Malleh Jagne, was at work at the Oceanbay Hotel, where he works as a plumber technician, when some NIA officers led by one Pa Faye, confronted him and told him that he was needed at the State House in Banjul, to collect the body of his murdered brother Njaga Jagne, a former US military Captain, killed during a failed mutiny on December, 30th 2014, in The Gambia, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Mr. Jagne, a resident of Latrikunda Tabokoto, now living in exile in Senegal, was sandwiched into a waiting NIA vehicle, which was parked outside the hotel, now owned by a Romanian investor close to the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh.
Oceanbay Hotel used to be owned by The Gambia Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC). It was later leased out to the Romanian investor, without the knowledge of Gambian Social Security Account owners.
Sitting quietly in the NIA car, while being transported to the capital City Banjul, Mr. Jagne said he was told by NIA officer Pa Faye that the reason why they came for him was to avail him with the opportunity to collect his brother’s body so that Njaga can be accorded a decent burial—as prescribed by the teachings of Islam. Mr. Faye even assured him not to worry about anything because he Malleh has no case to answer as far as the failed coup was concerned.
Malleh Jagne, who lost his wife and newly born child shortly after his month long detention, later found himself at the vicinity of Africa’s worst spy agency, the NIA headquarters in Banjul. He was chained and thrown into a cell while his fate remains hanging on the thin air.
Mr. Jagne couldn’t fathom why Pa Faye lied to him. He quietly protested as to why he was taken to the NIA, instead of the State House, as earlier intimated by Mr. Faye. His captives told him that he was wanted in connection with the failed mutiny, in which his brother’s life was taken by Jammeh’s loyal forces.
Mr. Jagne was escorted from his cell to face a panel of NIA investigators hours after his arrest. He was asked about his affiliation with Njaga Jagne, his sister Sigga Jagne, living in Louwville, Kentucky, and the failed plot to overthrow dictator Jammeh. NIA officer Pa Faye, also asked him about the whereabouts of his brother, who was shot in the stomach during the April, 10th 2000 student riots in The Gambia by Jammeh’s guards.
Pa Faye thought that Njaga Jagne harbored grudges against the state since his brother was shot during the students’ riots. Njaga’s brother now lives in the United States—thanks to the support of Sigga Jagne, who facilitated his treatment program, Malleh tells Freedom Radio.
Mr. Jagne told the NIA that he met his brother Njaga Jagne, during his trip to the Gambia, weeks before the failed attack. Njaga had not visited The Gambia for over twenty years. He was a former US veteran who was deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr. Jagne was sitting home one fine day, when he received a phone call from his brother Njaga Jagne, who asked him to meet him at Westfield. This was in December, of 2014. Malleh showed up at Westfield, where he met Njaga, and exchanged greetings with him. Njaga was driving a truck at the time. Malleh parked his car, and later boarded Njaga’s car. He took Njaga for a ride in Serre-Kunda, and its surrounding areas.
The late Njaga Jagne told Malleh that he was in town to see his in laws. He was newly married at the time. He told Malleh that he wanted to make a surprise visit to their family home in Lamin, and Tabokoto once he got situated.
Malleh took him round the town. They even drove to Lamin, and Malleh pointed their family home to Njaga. Although, the two brothers never made it to their family home during that trip.
Njaga was a stranger in Banjul, Malleh tells Freedom Radio Gambia. He couldn’t identify the streets and his family home in Lamin.
Mr. Malleh Jagne met Njaga for the second time. This was at a restaurant at Senegambia. The two brothers dined together, and later dispersed. Malleh never knew where Njaga stayed all this time. He also never knew that Njaga was part of a plot to topple the regime of Yahya Jammeh. He was talking to Njaga by phone all the time he was in The Gambia.
The news of Njaga’s involvement in the said coup came to his attention when it was announced on state media. He never thought of running. He proceeded to work the next day, where he was met by NIA officers led by Pa Faye. The NIA had earlier contacted one of his brothers, who helped the agency to locate Malleh at his workplace at Oceanbay hotel.
Malleh, who is in his forties, was held for thirty five days by the agency. He was escorted from his cell to the office of the Deputy Director General of the NIA Lees Gomez, who told him that he was cleared from the NIA investigations. Malleh was told he was free to leave.
While home nursing the demise of his brother, and his illegal detention, he received a letter from his employer that his services with the Oceanbay hotel, has been terminated. Malleh is married with two wives, and blessed with nine children.
He crossed the border to resettle in neighboring Senegal, where he lives now without employment. He left his two wives and children behind.
While in Senegal, he received news that one of his wives has died. She was breastfeeding a toddler then. The toddler also died few days after his mama’s demise.
Malleh couldn’t make it to The Gambia to attend his wife and son’s burials. He fears possible persecution from the Jammeh dictatorship.
Malleh Jagne also said he never receive a dime from the diasporan organization—The Gambia Democracy Fund (GDF) throughout his debacle with The Gambian state, and during his stay in Senegal. In fact, Malleh said, he doesn’t know any Gambian organization, which operates with the acronym GDF. He tells Freedom Radio Gambia that it was news to him that GDF has extended financial support to the families and victims of the December, 3oth failed coup.
Malleh extended his sincere gratitude to his sister Sigga Jagne, and family members residing overseas for coming to his aid in times of need. He said his family had stood by him during this trying times.
Mr. Malleh Jagne is hoping to return to his home country, The Gambia, once the opposition alliance leader Adama Barrow wins the elections on December, 1st. He appealed to Gambians to vote massively for Adama Barrow, so that democracy, peace, justice, and national development can be restored back to the impoverished West African nation.
Tune to Freeedom Radio Gambia’s Leral show to listen to the rest of the interview. Stay tuned.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai