Imam Baba Leigh has claimed that former president Yahya Jammeh brainwashed the country’s imams after the July 22nd coup.

The outspoken imam told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on Wednesday that Jammeh in his bid to win the support of the Gambian people summoned the country’s leading imams to the State House after the overthrow of Sir Dawda Jawara on July 22, 1994.

Imam Leigh recalled the phrase “rampant corruption” that Jammeh used throughout the meeting when he made reference to the deposed Jawara regime.

“I was familiar with Jammeh and (the) others (coup plotters). And when they took over the country he called the imams to State House and when we arrived he told us that they were dissatisfied with how the country was ruled and used his famous phrase ‘rampant corruption’ to fake the imams.”

The fierce critic of former president Jammeh is among a number of religious leaders persecuted during the 22 year rule of Jammeh.

Imam Leigh at the height of the Jammeh dictatorship used his Fridays sermons to preach against the human rights violations in the country. He was arrested and held incommunicado by the Jammeh regime for several weeks.

He was released after a huge international outcry. He fled to America after his release and returned to the Gambia after Jammeh’s ousting in 2017.

Imam Leigh also gave a testimony on religious persecution during the Jammeh dictatorship.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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