying sorry to OJ Jallow and to the entire Jallow family. I am sorry to the people of this country.”
Readers would recall that OJ Jallow, a member of the opposition PPP party, has served as Gambia’s Agriculture minister in under the regime of Sir Dawda Jawara, former first president of the Republic of the Gambia and again bounced back as Agriculture minister in January 2017 under the regime of the current president Adama Barrow. He was removed in June 2018.