EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Former Junta member, Edward Singhateh on his third testimony before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has admitted to taking active role in the arrest and incarceration of Sana Sabally, his predecessor on the vice chairmanship in the 1994 military junta.
Sabally and then Interior Minister Sadibou Hydara, were alleged to have plotted a coup against the junta and they were jailed for nine years during which Hydara died in custody.
The Ex-Defence Minister, who later became vice chairperson of the AFPRC described Sana Sabally as very violent at the time, saying he would have had questions to answer as defence minister if anything happened to Jammeh.
Edward Singhateh dismissed the spiritual claim by Jammeh that Sana froze leading to his arrest when he attempted to shoot him. He confirmed that Sana was actually arrested while heading towards Jammeh’s office.
“When Sadibou Hydara eventually showed up at the state house, he went upstairs but went to Sana Sabally’s office. After few minutes, they came upstairs together then, I had that they were arrested. As soon as they came up to the corridor, we could hear them coming, I came out with my pistol and I told Sana Sabally to halt. He was in front and immediately the orderlies came and tied their hands and put them behind their backs.”
When lead Counsel Essa Faal asked whether he had any knowledge of the alleged torture meted on Sana Sabally and Sadibou Hydara, Singateh responded in the negative.”I don’t know anything about the torture of Sana Sabally. I did not expect him to be tortured. What I did expect was perhaps he will be beaten but not really tortured to that extent. That is inconceivable.”
The former second in command of the military Junta, Sana Sabally had appeared before the Commission on April 24, where he gave his personal account leading to the 22 years of rule under Jammeh.
He, too, admitted to killings, torture, arrests and unlawful detentions during his short time in the military council. He used the opportunity to apologise to all his victims and Gambians for having acted wrongly.