By Ousman A Marong
WO2 Lamin Sillah, a member of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) who doubles as a one-time ‘jungler’ under the AFPRC/APRC government has told the Truth, reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) that he did his ‘jungler’ training in Kanilai, the home village of the former President Yahya Jammeh.
“I did my jungler training in Kanilai with people like Omar Jallow alias ‘Oya’, Dembo Jatta, Ismaila Jammeh, Malick Jatta alias ‘Alfidie’ Kawsu Camara alias ‘Bombardier. I did bodyguard training too and I went to Thieze in Dakar where I did my ‘day-go’ exercise training,” said WO2 Lamin Sillah.
Sillah 50, has mentioned Outsiders, Sweepers, Mobile vehicles, Plainclothes, and Presidential bodyguards, Command vehicle and Principal Presidential vehicle to be those responsible in the protection of former President Jammeh’s Convoy.
“Lamin, please speak so that people could hear you,” Lead Counsel Essa M. Faal told the witness.
“Counsel, it is not easy to sit on this seat that’s why,” replied the witness.
“It would only be hot when you are not speaking up the truth. You can make it easy for yourself too,” Lead Counsel fired back.
The witness said upon completing the ‘jungler’ training he went for a bodyguard and counter-terrorism training that took almost a month.
“Upon completion of our bodyguard and counter-terrorism training, we reported back to the State House. We were given a two (2) day off after we reported back to State House. We were never trained to kill and I have never killed a being in my entire life. Our jungler and counter-terrorism training was centered on how to better manage the VIP and the patrol team,” he remarked.
He told the Commission that Lieutenant OB Baldeh, was the convoy commander at the time of the accident when an Arab man was smashed to death. He further alleged that the late Almamo Manneh had shot a Nigerian taxi driver to death.
“Almamo Manneh’s shooting of the Nigerian man was willful. It was Baboucarr Jatta who later orders the Military Police (MP’s) to go and collect the dead body. Almamo was that fearless soldier and everybody feared him. He was someone who will threaten soldiers at gun-point. He used to threaten soldiers that if anyone tries to arrest him will defecate bullets. He was all the time with his pistol,” said WO2 Lamin Sillah.
The former presidential convoy driver has admitted hitting a Mercedes Benz along the ‘Bertil Harding Highway on their return from Kanilai.
“After hitting him he died instantly inside the vehicle. The sweepers order the convoy to leave the road and he did not. He then passed the military sweepers and that was the time I hit him and he died instantly,” he concluded.
Sittings continue tomorrow.