Former President elect Adama Barrow escaped arrest—thanks to the intervention of the former Secretary General and head of the civil service Sulayman Samba and former Interior Minister MA Bah, the Janneh Commission heard yesterday. Appearing before the Janneh Commission, Mr. Samba explained how furious Yahya Jammeh was, when he knew about the presence of a foreign security firm assigned to provide protection for then President elect Barrow. He said both Halifa Sallah and Adama Barrow were supposed to be arrested, but thanks to the intervention of him and MA Bah, the duo were saved from being taken into custody.
“We are successful in stopping the president to arrest and prosecute Halifa Sallah on the basis of alleged giving false information to the government,” Samba testified.
“ And let me, be bold enough to tell you, on the basis of the same arraignment, we were able, me and the former Minister of Interior Bah to prevent the former president from having the opportunity to arrest the president elect then during the time of the transition period. The president elect called me, as Secretary General; that the incoming government brought into this country a foreign security firm without clearance. When they knew that was wrong; the president conceded; the president elect conceded; he called me; requested that they needed a security protection and that they were willing to withdraw the foreign security firm that they brought into this country. I, and the Minister decided that if Yahya Jammeh, who was then so heated because he lost the election; was presented with this opportunity; he would have directed that we arrest president Barrow,” former SG Samba said.
Despite Samba and MA Bah’s attempts to keep Jammeh out of the loop, the former SG said the dictator later confronted them on the matter.
“When he knew about it, he said he should have been arrested; he said why don’t you tell me. I said sir, I thought we could have handle this at our level. We got the Immigration Department escort the following security firm to our borders. The Interior Minister provided security to president elect. There are instances when we can add sanity and rationality in the office of the president during Yahya Jammeh’s government,” Samba added.