NIA 9 Trial: Witness Said NIA Staff Allowed Access To Detainees

By Halimatou Ceesay

A prosecution witness in the high profile murder trial involving former Gambian spy chiefs Tuesday told the High Court in Banjul that staff at the country’s National Intelligent Agency are allowed access to detainees without authorization.

Late Solo Sandeng

Seedy Saidybah said whenever the need arises, any staff working in the agency can walk into the detention cells and do whatever they want without authorization from their superiors.

Responding to questions from Emmanuel Chime, who is representing the first accused, Yankuba Badjie, who is accused with other of murdering Solo Sandeng in April 2016, Mr Saidybah added that although he designated work place was at the main gate of the agency, he was allowed to check on the conditions of the detainees and also buy food for them.

Justifying why he had access to detainees, he said: “In service if your boss is present, the one next to him does the job and report back to the boss. As the OIC, I have the power to go and check the cell and report back to James Mendy [security chief] and Mbemba Camara [shift leader]. My boss authorized me to check the cell and report to him.”

Saidybah informed the court that as part of `his job, he keeps a record of items belongings to detaines at the agency. He added that Solo Sandeng and his colleagues were taken to the agency’s office in Banjul by one Baba Danso and three unknown officers of the Police Intervention Unit.

He said he didn’t know at the time where the detainees were coming from and he had never bothered to ask. According to him, it was not part of his job to ask where detainees come from and the circumstances of their arrest.

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