Bajinka during his good  Yorro says      SOS Sonko named!!
days at the state house!    Bajinka was
part of the operation

Few days ago, the Freedom Newspaper received an email from a Gambian who claimed to be privy of  vital information about the Independent Newspaper arson attack. The writer who requested to be telephoned was later contacted  by our team of editors to explain his side of the story. He however dismissed recent media reports linking fugitive army Major Kalipha Banjinka to the incident. Due to the insecurity in the country, the concerned Gambian then asked to be given time to prepare a piece, which he promises to dispatch the next day. Today, we received the concerned Gambian mail, in which he named the current Chief of Staff Lang Tombong Tamba, Interior Minister Ousman Sonko and Major Ousman Badjie as one of those who dumped one of the injured arsonists Sanna Manjang to Bajinka’s Mile 2 residence. The writer says Major Bajinka was at his residence at a material time and had never participated into the Independent Newspaper arson attack. He then went on to explain that it was Major Bajinka who advised Sanna Manjang not to execute a killing operation given to them by President Jammeh to take the life of prominent politician Hamat Bah. The writer says when Corporal Manjang was asked by Jammeh why he failed to kill Hamat Bah, he responded  by telling him that it was Major Bajinka who restrained him from  carrying out the operation. Bajinka he said, was summoned to the Presidential palace the next morning and fired with immediate effect. He says President Jammeh was very mad upon discovering that Bajinka suppresses the said operation to murder Hamat Bah. In a bid to do justice to the story our editors contacted Alagi Yorro Jallow, former Independent Managing Editor and co proprietor. Mr.Jallow dismisses the writer’s claims and insisted that Major Bajinka was part and parcel of the Independent Newspaper arson attack. Jallow says he gathered sufficient evidence which linked the former Army Major to the incident. Mr.Jallow  who now resides in the US said Bajinka was interviewed by the Gambian police, but to his surprise no action was taken by the then Inspector General of Police Landing 13 Badjie to prosecute the accused persons. Below is the full mail we received from the concerned Gambian together with Mr. Jallow’s  reaction. Please read on…

By A Concerned Gambian

I can tell you that Bajinka was not at the planning when the incident happened. The guy who did it as you may know is CPL  Sanna Manjang( now staff sergeant) and his father and mine are brothers, same father. He is also a relative to Bajinka. It was late night after he and whoever went to burn the independent when I heard a knock on the door. My room is just before Bajinkas own and I woke up. I heard a sound of a car and when I lifted the curtain and looked outside I saw people among them Lang Tombong Tamba, Major. Ousman Badjie and Ousman Sonko who was the Inspector General of police then. I know all of them because I have lived with them in Mile 7 since 1996. I could not go out  because  I heard Bajinka shouting at his wife to go inside. I later heard Bajinka complaining to his wife that Sanna  was  a big fool and he allowed  himself to be used by these people.

What happened was that Sanna must have been sent by those people or something else, but from what I saw and heard that night nothing tells me that Bajinka was part of it. Bajinka just happened  to be a relative of CPL  Manjang and they thought the best place to dump him after using him was  in his relative’s house who they were sure would not dump him like they did. I did not like it myself but it was a stupid mistake he made and should be blamed for it. Bajinka did not know what to do with it because he cannot take him to the hospital (like the report on the website erroneously stated that he was taken to the RVTH.), instead Manjang’s own uncle Staff SGT. Edrisa Sambou who is a Medic in the Army was called to treat him and he continued treating him until he recovered.

I heard all what was said,  but I decided to ask Sanna what cause his burns and he told me that a spider urinated on him. I Knew he was lying but said nothing. I don’t know if you know this, but it is this Sanna who was responsible for Bajinkas removal as State Guard Commander in July 2005. He  was sent on a mission to murder  prominent politician Hamat Bah and Bajinka knew about the operation at the last minute and advise sanna that he should make sure he was not involved. Because he was the head of the team asked by Jilanka (President Jammeh)  to do it and was  told by the Commander of  State Guard not to do it, he decided not to do it. When he was asked why by Jilanka he said Bajinka asked him not to burn the Independent. That very morning, Bajinka was summoned by the big man and ordered out of his state house. He was infact a target after that but he was lucky that he left for  Nigeria about a month later. My  time is up I would get to you later. With more things. about the Ghanaians who were kill. but please  make sure you do it in such a way  that they would not know the source. We  are suffering here. Right now his brother is detained at the mile 2 prisons and we still cannot  see him.

Meanwhile, former Independent Managing Editor Alagi Yorro Jallow has dismissed the writer’s comments. “I did my own investigations and found out that Banjinka and Sanna were all involved in the arson attack. My investigations also reveals that a senior official mentioned Bajinka’s  name as one of those who burnt the Independent. The story was published by the Independent and it was raised at the National Assembly by Hamat Bah and the IGP was asked to investigate the matter. I went to the police, where I met with Bajinka at  the police Head Quarters, where his statement was recorded. The then IGP Landing 13 Badjie refused to take any action. I was also summoned to the Security Council meeting at the state house together with Demba Jawo, Deyda Hydara, Suwaibou Conteh,  with all the Security Chiefs present and the Vice President, but there was  no indication that Bajinka and those mentioned in the arson were innocent. It was never refuted.” Editor Jallow posited.

He adds “I want to put it to the writer that why he never defended Bajinka at that material time and kept quite until  now. Bajinka was part and parcel of the operation. When Sanna was exposed by the Independent, it was the very Bajinka who drove him to the army barracks to hide him. Bajinka was indeed involved into the Independent arson attack.” the award winning journalist maintains.

Mr.Bajinka who is said to be currently residing in Dakar Senegal could not be reached for comments. He is free to tell the Gambian public his side of the story if he deems it imperative.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 (Archive on Monday, June 18, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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