Babou Janha, a service soldier of The Gambia National Army

By Adama Makasuba

Babou Janha, a Gambian army officer, had claimed that he and other soldiers were imprisoned by the Jammeh’s regime for nearly a decade “on false charges”.

Testifying before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on Tuesday, Mr Janha who was reinstated into the army under the regime of President Barrow despite being granted parole by Jammeh, alleged that they were jailed on trumped up charges.

“In 2015 I was in the cell and I heard that the president has given a parole to political prisoners and others and we were part of that but they said with condition. They said we should stay away from politics and that if we are found again we will be sent to prison for ten years,” he said.

Mr. Janha, a father of four, said he and former Interior Minister Alieu Bah and others were falsely charged with three counts including concealment of treason and concealment of conspiracy.

“We were charged for concealment each of us was charged with three counts-concealment of treason, concealment conspiracy the other charge I forget it,” he said.

He said there was a lot of phone calls from the officers who were taking them to court and the detention places, adding that during the phone calls he saw the then president of the court martial, Sarjo Fofana, talking to judge to halt the sitting of the court.

He said that after a talk between the president and the judge, they were sentenced to ten years in prison, adding that his family was only allowed to visit him once in a month which he said last for 25 minutes and that a barrier was put between him and his family.

Mr. Janha said: “I was in a one-man cell I personally never enjoy the big cells. We were not allowed to mingle with other prison inmates for four years.”

He told the commission that his imprisonment affected him so much, adding that he had to sell his compound during the court sittings and that his imprisonment also affected his family.

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