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HomeBreaking NewsGAMBIA: OUSAINOU BOJANG HORROR STORY: HANDCUFFED AND BATTERED AT ANTI CRIME UNIT

GAMBIA: OUSAINOU BOJANG HORROR STORY: HANDCUFFED AND BATTERED AT ANTI CRIME UNIT

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Ousainou Bojang, who is accused of the unfortunate deaths of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, gave a powerful statement during his case’s voir dire, detailing the terrifying experience he went through at the hands of the Police Anti Crime Unit (ACU). Bojang described how he was physically abused while having his wrists and legs bound.

Attorney Lamin J. Darboe, who was representing Bojang, started the trial inside a trial by raising questions about the circumstances surrounding the statements that Bojang gave to the police.

Counsel Darboe accused the police of coercion in order to obtain his client’s statements, claiming that medications were used and that he was physically abused.

But Police Detective Ebou Sowe, who was in charge of getting Bojang’s statements, denied these allegations, saying that Bojang was not given drugs or physically abused when he was employed by the Police Anti-Crime Unit from September 13 to September 23, 2023.

In his testimony, Bojang described his incarceration at the ACU and the late-night abuse he suffered at the hands of ACU staff.

“On a Friday, I was hauled back to my cell from the panel. I stayed there till three males showed up late at night. The other two are SI Kebba Jobe and Musa Bah, respectively, and the third is a PIU officer whose name escapes me. They took me out of my cell and into the crime camp when they arrived at my cell. I wasn’t prepared to give them the truth, SI Jobe informed me over the phone. He said that I was the one with the pistol and that I had shot the PIU officers. I informed him that I lacked a gun. I admitted to him that I had never come into contact with a pistol.
He said they would suffocate me to death, God willing. In addition, Musa Bah inquired as to my familiarity with the term “Junglers.” I informed him that I was ignorant about the Junglers and their significance. They were even more dangerous than the Junglers, he warned me. “Today will be your last day if you don’t tell us where you kept the gun,” he said. I informed him that I had never touched or owned a gun. SI Jobe requested that they take off the shackle and use my hands to secure it to the window. With a baton in his hand, SI Jobe made Musa shackle my legs and demanded that I confess. I told him I had nothing to apologise for. He struck me first with the baton. Cutlass was owned by Musa Bah. Ousainou Bojang said the court, “Musa Bah will also hit me with the side of the cutlass when SI Jobe hits me with the baton.”
Ousainou Bojang stated in court that he was struck on his buttock by Musa Bah when asked about the precise location of the cutlass strike. He also told the court that SI Jobe had hit him in the back with a baton, leaving marks on his back. Bojang added that his hands bore marks from the handcuffs.

Counsel LJ Darboe asked Bojang during the hearing if he would be open to showing the marks to the court upon request. Bojang confirmed, saying that if the court gave him permission, he would exhibit the marks.

Honourable Justice Jaiteh stated, however, that the marks would not add much to the evidence because the court was not qualified to ascertain their provenance or age.

“I was taken back to the cell after they had already beaten me.” Ousainou Bojang testified in court, “I came down on three of my pals who were lying down.

“Did you come clean following your ordeal at the hands of SI Jobe and Musa Bah?” Lawyer LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou.

“No, I declined to confess, and I told them to kill me if they so choose. However, I won’t state what I don’t do,” he remarked.

Ousainou Bojang stated that he was taken from his detention and led to a certain office in the Anti-Crime department at a subsequent encounter with the personnel of the Police Anti-Crime Unit.

“Ebou Sowe arrived and opened the cell and took me out on a Wednesday night after I was brought and taken to it. He led me to an office after taking me out of the cell. Ebou Sowe presented me with numerous documents that he had brought with him. After bringing palm stamps, he offered to take my right hand. I extended my right hand to him, and he positioned it on the stamp before moving it to the papers. My thumb was placed on the checkboxes on the sheets by Ebou Sowe, who also took my fingers. Ousainou Bojang said, “He took my fingers one by one and put them on the boxes of the papers.”

On the other hand, Ousainou Bojang informed the court that Detective Ebou Sowe had not explained to him why he was taking his fingers and thumb and printing them on those documents.

“Do you have any other memories of meeting Mr. Sowe?” Lawyer LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou.

“Ebou Sowe took my thumb that same evening and applied it to the stamps and then the papers.” Ousainou Bojang stated, “He took me back to the cell from there.”
Before thumbprinting the documents, did you provide him with any statements? Lawyer LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou once more.
No, before doing that, I didn’t offer him my comments,” Ousainou remarked.

Ousainou Bojang related that Ebou Sowe came and took him out of his cell late on a Thursday night. Bojang added that Sowe took him to an office where a PIU officer and another person were waiting for him. Bojang explained in court that although though he didn’t know the other individual or the PIU Officer at the time, he was confident he would recognise them if he saw them again.

“Was there any activity at that office?” Counsel LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou.

“They led me into an office and told me to take a seat. Ebou Sowe requested that the PIU Officer wait for him outside. When he asked whether I would like coffee, I told him it was okay if I did, but it was also okay if I didn’t. Subsequently, he poured coffee from his own bottle into a cup and handed it to me. As soon as he gave it to me, I began to sip it. I felt drowsy shortly after drinking and had trouble understanding my system. Then I began to feel lightheaded. I fell asleep, and I lost consciousness once more. I saw myself in the cell when I woke up the next day,” Ousainou remarked.

“Did you return to the cell on foot by yourself?” Lawyer LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou.
Ousainou Bojang testified in court, “I can’t even recall the moment I returned from the office to the jail.

Ousainou Bojang refuted Ebou Sowe’s evidence, claiming he was in front of the panel on February 15, 2023, and that’s when he got his remarks.

“Did Mr. Sowe receive a statement from Anti Crime from you? Lawyer LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou once more.

“He didn’t,” Ousainou responded.

“However, you were present in court when Ebou Sowe claimed to have done it. Was he telling the truth or not?” Attorney LJ Darboe enquired.

The court was informed by Ousainou Bojang, “That is not true, it never happened.”

“Did you agree with Ebou Sowe’s statement that he obtained it at the Ant Crime Unit in Banjulinding with the presence of Alieu Cham, an Independent Witness?” Attorney LJ Darboe enquired.

Once more, Ousainou refuted the claim.

Ousainou testified in court, “That day, a CID Officer by the name of Jamanka took me to sit before a Panel and removed me from the cell.”

“Remember how long you were in front of that panel?” Lawyer LJ Darboe questioned Ousainou.

Ousainou Bojang testified in court, “It has taken a while because I was there until lunchtime, and then we took our lunch, and then I was taken back to the cell.”

Counsel LJ Darboe remarked, “So you were never before PW1, Mr. Sowe, and PW2, Alieu Cham, the witness in giving statements.”

Ousainou testified in court, “That never happened because I did not even see them.”

Ousainou Bojang informed the court that he had only ever met Alieu Cham, the aforementioned independent witness, at the airport Police Station.

“What transpired at the airport that day?” inquired Counsel LJ Darboe.

Ousainou Bojang testified, “He (Alieu Cham) came there with Ebou Sowe and a driver named Bah.”

In court, Ousainou explained that he was taken out of the cell when Ebou Sowe and Alieu Cham showed up that day. He described how he was taken to the CID Office, which is located in the airport Police Station.

“Ebou Sowe arrived and declared that he was there to get my statement and Alieu Cham’s testimony. He arrived with Alieu Cham because, according to Ousainou Bojang, “they are going to ask me whether I will agree or disagree with the charges levelled against me.”

“Are you able to inform the court which charges you remember having been read to you?” Attorney LJ Darboe enquired.

“Ebou Sowe informed me right away that I was being accused by the law of murder with a gun.” I refuted the accusations and informed him that it was untrue. He also informed me that I was facing terrorist charges. Ousainou stated, “I told him that I did not consent to that.

“Do you remember any other charges?” questioned Attorney LJ Darboe.

“I was also informed by Ebou Sowe that I had shot and hurt someone.” I disagreed with him, I told him. It was then put down on paper, and he requested if I could read it. Yes, I can read it, I informed him.

The first person to read it to me and inquire about my ability to read it on my own was Ebou Sowe. After reading it for myself, I informed him that I disagreed. He had another piece of paper and scribbled something on it. Ousainou Bojang told the court, “I told him that I do not agree to the above charges up to three times.”

The matter was therefore adjourned for further consideration by Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh.

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