By Ousman A. Marong
Edward Singhatey, former Vice Chairman of the defunct Gambia Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPR) has denied involvement in the murder of former Finance Minister, Ousman Koro Ceesay.
Singhatey who was giving his third day testimony before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) on Monday stressed that he was not in Yankunba Touray’s house when Koro was murdered.
“Why was Koro murdered?” Lead Counsel further quizzed?
“It involved monies sent from Libya to the Cassamance rebels. The NIA conducted an investigation in which neither me no Samba Bah, former NIA Director General were informed,” said Edward.
He said if Jammeh needs something from anyone, that person would be the star of the month.
He alleged that they were told by former president Jammeh that the said monies sent were not meant for the government of the Gambia, but was a ‘pass by money’ to be sent to rebels in Cassamance and Guinea Bissau.
The witness said he was on his routine to Independence Stadium to watch a football match where he received a call from Mustapha Wada, former Secretary General who informed him that Ousma Koro Ceesay was killed.
“We attended the burial in Dippa Kunda and the situation was tense, because the place was a stronghold for PPP,” he said.
He said after the burial, an investigation was launched and the report was sent to former President Yahya Jammeh.
He further explained that he had nothing to do with the death of Sadibou Hydara, one of their junta members, adding that he did not go to Mile ll central prison to have him killed.
“People who knew me well could tell you I am better than that,” he said.
He admitted that he engineered Sanna B. Sabally’s arrested.
“Former President Jammeh informed me that Sanna and Sadibou were planning to depose him,” he said.
He added that whenever Jammeh called Sanna B. Sabally to answer his telephone line was always busy communicating to Sadibou Hydara.
According to Edward, Sanna would never answer to former President Jammeh unless he appeared with Sadibou.
“I engineered his arrest and briefed the orderlies and gave them tactics on how to arrest him,” he explained.
Singhatey said they arrested Sanna and found his pistol battle-ready preparing to fight.
He denied Demba Njie’s claims that he (Edward) and Jammeh decided Sanna B. Sabally’s arrest, describing Demba Njie as loose tongued.
“Former President Jammeh made pronouncement over the air that both Sadibou Hydara and Sanna B. Sabally pointed their pistols at him and could not fire and they were arrested. You knew such pronouncement was false. What did you do as defense minister during the time,” quizzed lead Counsel Essa M Faal.
Singhatey also responded with a question: “The head of state will make such declaration and you come rebut that?”
“Yes!” said lead Counsel!
The witness said: “Daga daga taye la xamne dangma bagne,” (Wollof meaning, I truly know today that you hate me).
He said he deeply regret his involvement in the arrest of Sanna B. Sabally, terming their relationship as ranger buddies to each other.
The witness denied taking Sanna B. Sabally to the Mile ll central prison as alleged by other witnesses.
He said they were given information that some people were planning to demonstrate and that they shouldn’t be allowed to do so.
The witness said heand members of the United Democratic Party, UDP were mixed together a lot.
He admitted his involvement in committing violence and apologized to those he had touched and those he might touch as well.
“I am saying I am deeply sorry for the act. This tribal politics started since the former regime of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara,” said Mr. Singhatey.
Singhatey asked for forgiveness from all those he might have offended in one way or the order.
“We have no justification for the dubious acts we were doing. In fact it should have not happened in that way. We were brought up before Uncle Ousainou Darboe. His eldest wife, Mai Ndure is related to my aunt. We shared the same fence and normally at night I use to scale over their fence to beg for food and it was Fanta Darboe and Juguna Darboe who use to spare us food.” he recounted.