Two West African women, one Gambian national, and the other a Senegalese, have said that they witnessed the arrest of the two missing Gambian Americans Alhagie Mamut Ceesay, and Ebou Jobe, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The incident happened on June 22nd 2013, just outside the outskirt of the luxurious Coconut hotel, after the duo had given ride to the two ladies, following a dinner at the “Terroubi Bar and Restaurant.” Mr. Ceesay, a resident of Austin Texas, and Jobe, a New Yorker Gambian resident, were forcefully taken into custody by guards led by one Michael Correa.
Fatou Sarr, is a Gambian. She now lives in Finland. She is married to a Finish national. She tells Freedom Radio Gambia, in an exclusive interview that she met Alhagie Mamut Ceesay, and Ebou Jobe at the “Terroubi Bar and Restaurant”, on the night of their abduction by the Gambian security agents. She was under the company of her Senegalese friend and visitor Jiela Nying. Ms. Nying was six months pregnant at the time.
While at the Bar, Ms. Sarr, said Ceesay and Jobe invited them for a drink. The two Gambian Americans even bought stake (“Africa”) for them. Mr. Ceesay was wearing brown shirt and a jean, while his friend Ebou Jobe, a former Walmart manager, was dressed in a white t shirt that night.
Michael Correa, a former member of dictator Yahya Jammeh’s constituted assassin team, was standing at the Bar while closely watching Ms. Sarr, Ms. Nyng, Mr. Ceesay and Mr. Jobe. Ms. Sarr was even alarmed by Mr. Correa’s suspicious behavior at the Bar. He drew the attention of Ceesay and Jobe about Michael’s suspicious behavior.
Just in time, a Bakau, girl, who goes with the first name Amiecolleh, arrived at the restaurant. She accosted Ms. Sarr’s guest Ms. Nying. She accuses Ms. Nying of blocking her way. She then physically attacked her, leading to an altercation between the two. They were later separated by the restaurant’s patrons. Amiecolleh, threatens to attack Ms. Nying on her way home.
Concerned by Amiecolleh’s threats against Ms. Nying, Fatou Sarr, said Alhagie Mamut Ceesay, then offered to give them a ride home. They later left the Bar, and boarded Alhagie’s rented vehicle. Ebou Jobe was on board the car at the material time.
When Mr. Ceesay drove past the Coconut restaurant, he made a stopover to a nearby gas station to buy gas. Unfortunately, the gas station was closed for business.
Alhagie Mamut Ceesay proceeded with Fatou Sarr, Ms. Nying and Ebou Jobe. They got stopped by soldiers mounting checkpoint few minutes away from the gas station. Masked soldiers emerged from the grassy hideout to join the soldiers on roadblock.
Micheal Correa, who was spotted at the Bar, happens to be the leader commanding the arresting team. Both Mr. Alahgie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe were forcefully arrested, and handcuffed, Fatou Sarr said. They were later escorted into a waiting unnumbered vehicle, and whisked away to an unknown destination.
Fatou Sarr and her pregnant Senegalese friend were later taken into a waiting vehicle, where they were sexually molested. The soldiers forcefully kissed them and threatened to kill them.
“ Michaela Correa, and his colleagues were dead drunk. They asked us if we know the two arrested men: Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe. We lied to them that we do not know them. We told them that we just met at the bar. They would have killed us if we had confirm knowing them. I met Alhagie Mamut Ceesay in 2012, when he visited the Gambia. He told me that he was staying in Brikama at the time. He wanted me to help him to rent a car. I met him during his second trip in 2013 at the “Terroubi Bar and Restaurant.” That night the late Musa Ngum and his son Yusupha Ngum, were performing at the Restaurant. Both him and Ebou Jobe, met Mr. Ngum after he finished performing,” she said.
“Michael Correa, and his colleagues forcefully kissed us. He told his colleagues that he has long been trying to date me, but I refused. My friend Jiela Nying, had no ID at the time. She was virtually unconscious due to the harassment we suffered in the hands of Correa and his men. They later drove us back to where Mr. Ceesay and Jobe, were arrested and asked us if we have money to pay for a taxi, and I responded in the affirmative. Our cell phones were earlier seized, but was later returned to us. Michael Correa warned me not to disclose what we witnessed. He said he is going to kill me if I ever divulge the arrest of Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe. We arrived home at around 5:00 am in the morning,” she said.
Ms. Sarr, narrated her ordeal to her Finish husband. She asked her husband to help document her encounter with Jammeh’s assassin team, which he did. She never reported the matter to the Gambian police, fearing that she would be harmed by Mr. Correa.
Later in the evening of June, 23rd 2013, Ms. Sarr phoned Mr. Ceesay, and was able to reach him on the phone. She was informed by Alhagie Mamut that they were under the custody of the Gambian security agents. That was the last time Ms. Sarr had spoken to Mr. Ceesay. She tried phoning Mr. Ceesay, but his phone was switched off.
Two weeks after the arrest of Mr. Ceesay, and Jobe, her husband informed her that he read the story online about the arrest of Ceesay and Jobe. He was worried about the safety of her wife. He even recommended to Ms. Sarr to leave town, but Ms. Sarr was reluctant to leave at the time. She had a son and she thought that it doesn’t make sense to leave her child behind. She later traveled to Nigeria, to secure a visa for her son. Both Ms. Sarr, and her son now lived in Finland.
It was this past week, she decided to go public with the arrest of Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe. She had earlier discussed the matter with Mr. Ceesay mum, and wife. She also informed Mr. Jobe’s wife about what she knew about the abduction of the two Americans.
Ms. Sarr’s husband told Freedom Radio Gambia that he was in touch with the FBI, through the Finish police. He informed the Finish authorities what he knew about the disappearance of Ceesay and Jobe. But he is disappointed that neither the FBI, nor the Gambian police, have arrested Michael Correa and those linked to the arrest of Ceesay and Jobe.
Also speaking to Freedom Radio Gambia, was Jiela Nying, a Senegalese national. Ms. Nying said she also witnessed the arrest of Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe. She was a first-time visitor to the Gambia, when the incident happened.
“I was saddened to see Alhagie Mamut Ceesay, and Ebou Jobe being manhandled by Michael Corra and others. They were placed in chains and forced to board a waiting unnumbered vehicle. Both Fatou Sarr, and myself, were harassed and subjected degrading treatment. I was six months pregnant at the time. I was somehow nervous, and confused. The soldiers forcefully kissed us. They were drunk. They told us that they will not allow anyone to destroy the country. This was the time, when Alhagie and Ebou were being taken into custody,” she said.
Ms. Nying, later returned to Senegal and told her mom to continue praying for her. She told her mom that she was glad to return home safely, but she would not elaborate further as to what happened during her trip to the Gambia.
She discussed her story with one of her sisters. She told her that she narrowly escaped death, as Gambian soldiers wanted to kill her. She said the two Gambians she was travelling with Mr. Ceesay and Jobe never made it home. They were taken into custody and had since been declared missing.
“Alhagie and Ebou are nice gentlemen. They were trying to give us ride and got arrested in the process. They have since not been seen by their families. I stopped visiting the Gambia since that incident,” she said.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai