Human Rights, News

Gambia: Murdered Death Row Inmates Were Suffocated With Plastic Bags

Sergeant Amadou Badjie


Nine death row prisoners who were executed in the Gambia in August 2012 were suffocated with plastic bags before their bodies were dumped in a disused well, a member of former President Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad, The Jungulars, today revealed at the truth commission.

The revelation was made days after two other army officers accused the former ruler of ordering the murder of Journalists Deyda Hydara of The Point Newspaper and about 45 Europe-bound migrants comprising nationals from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo trying to get to Europe.

Amadou Badjie, a former officer in the Presidential Guard said that the patrol team of State House AKA The Jungulars, were used to execute Dawda Bojang, Malang Sonko, Ex-Lieutenant Lamin Jarjou, Ex-SGT Alieu Bah, Ex-SGT Lamin F Jammeh, Tabara Samba, Buba yarboe, Lamin BS Darboe and Gebe Bah on the orders of Mr Jammeh.

The Gambia Government said the prisoners were executed by a firing squad on Sunday 26th August 2012 after they were tried by the Gambian courts of ‘competent jurisdiction’ and have exhausted all their legal rights of appeal as provided by the law.

A statement signed by Dr Njogu Lamin Bah, minister for Presidential Affairs at the time said: “The laws of the Gambia on death penalty are very clear and provides under Section 18(1) of the constitution of the Republic of the Gambia which states that no Person shall be deprived of his or her lives intentionally; except in the execution of a sentence of death imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction in respect of criminal offence for which the penalty is death under the laws of the Gambia as they have effects in accordance with subsection 2 of which he or she has lawfully been convicted in due compliance with the provisions of the law as above.”

The Jungulars were used by Ex-President Jammeh to carry out executions

But Sgt Badjie said none of the prisoners were shot nor did he hear the sound of gunshots from the time the prisoners were picked up at Mile Two Prisons until they were killed.

Narrating how events unfolded, Badjie said  he was summoned to  the base of the Jungulars where he was  informed that Jammeh had ordered the execution of the nine prisoners. He added that later that night, a convoy of the team in facial masks visited the prisons and  picked up the prisoners who have had their hands tied behind their backs.

“We put them in different vehicles and headed to the shooting range in Brikama. One of the inmates was sandwiched in the backseat of the tinted class car I was in with my colleague Omar Jallow,” he recounted.

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“The vehicle was driven by Modou Jarju AKA Rambo and when we got to the traffic light junction near the Yundum Airport, the convoy stopped and one of my seniors Michael Jatta and Sulayman Sambou came to the car with a plastic bag. Michael then told us that he had received ordered for us to kill the prisoners before we get to the  shooting range.

” At this time the hands of the prisoner were tied on his back so I took the plastic bag I was given and put it over his head. I don’t know the name of the prisoner but when I put the bag over his head, he was wriggling and struggling with me and Omar Jallow. Sulayman Sambou then joined in and held him tightly until he took his last breath.

“We then continued driving to the shooting range with the dead prisoner still sandwiched between us. It was sad but we had to keep ourselves composed as we could also have been killed if we had shown any signs of weakness.”

Badjie added that other prisoners were taken to the range where they were also suffocated  to death. He said after the killings, some ministers visited them at the scene to confirm that the killings were actually carried out.

He narrated  that the bodies of the nine prisoners were later transported across the Gambia border in Foni into Cassamance where they were dumped in a disused well.

Tabara Samba is among the executed prisoners

Badjie who is currently detained in connection with the extra judicial killings has also admitted taking part in the arrest and murder of two Gambian born naturalised US citizens, Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, who went missing while on a trip to the Gambia in June 2013. He said the men were accused of plotting to bring mercenaries from Guinea Bissau to topple the Jammeh regime with the help of some Gambian soldiers.

He revealed that the men were first detained at a secret location and later taken to meet Jammeh in Kanilai who ordered for them to mutilated like meat.  He said after the meeting with Jammeh, the men were transported into the bush in Foni were they were beheaded and mutilated before being buried.

Badjie also admitted taking part in the arrest of former Army Colonel Ndure, who was on the run for plotting to overthrow Mr Jammeh. He said Cham was arrested in Farafenni by the Jungulars and taken to an NIA post in Tanji where he was later taken out in the night and summarily executed.

Badjie also admitted taking part in the burial but not the killings of former plainclothes officer  Tumani Jallow and Abdoulie Gaye a civilian. He said the men were killed in a vehicle by members of his team before being buried in a garden belonging to former President Jammeh.

He also admitted taking part in the beatings of Imams Bakawsu Fofana and Baba Leigh in detention and appealed for their forgiveness.

“I know my team was a killer squad for Yahya Jammeh but I couldn’t get out of it. They would have killed me if I had tried to get out.”

By PK Jarju


  1. Mamma Jankey Walley

    At least he has confessed to his involvement in the brutal killing of his fellow citizens, but he is lying when he said he could not get out of it. He had choices to make and he refused to do so. He could have said this was not right and, I would not be part of it, even if his own life would be in danger. In that way he would be regarded a national hero, and will be rewarded in this World and the hereafter. He also could have ran away from the country as countless great men and women had done. He failed to understand that no condition is permanent, except that of the Almighty God. God sanctifies every life that he creates, and anybody who callously takes that life away will end up just like these criminals. I have no sympathy for him and all those who have participated in the killing of our fellow innocent citizens. Life is too precious to be wasted away. My job involves in the preservation of life, and I see every day how we make every effort to make sure people who are sick or injured from accidents are prevented from dying. Every day I see the agonies, pain and desperation in the face of family members who lose loved ones even by natural means, and it always pains me so much if we ever lose the battle despite every effort. And here we have criminals who were trigger-happy just to snuff out life as if that was their right. I can never understand what could be so wrong with them to have committed such horrible crimes. Just my thought.

    • He certainly had a choice, and he chose to commit murder and stay alive in The Gambia. But let’s not act holier than thou. These “ boys” from the village were victims themselves. Don’t get it wrong, I am not justifying what they did. It was wrong and it was EVIL. Now remember this:
      1. They were young.
      2. They were illiterate.
      3. They were poor.
      4. They were gullible.
      5. They were hopeless.
      6. They were helpless.
      7. They were betrayed by their President.
      8. They were betrayed by their Commanders.
      9. They were betrayed by The Army.
      10. They were betrayed by Country.
      There were mitigating circumstances, and we all should bear this in mind as we listen to this horrific story. All we can do now is pray for the victims and pray for this soldiers.

  2. As this countless crime occurred at the direction of yaya jammeh by his hit squad (jungulers) and now some of them are confessing, where is ( babu soli) jammehs defender? A person who legitimize jammehs brutal actions against poor gambian and innocent foreign nationals.

  3. Hence these filthy creatures were having fun killing innocent people, they must also face the same fate their victims encountered.

    I have no mercy for them. They have to reap what they sow.
    It is now evidential that the former president, Yahya Jammeh is complicit in most of these atrocities, horrors that took place in our beloved small country.

    I therefore ask the government of the Gambia to seek an extradition of Yahya Jammeh to face justice.
    These filthy creatures.

    • That is an understatement. Jammeh’s sadistic behavior was well known and documented. The problem was that a section of our society was not willing to accept the truth.
      He employed tribalistic sentiments to hide his crusome acts and apparently a big junk of our people were (are) fallible to this cheat and evil!

  4. Baka Ntaam Ndiaye

    Voila la violence qui aurait lieuen Casamance en cas de prise de pouvoir du mouvement tribal diola du MFDC .
    Donc mandingues wolofs , peuls vous etes avertsi