Court Martial trial: Witness tells court how he was placed under gunpoint

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By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

At the on-going court marital trial, the fourth prosecutor witness, Corporal Alfred Methodist Kargbo, on Thursday, 25th January, narrated that,Captain Senessie, who is on the run, pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him should he refused to join the operation.

Testifying in court, Corporal Alfred Methodist Kargbo, who is military personnel deployed at 5 Battalion, Wilberforce Barracks,recognised the second accused, RSLAF 18171922, Sergeant Ibrahim Bundu Kamara, as his boss.

He recalled on the 25th November, 2023, that he was on duty in the morning hours together with private Jalloh.

The witness further testified that he then told Jalloh to rest a bit as they will be working also at the gate the following day.

The witness said whilst at the gate,he saw one grey and black vehicle approaching the gate and Sergeant Major Turay, who is the RQMS officer at 5 Battalion, went towards the gate.

He said he then observed the vehicle to know who was inside and at that point, Sergeant Major Turay opened the gate for the vehicle to enter.

Whilst the vehicle was coming, the search-light at the post got directly to the screen of the vehicle and he saw Captain Senessie, the Field Officer, inside the first vehicle.

He added that Sergeant Major Turay followed the two vehicles as they parked near the ammunition store.

Witness Corporal Kargbo said later he saw the second accused, Sergeant Ibrahim coming from the quarter and went to the same ammunition area where the vehicles were parked.

He continued that he then asked Sergeant Ibrahim Kamara alias American about the identity of those people wearing black.

He said Sergeant Ibrahim Kamara went outside the gate without responding to his question.

The witness further testified that out of curiosity, he went down to where the vehicles were parked and asked Sergeant Major Turay again about the said people.

He said then woke up Jalloh and asked him to watch, adding that he was seeing strange things happening and he’s not comfortable.

The witness said he then told Jalloh to wait for him at the gate whilst he went closer to observe to know what was happening.

Corporal Kargbo said he was then asked by Captain Senessie to join them in their operation.

He said was asked by the Captain Seenesie about his phone whilst his right hand was still hidden behind his back, adding that he told the captain that his phone was in his pocket.

He said the captain then took two steps behind and threatened him with his weapon, should he refused to join them to remove the president from his seat, he will be killed.

The witness said he was abused and ordered to follow them to break the ammunition store.

He added that two men with mask also joined Captain Senessie and that they were pointing guns at him and so he had no option, but to follow them to the ammunition dump.

He said when they got to the first guard post leading to the ammunition store, they didn’t see any soldier and when they got to the ammunition store they met private Abigail and Corporal Kamara lying down sleeping. .

He said he was ordered to disarm Abigail because she was a female soldier, while Corporal Kamara was disarmed by those wearing black.

He said the female soldier was shouting for help but there was a bit of distance between them, as they were firing.

He further that he then continued running and went to the house of Sergeant Taylor, and upon arrival, he knocked at the door and a female soldier, Private Gevao came outside and asked him what happened.

He said Captain Senessie told him that they were going to overthrow the government from now to the morning hours.

The witness said he then told  Gevao to call at President Lodge to inform them about what was happening.

He said later went home and in the morning hours he went to their clerk, Mr. Lahai and explained to him what happened.

He said later he went to the Military Police and made statement.

He added that they went at the ammunition store and he discovered that the door was broken and all the support weapons were missing and also a lot of ammunition shells that were fired were on the ground and the ammunition boxes were burnt and there was live bullet also.

He said since that time, he didn’t know the whereabouts of  Captain Senessie as he was deployed at 5 Battalion, Wilberforce before the incident and after the incident he never showed up for work.

He said Sergeant Major Turay was the RQMS for the 5 Battalion and after the incident, he also did not report for duty.

He said on that day he was on duty as guard, but was not issued arms and ammunition.

He ended his testimony that after he escaped, he did not return again to the guard post because he was not having weapon.

He said the second accused was responsible to issue weapon to them when necessary.

The witness was cross examined by Ibrahim Kamara on behalf of the second accused; Sergeant Ibrahim Kamara and Julian Cole cross examined him on behalf of the seventeenth accused, Colonel Charles James Mishkey Yamba.

The Judge Advocate had to adjourn the matter to 31st January 2024 for continuation of cross examination.

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