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 Janneh Commission of inquiry on Y. Jammeh's assets

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 17 Aug 2017 : 10:38:57
Accountant General, bank managers appear before commission on Jammeh’s assets

By Dawda Faye


The Point: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/accountant-general-bank-managers-appear-before-commission-on-jammehs-assets


The Gambia’s Accountant General Momodou Lamin Bah has appeared before the commission of inquiry into the assets and financial transactions of former President Yahya Jammeh, to explain his links to tax recovery accounts with some commercial banks in the country.


Mr Bah, who served as accountant general in March 2014, was summoned in relation to tax recovery accounts at Trust Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank, according to lead counsel in the commission Amie Bensouda.

Testifying on 14 August 2017, Mr Bah said he was not aware of the said accounts, but revealed that “the accounts are in the commercial banks”.

He further posited that his office obtained information from Trust Bank but Guaranty Trust Bank was “not cooperative”, as GTBank “did not share any information” with his office.

Mr Bah, who also said he is a finance expert, told the commission that by law, no government account should be opened without the knowledge of the Accountant General.

Having worked as a consultant at the Ministry of Finance, as he adduced, Mr Bah further stated that government accounts should be domiciled at the Central Bank. No government account should be opened without the approval of the Ministry of Finance on the recommendation of the Accountant General, he added.

At this juncture, the lead counsel informed Mr Bah, who said he lives in Brusubi, that the commission would issue him with a subpoena to come back and continue his testimony.

In his testimony, GTBank’s Managing Director Bolaji Ayodele, who has before this day appeared and testified at the commission, said he had dalasi and dollar transfers of Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Company Ltd he was asked to bring along.

The lead counsel then applied to tender the documents, which the commission accepted, and the said withdrawal documents were tendered and admitted.

Mr Ayodele stated that there were 43 withdrawals from the dalasi account from 2 November 2015 to 9 December 2016.

He said the foreign currency transfers were not in order, adding that the CFA transfers from dalasi was equivalent to D212,864,967.

He posited that $64,800, which was equivalent to D4,566,049.08, was transferred, adding that 19,863.25 Euros, which was equivalent to D1,067, 716.02, was also transferred.

He adduced further that foreign transfers out of the bank were as follows: on 19 July 2016, $8,230, on 29 July 2016, $60,000 from Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Company Ltd to Gamcel, on 4 August 2016, $6,000 was withdrawn by Toni Ghattas, 10 August 2016, £33,000 was transferred; on 19 August 2016, $30,000 was also withdrawn, on 29 August 2016, $40,230 was withdrawn by Toni Ghattas, on 19 September 2016, there was a purchase of $20,000, on 11 March 2016, the equivalent to CFA transfer was D122,315,000 to Senegal, on 17 March 2016, CFA63,465,480 was also transferred to Senegal, on 4 March 2016, CFA 42,048,895 was transferred to Senegal, on 21 February 2017, $142,800 was converted.

Mr Ayodele further stated that an amount of $31,250, which was equivalent to D1,339,062.50, was transferred to Ecobank The Gambia and that $1,800, which was equivalent to D77,670, was also transferred to the same bank.

He said there was a withdrawal of D600,000 on 22 October 2015, from Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Company Ltd to Kanilai Family Farm.

He posited that on 12 January 2016, one Alpha Jallow withdrew D5,000,000, adding that his ID card was attached but the purpose for the withdrawal was not indicated.

At this juncture, the shipment bank statement of the said company was tendered and admitted by the commission.

Next to testify was Ebrima Salla, the managing director of Trust Bank.

He said he was appointed as MD on 1 July 2016, but prior to that, he was the head of Corporate Department at the bank, adding that he was the relationship manager for 9 years.

He told the commission that he had documents with different signitories.

He posited that tax recovery accounts were opened on 1 September 2013, and that Momodou Sabally, the former Secretary General and Head of Civil Service, and Nuha Touray, Secretary to Cabinet, were signitores to the said accounts.

A letter from the Ministry of Finance dated 21 August 2013, was tendered and admitted.

Mr Salla said there was a letter signed by Nuha Touray on behalf of Momodou Sabally.

Change of signitory documents and related papers in respect of account number 100-128385-01 Trust Bank was tendered and admitted in a bundle.

He further posited that D33,822,753.88 came into the said account, and that D29,225,793.77 went out of the account, adding that D4,596,960.11 was the balance of the account.

He said that a cheque for D200,000 was paid to Gai Enterprise and signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray, adding that another cheque for D1,947,346 was on 7 October 2016, issued to Sheriff Sawaneh, a customer of the bank.

Mr Salla adduced that there was an authority signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray for the payment of D1,396,740 to Ansumana Tamba.

Mr Salla was asked by one of the commissioners whether he wondered why the tax recovery account was opened by the office of the former president and not by the Ministry of Finance.

In response, he said it raised suspicion.

Sittings continue today.


Picture: Trust Bank MD Ebrima Salla and GTBank Bolaji Ayodele
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Momodou Posted - 21 Sep 2018 : 19:41:11
‘Sometimes there was no money to pay auditors’

The Point: Friday, September 21, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/sometimes-there-was-no-money-to-pay-auditors

Bai Matarr Drammeh, a businessman, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission and stated that the Jammeh Foundation for Peace sometimes had no money to pay auditors. He was summoned in relation to the said foundation. He told the commission that he was a board member in 2005 at the foundation, and also deputy chairman of the fundraising committee.
He testified that he was invited as a board member, noting that the foundation was a charitable organisation and that he did not see the constitution of the foundation. He said that the foundation was an NGO, adding that he did not request for the copy of the constitution neither was it given to him.
Mr Drammeh disclosed that permanent secretaries, Ardy Sarge, Badara Mbaye, Marie Saine-Firdaus and Mama Singhateh were members of the board, further indicating that Sulayman Badjie was acting as CEO.
He confirmed that he became a signatory to the dalasi account of the foundation, and that he was never presented with a dollar request. At this juncture, he was given some documents to confirm his signature.
He then went through them and confirmed his signature, revealing that he was not aware that the former president was a signatory to the account. He told the commission that the function of the foundation was to raise funds, which were handed over to the foundation, stating that the CEO would bring reports to their meeting.
Mr Drammeh narrated that the foundation was audited every year, indicating that Alieu Ceesay audited the foundation not very long. He disclosed that he heard about the grants given to the Jammeh Foundation from the Taiwanese government , adding that what he knew was limited in relation to the funds from the Taiwanese government.
He testified that they were given school books worth of $75,000 and Father Gough also gave the foundation $5,000, further saying that they were not informed that grants were coming to the foundation.
It was put to him that he should have gone through the audit at the time, and in response, he said they were limited to some activities happening at the foundation. He told the commission that certainly monies were coming in dollars but they were not involved.
At this juncture, his statement was given to him to identify, and he confirmed endorsing it, narrating that PEGEP was a separate organisation dealing with girls’ education. He informed the commission that Dominic Jammeh became CEO of PEGEP, stating that monies would come to PEGEP for the Jammeh Foundation but Dominic Jammeh would tell him that they spent the money, and promised to refund it.
He testified that when they received cheques, they would go directly to the former president. It was put to him that over $10,000,000 was paid into the foundation. In response, he said they only knew the funds they raised but they never knew anything about the said money.
Documents relating to his statement and the foundation were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Next to testify was Ms. Nancy Seedy Njie, a business woman, doing catering services. She was summoned in connection to the same subject matter. She told the commission that she was the minister of Tourism from 2008 t0 2010, further stating that she was the CEO of the foundation from 2010 to 2013.
She adduced that she was sacked as minister in 2010, and her responsibility at the foundation was to manage the staff and to report to the board. She told the commission that the former president was the patron of the foundation and the former first lady was the president.
She indicated that she saw the constitution and read it, noting that the foundation was set up by the former president to help the needy and empower girls. She testified further that they sought the advice of the board before doing anything, stating that Ardy Sarge was the chairman of the board, and they did not have a budget.
Ms. Njie adduced that she did not know that the foundation was receiving monies from the Taiwanese government, indicating that she never dealt with any dollar account. At this juncture, she was shown letters dated 4th July, 2010, and 4th April, 2011, indicating transfers of monies to the Trust Bank account of the foundation which was believed she signed, and confirmed signing them.
At this juncture, she was shown a statement of dollar account to the tune of $5,000 which she signed. She stated that the said amount was donated by Father Gough.
It was put to her that $2,000,000, $500,000 and $500,000 were donated by Euro Africa Group. In response, she told the commission that they never received any statement from Trust Bank indicating that they had a dollar account.
She revealed that she was only aware of the dollar account of Father Gough, adding that she was not aware that the former president was a signatory to the foundation’s account. She said that the Taiwanese embassy did not find out monies they put into the dollar account of the foundation.
At this juncture, dollar account statement of the foundation and other documents were tendered and admitted as exhibit.
She testified that she had nothing to do with the presidential treatment programme neither did she have anything to do with PEGEP.
Hearing continues on Monday.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 19 Sep 2018 : 14:49:56
Ex-Local Gov’t minister admits 28 lands allocation to Jammeh not proper


The Point: Wednesday, September 19, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/ex-local-govt-minister-admits-28-lands-allocation-to-jammeh-not-proper

The former minister of Local Government and Lands, Ismaila Sambou, yesterday stated before the Janneh Commission that it was not proper to allocate 28 lands to the former president, Yahya Jammeh. He was summoned along with Momodou M.K. Colley, who is also a former Local Government and Lands minister, in connection to the leasing of lands allocated to the former president.


Testifying before the commission, Ismaila Sambou stated that he was minister from 2005 to 2010, noting that he served the previous government as ambassador. He went on to say that he worked in the First Republic for twenty-five years, stating that he also worked at the cooperative union and for the International Labour Organisation {ILO}.

Mr. Sambou disclosed that he joined the central government during former President Jammeh’s time. At this juncture, he was given a letter which indicated that he was being appointed as a minister.

He adduced that after five years as minister, he was terminated and was appointed as an ambassador, adding that his last appointment was as an ambassador.

Counsel Bensouda reminded him that he was summoned in connection to the period he served as minister of Local Government and Lands, and that he approved 28 properties which were allocated to the former president.

In response, he stated that he did not allocate lands but approved the allocation of lands. He was asked whether he was aware of the power given to him by the law to approve the allocation of lands, and he answered in the positive.

Further testifying, he told the commission that he would approve for the allocation of lands if allocators recommended it, noting that he never allocated more than one land to anybody for any reasons.

Counsel Bensouda told him that there was an allocation of land at Fajara Water tank. He was then given some files to identify but after perusing them, he said he could not remember them.

He was again given other files to identify and was told that there were no applications from the Kanilai Family Farms or the former president to allocate the lands. In response, he told the commission that it was the board which was responsible for the scrutinizing of the allocation of lands, but not him.

Counsel Bensouda put it to him that a layout at Cape Point was created. He stated that one of the properties was allocated to his wife, Lamarana Bah. He was told that the layout was to be an open space, but he said he did not know that other people were allocated lands at the layout.

At this juncture, other files were given to him which he perused, and said that this was the first time to see the files. However, he confirmed submitting some files to the investigators.

Counsel Bensouda subsequently tendered the documents and were admitted in evidence.

Earlier, Momodu Colley told the commission that he is a retired civil servant as director of physical planning but he once served as minister of Lands and Regional Government in 2014.

He adduced that he served for 5 years as director of physical planning but served for 33 years at the ministry of physical planning, noting that he is a construction engineer.

He was told that he was summoned in connection to leases he approved, and was put to him that he issued four leases to Kanilai Family Farms. He was also told that all the leases are within the Kanifing Municipal Area.

It was put to him that the lease of land at Kotu comprised 30.6 hectares, and that the commission wanted to know why it was issued. On the Kotu Point lease, he was told that it comprised 2.9 hectares and that there was nothing in the file to show why the land was leased.

He was also informed about the other lease at Kotu Quarry which comprised 19.7 hectares for Kanilai Family Farms. Mr. Colley was also told that there was another lease at Old Jeshwang which comprised 3.69 hectares and it is partly a wetland.

In response, he disclosed that he was fully aware of the four files when they were brought to his office for approval, noting that he objected upon verifying the files. He stated further that he instructed his permanent secretary for the leasing of the lands to go through the right procedures.

Counsel Bensouda put it to him that there was no minute in the files, and he said that it was the negligence of the staff under him. He testified further that he showed his dissatisfaction in the way things were going; adding that he and the former president challenged each other and this was why he was relieved of his position.

At this juncture, he was given his statement to endorse his signature, which he did. Documents relating to the leases issued to the former president were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Counsel Bensouda asked him why the former president would want to acquire these leases. In response, he told the commission that the situation in the country at the time was not normal. He further testified that the former president’s action and rule of law has changed Gambians.

Mr. Junkung Bayo, former general manager of the Central Bank, dwelled on the $35,000,000 loan given by the Taiwanese government to the AFPRC government.

The commission continues sitting today.

Author: Dawda Faye




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03XStOS5ZJI

Related Topic: Former Lands Minister denies land birthday gift to Jammeh



Momodou Posted - 13 Sep 2018 : 14:11:42
Ex-attorney general goes through vigorous questioning

The Point: Thursday, September 13, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/ex-attorney-general-goes-through-vigorous-questioning-1

Former attorney general and minister of Justice, Edward Gomez, yesterday went through vigorous questioning before the Janneh Commission, posed by Counsel Bensouda in connection to the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel.


Mr Gomez told the Commission that he has been a legal practitioner for 38 years. At this juncture, he was shown a document believed to have been endorsed by him. Another document was also shown to him, which was endorsed by him as well.

Having gone through the documents, he told the commission that he had seen the said documents and the endorsement. He confirmed that he endorsed the documents. He adduced further that he was only presented the documents to endorse them, and he could not tell the commission who gave him the documents to endorse them.

He said from 2010 to 2012 he was the attorney general and minister of Justice, noting that the documents were presented to him by someone from the State House, and that they needed them urgently.

Mr. Gomez testified further that he did not have any relationship with the former president, stating that he was not acting as a lawyer for the former president. He disclosed that circumstances dictated him to do what he had done.

According to him, nobody instructed him to sign the documents, further indicating that he does not know Catherine Tamba. He disclosed that he made a deed of gift for the former president, and that the former president needed the property at Sukuta.

Still testifying, he informed the commission that his understanding was that the former president was going to establish an estate but sold the property to an estate company. He revealed that he did not receive a single butut for signing the documents, stating further that he had no connection to Kairaba Beach Hotel neither did he meet the parties.

Mr. Gomez posited that he did not know why he was selected to sign the documents, indicating that the signing of the documents was not proper because it implied that it was endorsed purportedly by him as the legal counsel.

He said that he never saw again those who asked him to endorse the said documents.

Isaac Mendy of GAMTEL was next to testify on the Gateway management. He was given a document to explain its contents. He told the commission that the document was a plan, and it was a transfer of capacity.

Modou Nying, also a GAMTEL member of staff, dwelled on the said document and indicated that MGI had a presence and that they brought documents for them to sign. He disclosed that they had worked with all the gateway managers and there was no restriction.

At this juncture, MGI’s log book and other documents were tendered by Counsel Bensouda and were admitted in evidence.

Mr. Nying finally told the commission that he was aware of BPI, and that MGI installed the tele-switch at Abuko.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye

Momodou Posted - 12 Sep 2018 : 13:51:40
Bungalow Beach Hotel proprietor faces Janneh Commission


The Point: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/bungalow-beach-hotel-proprietor-faces-janneh-commission

Mr. Ardy Sarge , a hotelier and the proprietor of Bungalow Beach and Sarge’s Hotels, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to the Jammeh Foundation for Peace.


He said the foundation was a charitable foundation, noting that he never read the constitution of the foundation. He testified that in 2002 he became involved in the foundation but did not have any documents relating to the foundation.

He told the commission that he was co-opted by the former vice president, Isatou Njie-Saidy as member of the technical team, noting that he was appointed as chairman for the fund raising committee. Mr Sarge further testified that he was called in to serve as a board member.

He further adduced that he was a signatory to Guaranty Trust Bank, Trust Bank, Skye Bank and Zenith Bank accounts of the foundation.

According to him, the purpose of the foundation was to pay school fees for students, raise funds and to help the needy, stating that the foundation was incorporated and registered. He went on to say that the then fund raising chairman explained the constitution to him.

He stated that he did not know the legal implication attached to being a member of the foundation, indicating further that in 2005 he became a board member.

He recalled that the former president was not a signatory to the accounts of the foundation, adding that he counter signed cheques.

He informed the commission that the source of funds were from gala dinner and from philanthropists like Father Gough , revealing that there were audited accounts and for some years the accounts were not audited .

He said Baboucarr Cham was one of the auditors, and that they used to have meetings every other month at the former vice president’s office. He stated that he could not remember whether they had a budget, adding that they never received accounts from the management.

He testified further that he was not aware of Taiwanese funds coming into the accounts, noting that it was only Father Gough’s donations he could remember.

He posited that bank statements were requested by the CEO to reconcile with her accountant.

At this juncture, he was shown some accounts to go through, and confirmed that he was a signatory to the Trust Bank account, further revealing that his signature was replaced with Ansumana Jammeh’s signature.

Mr. Sarge posited that he was not aware that there was a payment of $2,000,000 into the account, adding that he did not know Euro Africa Group but heard about it. He further testified that he was not either aware that Euro Africa Group paid US$ 1,000,000, US$100,000 as well as other payments the company had made. It was put to him that US$ 200,000 was withdrawn from the account by the former president, a letter of credit to the tune of over US$800,000 and that US$,100,000 was also withdrawn by the former president. It was further put to him that US$166,000, US$250,000, US$448,000, D20, 000,000 and D15, 000,000 were transferred to the account of the former president from the foundation’s account.

In response, he said he was not aware of all these withdrawals. Again, it was put to him that being the director of the board, he was responsible for the transaction of the foundation but he said he was only approving payments but he never signed for the withdrawals.

He narrated that he could not remember signing a cheque in 2002 and that the former vice president insisted that there should be a management report. He noted that he was not active for the past years, and that he could remember Nancy Njie and Ansuman Jammeh as the CEOs of the foundation.

At this juncture, a letter dated 5th January, 2012, was shown to him, indicating the transfers of US$150,000 and US$4000 respectively. In response, he said this was the first time to see the letter.

Next to testify was Abdoulie Cham, former finance director at the Central Bank. He was summoned in connection to ” Daily Observer” in respect of money transferred to Kenneth Best from the CBG. He said he made a statement to that effect.

Counsel Bensouda reminded him that a sum of US$268,000 transfer was made for the acquisition of “Daily Observe”. In response, he told the commission that Amadou Samba brought the details of Mr Best, such as bank statement and invoices, but he did not see the late Baba Jobe.

At this juncture, his statement was tendered and admitted as exhibit.

He finally testified that he did not see any written instruction to transfer the said money to Mr Best.

Sulayman Suso, the managing director of GAMTEL, was the next witness to testify in connection to the contract between GAMTEL and the National Assembly for the installation of telecommunication system.

He said during the construction of the Assembly, there was a multi-sectoral meeting to look at the infrastructural project for the Assembly in terms of ITC and telecommunication. He further stated that GAMTEL was invited and he attended the meeting but did not chair it, noting that the ministries of Communication and Works were represented at the meeting.

He told the commission that the ITC facility was not sufficient for the Assembly and there was no mention of any specific supply, further revealing that there was a second meeting and that he stopped attending meeting.

Mr. Suso adduced that generally different technologies were looked at, and minutes were generated by the GAMTEL team but it was not circulated, stating that CISCO is a vendor that manufactures equipment and that GAMTEL and CISCO vendor were training engineers.

He said that he did not agree that GAMTEL was not competent to manage the CISCO system.

Under cross-examination by Lawyer Malick Mba’I, who was representing Mobicel Group, it was put to Mr. Suso that there was no decision made to deploy the unified communication system. In response, he said GAMTEL deployed the system before the one at the Assembly, adding that he did not know the person managing the system.

The commission resumes today.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 11 Sep 2018 : 14:59:03
Jammeh influenced the leasing of Sun Beach Hotel Lawyer Batchilly Reveals

The point: Tuesday, September 11, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/jammeh-influenced-the-leasing-of-sun-beach-hotel-lawyer-batchilly-reveals

Lawyer Musa Batchilly, yesterday challenged Mr. Edward Graham, former managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, before the Janneh Commission that the former president, Yahya Jammeh, influenced the leasing of Sun Beach Hotel. And in response, Mr. Graham confirmed it.


Mr. Graham reappeared in connection to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels to BP Investment Group.

He told the commission that it was correct that there was a letter from Cordial dated the 13th of August, 2013; adding that SSHFC’s desire was to get someone who would refurbish the hotel, especially the leaking roof.

After confirming the said letter, he testified that a new client had nothing to do with what happened 10 years ago, noting that initially, the sum for the investment was D300,000,000 and eventually it was D400,000,000.

At this juncture, he was given a document to go through, which he did, and said that he had seen it before. He added that apart from BPI, there was another company that offered to lease Ocean Bay Hotel to the tune of D2, 000,000 per annum but that offer was rejected.

According to him, they negotiated with BPI when they made some proposals to pay for the leasing of Ocean Bay Hotel. Again, another document was given to him to identify, which he did and stated that it was a directive from the office of the former president to deal with BPI.

He said the first 5 years; BPI offered €1000 as well as for the 2nd 5 years. He confirmed that BPI was to deduct €6000, noting that according to the executive directives, the hotel would be leased to BPI.

At this juncture, Counsel Musa Batchilly put it to him that Ocean Bay Hotel was purchased to the tune of D45, 000,000, which was confirmed by the witness. However, Lawyer Batchilly said it was not a good deal but Mr. Graham challenged that it was indeed a good return.

Counsel Batchilly further put it to him that the sum of $6,500,000 was spent on Ocean Bay Hotel for renovation, and that the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels was inspired by the former president through a directive. In response, Mr. Graham said it was not to his knowledge.

Counsel Batchilly then put it to him that they could have got a better offer to lease Ocean Bay Hotel, and the witness agreed.

At this juncture, SSHFC board resolution was tendered and admitted as exhibit. The witness further confirmed that the board resolution came after the directive.

Lawyer Batchilly also told the witness that after the board meeting, SSHFC wrote to the office of the former president to lease Ocean Bay Hotel and later got an approval from the said office.

According to Batchilly, after the approval, there was an agreement between SSHFC and BPI to lease Ocean Bay Hotel. Further putting it to the witness, he said BPI did not seek approval of SSHFC to renovate Ocean Bay Hotel, which was confirmed by the witness.

Putting it to the witness, Counsel Batchilly said BPI failed to present receipts, invoices and bill of quantities to show their expenses on the renovation of Ocean Bay Hotel.

At this juncture, a correspondence written by BPI was tendered and admitted in evidence. Mr. Batchilly told the witness that in 2011, and 2012, there was an executive directive to purchase Sun Beach Hotel to the tune of $5,900,000.

Again, a letter from the office of the former president authorising the sale of Sun Beach Hotel was tendered and admitted as exhibit.

At this point, Counsel Batchilly put it to the witness that the former president influenced the leasing of Sun Beach Hotel to BPI, which was confirmed by Mr. Graham.

The witness disclosed to the commission that the investment on Ocean Bay Hotel was not bad, but it was the operation where tax payers’ money was not put in good use.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye



‘Investment in Ocean Bay Hotel Was Not Bad’ Edward Graham

Foroyaa: September 11, 2018

By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/investment-in-ocean-bay-hotel-was-not-bad-edward-graham/

Contrary to what was said by the current Managing Director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation Muhammed Manjang, that investment on Ocean Bay hotel was detrimental, his predecessor Edward Graham, yesterday September 10th, told the ‘Janneh’ Commission, investment on the said Hotel was not bad; that rather it was the operation, where tax payers’ money was not put in good use. Graham reappeared in connection to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels, to BP Investment Group. He told the Commission that it was correct that there was a letter from Cordial dated the 13th of August, 2013; that SSHFC’s desire was to get someone who would refurbish the hotel, especially the leaking roof.

After confirming the said letter, he testified that a new client had nothing to do with what happened ten years ago, noting that initially, the sum for the investment was D300,000,000, and eventually rose to D400,000,000.

At this juncture, he was given a document to go through, which he did, and confirmed that he had seen it before; that apart from BPI, there was another Company that offered to lease Ocean Bay Hotel to the tune of D2, 000,000 per annum, but that the offer was rejected.

According to him, they negotiated with BPI when they made some proposals to pay for the leasing of the said Hotel. Another document was given to him to identify, which he did and stated that it was a directive from the Office of the former President, to deal with BPI; that during the first five years, BPI offered €1,000 and continued for the second five years as well as. Graham confirmed that BPI was to deduct €6,000, noting that according to Executive Directives, the hotel would be leased to BPI.

At this juncture, Counsel Musa Batchilly put it to him that Ocean Bay Hotel was purchased to the tune of D45, 000,000, which was confirmed by the witness. However, Lawyer Batchilly said it was not a good deal but Graham challenged that it was indeed, a good return on investment.

Counsel Batchilly further put it to him that the sum of $6,500,000 was spent on Ocean Bay Hotel for renovation; that the leasing of the two Hotels was inspired by the former president through a directive. In response, Graham said this was not to his knowledge. Counsel Batchilly then put it to him that they could have got a better offer to lease Ocean Bay Hotel, and the witness agreed.

At this juncture, SSHFC board resolution was tendered and admitted as exhibit. The witness further confirmed that the board resolution came after the presidential directive.

Lawyer Batchilly also told the witness that after the board meeting, SSHFC wrote to the office of the former president to lease Ocean Bay Hotel, and later got an approval from the said office.

According to Batchilly, after the approval, there was an agreement between SSHFC and BPI, to lease Ocean Bay Hotel. Further putting it to the witness, he said BPI did not seek approval of SSHFC to renovate Ocean Bay Hotel, which was confirmed by the witness.

Further putting it to the witness, Counsel Batchilly said BPI failed to present receipts, invoices and bill of quantities, to show their expenses on the renovation of Ocean Bay Hotel.

At this juncture, a correspondence written by BPI was tendered and admitted as exhibit. Counsel Batchilly told the witness that in 2011 and 2012, there was an Executive Directive to purchase Sun Beach Hotel for $5,900,000. Again, a letter from the office of the former president authorizing the sale of Sun Beach Hotel was tendered and admitted as exhibit.

At this point, Counsel Batchilly put it to the witness that the former president influenced the leasing of Sun Beach Hotel to BPI, which was confirmed by Graham.

The witness disclosed to the Commission that the investment on Ocean Bay Hotel was not bad, but it was the mode of operation where tax payers’ money was not put in good use.

Sittings continue today.
Momodou Posted - 09 Sep 2018 : 22:15:48
Ex-Gam Petroleum finance director refuses to discuss reasons of termination

The Point: Friday, September 07, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/ex-gam-petroleum-finance-director-refuses-to-discuss-reasons-of-termination

Alagie Jabang, former finance director at Gam Petroleum, yesterday stated before the Janneh Commission that he would not discuss the reasons of his termination as finance director of the said company because it was not the right forum.

He reappeared for continuation of cross-examination by Messer Bazzi and Mazegi’s attorney, Victoria Andrews.

Ms. Andrews reminded him about the account for reconciliation which he carried out with Euro Africa Group. She told him that the reconciliation followed the meeting held between Gam Petroleum and Euro Africa Group, and he denied it.

He said it was done during the audit; adding that he attended a meeting with Mr. Bazzi and Saihou Drammeh but could not remember vividly what happened during the meeting, noting that Mr. Bazzi wanted them to strike a deal and he told him to correct their records, such as the exchange rate. However, he testified that Mr. Mazegi threatened to institute a legal action against the company which he said would incur more than what they were claiming.

The former finance director adduced that he could recollect that a document was signed by Messer Mazegi and Drammeh.

At this juncture, he was given the document which was later given back to Counsel Andrews who read the contents to the witness. She put it to him that a sum of $47,000 was supposed to be waived by Eagle Company.

Again, Ms. Andrews gave him the said document to identify the signature on it. In response, he said the signature looked like Saihou Drammeh’s.

On the signatories of Gam Petroleum account, he told the commission that they were Mr. Michael Gladie, former general manager, himself and Mr. Momodou Badjie, former managing director of Gambia National Petroleum Corporation.

He revealed that when Michael left, he and Saihou Drammeh became signatories to the account and that the former GM together with one Simon Paul signed the cheque issued to APRC.

It was put to him by Counsel Andrews that they made a payment of D2.7 million but he said from the D5,000,000, they made a payment of D3.7 million to APRC, noting that the payment to the former ruling party was from the 2016-2017 budget. He said prior to that, there was a board meeting but he was not privy to know what led to the dismissal of the general manager.

It was again put to him that the minutes of meeting indicated that there were no donations made to the APRC but Mr. Jabang insisted that he could recall at a board meeting that they should give something to the ‘big man.’

“What you have said is not the truth,” Counsel Andrews challenged him, but he said he said truth. With regard to the payments made to the APRC, he said he made the GM to sign a document; hence he was talking to him verbally. “I was terminated after a disciplinary hearing,” he revealed.

Ms. Andrews put it to him that he failed to tell the auditors that the sum of €2.9 million was owed to Euro Africa Group by Gam Petroleum. However, Mr. Jabang was a bit skeptical to respond to the question but was quick to argue that he was not the subject matter before the commission.

According to Jabang, the commission was not the platform to discuss issues that triggered his termination as finance director at Gam Petroleum.

Next to testify was Mr. Karamba Touray, auditor general at the National Audit Office, appeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to an audit carried out on the “Daily Observer” newspaper company.

According to him, the audit on “Daily Observer” came as a request from the office of the former president through a letter dated 4th June, 2015. He confirmed that the audit was conducted and he was in possession of the file and the audit report as well.

At this juncture, a copy of the file from the National Audit Office (NAO), including a letter of engagement between the company and the National Audit Office were tendered and admitted as exhibit.

Mr. Touray testified that they were tasked to audit the company from July 2010-31st July, 2015, noting that they were able to establish the original owners of the company but then it was not registered.

According to Mr. Touray, among their main findings were the inability to establish the ownership of the company because it was not registered before it was sold, but the original owners were Keneth Y. Bett and Lawyer Ida Drammeh. He said tax liabilities and social corporate responsibilities and staff loans were not paid; adding that they also discovered that some payments could not be justified, as they were not supported by documents.

At this juncture, Commissioner Saine told him that as national audit, they are allowed to audit public institutions and not private firms. However, Touray responded that where the government has minor interest, they would conduct an audit.

He told the commission that they could not establish who purchased the company from the original owners, noting that appointment of staff usually came from the office of the former president. He stated further that the company should be sold in a public auction, further stating that he did not consider the company to be a public enterprise.

On how they came to know that the “Daily Observer” was not registered, he said they consulted the AG Chambers and were told that the company was not registered.

Mr. Baba Fatajo, managing director of NAWEC, reappeared for cross-examination at the instance of Messer Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi of Euro Africa Group. Ms. Andrews told him that he was required to produce some documents.

However, he responded that the volume of documents they asked for could not be put together, noting that he is on leave.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda intervened and told the commission that the Legal Officer at NAWEC wrote, indicating that it would take time to produce the said documents requested by Counsel Andrews ranging from 2002-2015.

Testifying under cross-examination, he said he started work at NAWEC in 1993 up to 2013 when his services were terminated but was reinstated in March, 2017.

Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda, submitted that the request made by Bazzi’s attorney was unfair because it was not specific as to which documents she needed.

According to her, Ms. Andrews ought to be precise on the documents she wanted to be produced; adding that from 2002-2015 is a long period. She said it would just waste the time of the commission.

On the other hand, Ms. Andrews argued that her request was apt and did not in any way intend to waste the time of the commission. She added that NAWEC witnesses, including Alagie Conteh, alleged that contracts were not awarded properly. She said the only way they could contradict such allegations was by providing them with the necessary documents.

She explained to the commission that the request was made on 18th of July and forwarded to NAWEC on the 19th of the same month, 2018. She revealed that their request was on electricity and water projects.

At this juncture, commission’s chairman, Sourahata Janneh, said: “It is our desire to be as fair as possible.” However, he said from 2002-2015 is extremely wide, despite the fact that Counsel Andrews was limiting her request to electricity and water projects respectively.

He finally ruled that production of documents by NAWEC must be based on relevance.

Sittings continue on Monday.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 07 Sep 2018 : 13:56:39
‘Jammeh Alone Should Account For Losses Incurred By APAM’ Sheriff Tambadou

The Point: September 6, 2018
By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/jammeh-alone-should-account-for-losses-incurred-by-apam-sheriff-tambadou/

Senior Counsel Sheriff Tambadou, yesterday September 5th 2018, while addressing the Commission on behalf of Tony Ghattas, the former Managing Director of APAM, submitted that the former president alone should be held accountable for causing monetary losses to the Mining Company, and not his client. Tambadou submitted that the said Company was created by the former president.

Prior to his address, Muhammed Manjang, Managing Director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, told the Commission that the €6,000 deducted from the electricity bills and rentals of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels, was not justified by BPI Investment Group.

Manjang was summoned in connection to the lease of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels respectively.

He said he became MD of SSHFC on the 7th of March, 2017; but that prior to this, he was an employee of the Standard Chartered Bank. At this juncture, two statements were given to him, for him to go through, which he did and confirmed that they were his.

Barrister Musa Batchilly applied to tender the statements as exhibits which was granted by the Commission. Lawyer Batchilly read the first paragraph of the statement to the witness, which was dated 19th July, 2018.

Manjang testified that the statement read to him by Counsel Batchilly was in connection to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels; that BPI was to pay in quarterly payments in advance and that what was outstanding, was over D2, 000,000.

According to Manjang, they wrote to BPI during his time, to settle their lease rentals and electricity bills; that he understood that BPI would pay the full arrears of the electricity bills but they did not.

He adduced that BPI deducted €6,000 from the rentals and electricity bills; that they provided them with receipts but he said the deduction by BPI for the rentals were not justified.

Manjang was again given five letters which he went through and said he recognized them. The said letters were subsequently tendered and admitted as exhibits.

He revealed that BPI owed SSHFC €78,000 as rental for Ocean Bay Hotel, and $30,000 rental for Sun Beach Hotel; that BPI owed Ocean Bay Hotel over D8, 000,000 and over D2, 000,000 to Sun Beach Hotel as electricity bills respectively. He said BPI did not settle what they owed and they appealed to be given time to settle their debt but they only paid D5,000,000 for the electricity bills and quarterly rentals.

Manjang confirmed that the title deeds of the hotels are not with SSHFC and it was not part of the agreement for BPI to be in possession of the title deeds; that they wrote to BPI to get back the title deeds but they were not successful.

According to Manjang, the sum of €2,000,000 was supposed to be spent on Sun Beach Hotel for renovation, by BPI; that BPI said they would do the renovation as per their price.

Manjang further told the Commission that looking at what was done, BPI did not spend €2,000,000 on the renovation of Sun Beach Hotel.

Earlier, Momodou Sabally, former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service and Presidential Affairs Minister, was shown an exhibit. However, Sabally said the exhibit was a directive from the former president for the leasing of the said hotels; that he was present when the former president was discussing with the Gambian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, for the leasing of the hotels.

Sabally disclosed that the leasing of the hotels were inspired by the former president, and that they were leased to BPI investors. At this juncture, he was given a letter dated 18th July, 2018, which he confirmed he signed.

Sabally adduced that he did not know whether there were other offers for the leasing of the hotels neither did he know whether the former president was aware of these offers. He told the Commission that it was not necessary for SSHFC to take instructions to lease the hotels.

At this juncture, some extra letters were given to him to go through, which he did. The said letters were tendered and admitted as exhibits. Again, another letter was given to him indicating that SSHFC was seeking approval from the former president to lease the hotels, and responded that this was normal.

However, it was put to him by Counsel Batchilly that because of the interest of the former president, the management of SSHFC and board, decided to lease the hotels to BPI.

Lamin A.K. Touray, the Registrar of Companies, was cross-examined by Lawyer Mary Samba on behalf of Amadou Samba.

Touray testified that his duties are to register Companies, charitable organizations, business entities and individuals, and any other duty or duties assigned to him by the Solicitor or the Attorney Generals respectively.

At this juncture, Lawyer Mary Samba informed him that he was served to produce some documents such as the Memorandum and Article of Association, and was given some documents to go through. Touray confirmed certifying the said documents stating, that he has the file of Alfon Gambia Limited at the Attorney General’s Chambers. He testified that the Company was incorporated in 1986.

Next to be cross-examined by Lawyer Mary Samba was Alieu Jallow, the Registrar General. Jallow told the Commission that he is responsible for the registration of trade unions, deeds, marriages among others.

Counsel Samba told him that he was required to produce some documents and the said documents were given to him, which he confirmed.

At this juncture, Counsel Samba applied to tender the said documents as exhibits, which was granted by Commission Chairperson Sourahata Janneh. Jallow disclosed that he certified the said documents.

Sittings continue today.
Momodou Posted - 06 Sep 2018 : 14:38:26
€6,000 deduction was not justified, SSHFC MD tells Janneh Commission

The Point: Thursday, September 06, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/6000-deduction-was-not-justified-sshfc-md-tells-janneh-commission

Muhammed Manjang, managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that the €6,000 deducted from the electricity bills and rentals of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels was not justified by BPI Investment Group.


He appeared before the commission in connection to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels respectively.

He said he became the MD of SSHFC on the 7th of March, 2017, but prior to that, he was an employee of Standard Chartered Bank. At this juncture, two statements were given to him to go through, which he did and said that they were his.

Barrister Musa Batchilly applied to tender the statements as exhibits which was granted by the commission. Lawyer Batchilly read the first paragraph of the statement dated 19th July, 2018, to the witness.

Mr. Manjang testified that the statement read to him by Counsel Batchilly was in connection to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels. He said BPI was to pay in quarterly payments in advance; adding that what was outstanding was over D2, 000,000.

According to him, during his time, they wrote to BPI to settle their lease rentals and electricity bills, noting that he understood that BPI would pay the full arrears of the electricity bills but they did not.

He adduced that BPI deducted €6,000 from the rentals and electricity bills; adding that they provided them with receipts but he said the deduction by BPI for the rentals were not justified.

Mr. Manjang was again given five letters which he went through and said he recognized them. The said letters were subsequently tendered and admitted in evidence.

He revealed that BPI owed SSHFC €78,000 as rental for Ocean Bay Hotel and $30,000 rental for Sun Beach Hotel. He further explained that BPI owed Ocean Bay Hotel over D8, 000,000 for electricity bills and over D2, 000,000 to Sun Beach Hotel as electricity bills.

He said BPI did not settle what they owed and they appealed to be given time to settle their debt but they only paid D5,000,000 for the electricity bills and quarterly rentals.

Mr. Manjang confirmed that the title deeds of the hotels are not with SSHFC and it was not part of the agreement for BPI to be in possession of the title deeds, further stating that they wrote to BPI to get back the title deeds but they were not successful.

According to him, the sum of €2,000,000 was supposed to be spent on Sun Beach Hotel for renovation by BPI, noting that BPI said they would do the renovation as per their price.

The witness told the commission that looking at what was done, BPI did not spend €2,000,000 on the renovation of Sun Beach Hotel.

Earlier, Momodou Sabally, former secretary general, head of the Civil Service and Presidential Affairs minister, was shown an exhibit. However, Mr. Sabally said the said exhibit was a directive from the former president for the leasing of the said hotels.

The witness further testified that he was present when the former president was discussing with the Gambian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates for the leasing of the hotels.

He disclosed that the leasing of the hotels were inspired by the former president, stating that they were leased to BPI investors. At this juncture, he was given a letter dated 18th July, 2018, which he confirmed he signed.

Mr. Sabally adduced that he did not know whether there were other offers for the leasing of the hotels neither did he know whether the former president was aware of these offers. He told the commission that it was not necessary for SSHFC to take instructions to lease the hotels.

At this juncture, some letters were given to him to go through, which he did. The said letters were tendered and admitted as exhibit.

Again, a letter was given to him indicating that SSHFC was seeking approval from the former president to lease the hotels, and he said this was normal.

However, it was put to him by Counsel Batchilly that because of the interest of the former president, the management of SSHFC and the board decided to lease the hotels to BPI.

Mr. Lamin A.K. Touray, the registrar of companies, was cross-examined by Lawyer Mary Samba on behalf of Amadou Samba.

Mr. Touray testified that his duties are to register companies, charitable organisations, business entities and individuals and any other duty or duties assigned to him by the solicitor general or the attorney general.

At this juncture, Lawyer Mary Samba informed him that he was served to produce some documents such as the Memorandum and Article of Association, and was given some documents to go through. He confirmed certifying the said documents, stating that he has the file of Alfon Gambia Limited at the Attorney General Chambers. He finally testified that the company was incorporated in 1986.

Next to be cross-examined by Lawyer Mary Samba was Mr. Alieu Jallow, the registrar general. He told the commission that he is responsible for the registration of trade unions, deeds, marriages among others.

Ms. Samba told him that he was required to produce some documents and the said documents were given to him which he confirmed.

At this juncture, Ms. Samba applied to tender the said documents as exhibits which was granted by the commission chairman, Sourahata Janneh. Mr. Jallow finally disclosed that he certified the said documents.

Sittings continue today.

Author: Dawda Faye
toubab1020 Posted - 01 Aug 2018 : 15:01:34
"At this juncture, the commission adjourned sittings sine die (indefinitely), as the chairman informed that notices would be issued as to when the commission would resume."
Momodou Posted - 31 Jul 2018 : 16:04:42
‘APRC militants were told my office was not a Political Bureau’

The Point: Monday, July 30, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/aprc-militants-were-told-my-office-was-not-a-political-bureau


Mr. Alhagie Jabang, former Finance Manager at Gam Petroleum on 27th July, 2018, told the Janneh Commission that he told APRC militants that his office was not a political bureau.


He also recalled that that some former governors frequented his office as well.

Jabang was summoned in connection to donations made to the former president and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) respectively.

He told the commission that he worked for the said company from June 2015 to November 2015, as Finance Manager; saying he took over from the Finance Manager of Eagle Company, Mr. Wael Saade.

According to him, Euro Africa Group was managing the accounts of Gam Petroleum and he asked certain questions in order to acquaint himself with the finances of the institutions.

He stated that he asked them whether they had a budget among others, but they said they did not.

Jabang added that he then went to find out from Mr. Fadi Mazegi, because the initial plan was for him to work with the Euro Africa Finance Department for two weeks.

He revealed that instead of working with Euro Africa Group for two weeks, he decided to go to the Mandinary depot and started work straight.

He recalled that he used the 31st March 2015, closing balance, further adducing that a trial balance was submitted to the auditors and it was not long when the audit was opened.

At this juncture, he confirmed to the commission that he made a statement to the investigators, but could not sign it.

However, he was able to sign it when he was giving evidence. The statement dated 14th December, 2015, was shown to him, which he confirmed and was subsequently tendered and admitted in evidence.

The ex- Gam Petroleum Finance Manager said he was not specifically handed anything as inventory, noting that when he went through a list, he discovered that there was a plan and machinery, but this was a bit complex for him, as he could not identify some of the items listed. He, however, maintained that on the side of equipment, 75 computers were mentioned in the list, but he could not trace them after he tried to find out their whereabout.

Jabang further adduced that he was told that Mr. Manhat was in charge and had left the country, pointing out that they could not also see the barge mentioned in the list, a mooring boat and a tugboat.

He said he asked about tools amounting to D42, 000,000, but no one could tell him what the tools were.

On the dolphin accounting system, the witness revealed that this was the accounting system used by Euro Africa Group to manage Gam Petroleum.

“I was not given a standalone system to manage Gam Petroleum,” he said.

When put to him by Mrs. Bensouda that there was over D21,000,000 discrepancy, he said he agreed with Wael Saade. When told by counsel that he was supposed to sign reconciliation on the 19th of August 2017, he said he signed the reconciliation with Euro Africa Group.

According to him, while he was monitoring the account, he discovered that the sum of D15,000,000 was the difference and he called the attention of the General Manager and the board, but no decision was reached.

Jabang informed the commission that he told the General Manager that the situation needed to be addressed, saying this was not done till the appointment of a new board.

He acknowledged having several meetings with Eagle with regards to the D15,000,000, but they never complied and the General Manager of Eagle would refer him to Mr. Saade, who told him that if they go by the exchange rate, it would not be favorable to them.

He pointed out that the matter had been going on for long until there was a change, noting that he even suggested for a legal action to be instituted against Eagle.

Jabang recalled that on the 31st of March 2017, auditors came but the reconciliation between Gam Petroleum and Eagle was not done. This matter, according to him, was brought to the attention of the new board.

The witness further testified that he went to Eagle office to do the reconciliation and he mentioned the differences owed by Eagle, but they said they would not pay, based on the reconciliation.

At this juncture, Mr. Jabang reacted that he did not have the power to single-handedly waive the sum of D20, 000,000 owed by Eagle.

“I did not have the capacity to waive,” he reiterated. This, he went on, was why he even refused to review, and at the same time, authorize for payments.

On the donation to NIA and the former ruling party, APRC, the witness said he could recall that just before the 2016 elections, the General Manager of Gam Petroleum called him in his office and told him that the election was coming and that they should do something for the ‘big man’.

However, he said he asked the General Manager whether he spoke to the board about it, but he responded in the negative.

He testified that he told the General Manager that the money did not belong to them, pointing out that initially, the GM proposed for the sum of D10,000,000 to be given to the former president and his party, but he (Jabang) did not agree.

The GM then said he would make it D5,000,000 and when they went to the board, only one board member questioned the said sum, but the GM shifted and said that it was the Finance Manager (Jabang) who included it in the budget.

He stated that the board chairman-Mr. Edward Graham, then told him that whatever balance they had, they should pay it to the former president, but he told the chairman to give him an authorization.

According to him, they were told that they were going to the Office of the Vice President, but they ended up going to General Saul Badjie’s office, and they prepared a cheque in the name of APRC, but were later told by the then Director of NIA that it should be in cash.

He added that the former director of NIA, Yankuba Badjie, accompanied them to Saul Badjie’s office where they handed over the money.

The witness revealed that the General Manger was the interface between Gam Petroleum officials and Gen. Badjie, noting that he was instructed by the GM to give out the donations.

He stated that he informed the board that the GM should have a limit in giving out funds, adding that GM told him that whenever he authorized payments, he would not comply to do so.

He said he responded to the GM that if there were any discrepancies, Mr. Jabang, as Finance Officer, would be responsible.

He said when the matter was brought before the Board Chair, he told him that so long the GM approved, he should go ahead with the payments.

Mrs. Bensouda, at this juncture, reminded the witness that numerous donations were made to the APRC prior to the 2016 elections.

Under cross-examination by Counsel Victoria Andrews, it was put to him that Saihou Drammeh of Gam Petroleum confirmed before the commission that the boat was with Gam Petroleum.

In response, he told the commission that he enquired but no one told him where the boat was. It was again put to him that he refused a proper handing over with Eagle, and he said it was not correct. He adduced that he was the one following them to hand over, instead.

Jabang disclosed that he used to attend board meetings.

At this juncture, a document dated 20th June 2015, indicating board meetings, was read to him. He said that he wondered what records he failed to collect, noting further that as at 1st March 2015, he collected the financial reports.

Earlier, the former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Jammeh Foundation for Peace (JFP), Sameena Azad, testified in connection to the JFP accounts. Prior to going into the details of the subject matter, she decided to put off the microphone because she did not want to reveal her UK address in public.

She added that she did not have a Gambian address.

The Commission Chairman, Sourahata Jannneh, told to her that they do not allow witnesses to talk without the microphone. However, he subsequently allowed her to write her address on a piece of paper and submitted it to the lead counsel, Amie Bensouda.

She told the commission that she became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JFP for a brief period, saying her purpose in the country was to help the Gambian people.

She revealed that she did not apply for the position accorded to her by the Office of the former president.

Her letter of appointment in 2014 was tendered and admitted in evidence.

According to her, in 2013, she brought in some investors in certain projects but could not recall how long she worked for JFP.

She explained that when she was deputy director, one Mr. Dominic Jammeh was the Executive Director, and finally confirmed to the commission that she ceased working for JFP in 2017.

At this juncture, the commission adjourned sittings sine die (indefinitely), as the chairman informed that notices would be issued as to when the commission would resume.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 28 Jul 2018 : 09:33:11
Yankuba Badjie appears before Janneh Commission over D3.7M donation to Jammeh

The Point: Friday, July 27, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/yankuba-badjie-appears-before-janneh-commission-over-d37m-donation-to-jammeh

Yankuba Badjie, former director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), yesterday disclosed before the Janneh Commission that he guessed the former president, Yahya Jammeh, received the sum of D3.7 million donation from Gam Petroleum through General Saul Badjie for the 2016 elections.

He was escorted by Prison Warders at the Janneh Commission, because he was regarded by the commission as a closed associate of the former president.

In his testimony, he told the commission that the last position he held was director general of the National Intelligence Agency but prior to that, he served as deputy director of the NIA for one year five months. However, he confirmed to the commission that he is currently detained at the remand wing of Mile II, undergoing trial at the High Court.

Mr. Badjie explained that he is aware of the Janneh Commission probing into the financial dealings of the former president, his family and close associates. However, he revealed to the commission that he did not receive the documents, including the interim order from the commission describing him as a close associate of the former president. He was then given the opportunity to look at the documents which he said he did not receive while in detention.

He recalled that he was remanded at the said prison on the 24th of February, 2017. At this juncture, he was given a copy of his statement which he went through and confirmed. The said statement was tendered and admitted in evidence. He also perused an asset declaration form, and was required to fill it and hand it over to the prison authorities to be submitted to the commission.

The former director of the NIA told the commission that he is not related to the former president, and that they only had a working relation; adding that he became the director general of the NIA in 2014. He further stated that he was director of Analysis before he went to the State House, noting that he was also head of the Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU).

Mr. Badjie adduced that he also worked with Gamtel as an operator and a technician for almost 4 years, starting from 1996 and later left Gamtel in 2000 and travelled to the U.S.A. to study telecommunication.

At this juncture, he was asked whether he knew a company called Alhamdullahi Petroleum and Mining Company (APAM) managed by Tony Ghattas, he responded in the affirmative and added that he had nothing to do with it. He testified that he also knows GAMICO but does not know its connection to the former president, stating that he was not asked to take their properties by General Saul Badjie.

According to him, he knows Tony Ghattas whom he found at the Gunjur mosque, noting that he did not have any connection with Mr. Ghattas. He said that he knows Gam Petroleum; adding that the General and Finance managers came to his office and told him that they wanted to make a donation to the former president for the upcoming 2016 elections.

He further testified that he told them that it was fine, and that he had to relate the information to the former president, who asked him to tell them to deliver the donation to Saul Badjie at his office at State House. Mr. Badjie narrated that he accompanied them to Saul Badjie and they handed the sum of D3, 700,000 to Saul Badjie.

On how he came to know the said sum, he responded that it was counted in his presence, while on the D500,000 donation, he said the same people donated it to the NIA whom he said told him that they wanted to make a donation but he referred them to the financial director, Saihou Sanneh. He said he never went to Gam Petroleum and asked for a donation.

The former NIA boss testified that he does not know why Gam Petroleum went to the NIA to make the donation but was quick to say that maybe it was because the NIA were doing some construction, and this was why they made the donation. He added that he knows Mr. Bazzi because he used to meet him on occasions like state banquet or 22nd July celebrations, further stating that he did not know Messer Mazegi and Tarik Mousa.

He told the commission that he knows Muhammed Lamin Gibba and that they are related, stating that NIA had no business with Kanilai Group International (KGI) but acknowledged that he knows the managing director of KGI, Wureh Njie.

Earlier testifying, Isatou Auba-Faal reappeared in connection to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels respectively. She said she does not know anything about the leasing of the said hotels.

At this juncture, Counsel Musa Batchilly gave her a letter to go through, which she did and confirmed that she endorsed the said letter. The letter, which was addressed to the managing director of SSHFC from the office of the former president, was subsequently tendered and admitted in evidence. She also confirmed that she signed on behalf of the secretary general, and that the directives came from the office of the former president.

According to her, she received minutes of meeting from the then secretary general for the leasing of the hotels, conveying executive directives. The said minutes were tendered and admitted as an exhibit.

“Were you ever present in any discussion at State House for the leasing of the hotels?” asked Counsel Batchilly. He answered in the negative.

Next to testify was Edward Graham, former managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), in relation to the same subject matter of the said hotels. He confirmed to the commission that it is correct that he was the MD at the time of leasing of the hotels.

According to him, Ocean Bay Hotel was purchased around 2001 by SSHFC but the hotel did not realize any profit, further noting that it was purchased for D300,000,000, and for 10 years, SSHFC was not recovering any profit and more money was injected into the hotel amounting to D500,000,000. He said they were supposed to inject another D30, 000,000 on the same hotel but he charged the management to review the investment by either selling or leasing the hotel. He said that he told the board that they were injecting money in the investment on the hotel and they were not getting returns, noting that the board agreed that the hotel should be leased.

At this juncture, he was given a letter to peruse but said he never saw the said letter. A letter of intent dated 28th May, 2013, written by Lawyer Ida Drammeh was tendered and admitted in evidence.

He was asked by Counsel Batchilly whether Cordial Company also wrote to him on the 1st of August, 2013, which he confirmed. He said he did not know how Cordial Company knew about the leasing of the hotels; adding that after board meetings, information flows.

According to him, when the issue of leasing arose, the board gave the management the green light and asked them to negotiate with Cordial Company. He said they wrote to Cordial, which also wrote back.

Further responding to Counsel Batchilly as to whether there were correspondences before the 4th of August, 2013, for getting prospective investors for the leasing of the hotel, he responded in the negative.

Mr. Graham testified that in June 2013, members of Cordial Company came to visit the hotel and when they returned, they wrote to the management of SSHFC on the 18th of August, 2013. At this juncture, the second letter of intent written by Lawyer Ida Drammeh was also tendered and admitted in evidence.

The witness was again given another document which he read out and confirmed that it was the final offer where Cordial Company showed interest to lease Sun Beach Hotel. A letter from SSHFC file was shown to the witness. He confirmed the said letter addressed to Lawyer Ida Drammeh written by SSHFC. The said letter was tendered and admitted in evidence.

Counsel Batchilly put it to him that the sum of €450,000 was the offer by Cordial Company to spend on the repair and refurbishment of the hotel, and that, €100,000 was also to be spent on the hotel all free of charge. In response, Mr. Graham denied it, and said that Cordial Company would deduct the €450,000 from the rent. He said there was uncertainty in the offer made by Cordial Company, and as a finance person, they would not be part of something that was uncertain.

Mr. Graham told the commission that as far as he was concerned, the office of the former president was not aware of the contract between Cordial Company and SSHFC. Responding to Commissioner Saine as to whether they involved their solicitor in the Cordial Company contract, he responded in the negative.

The commission will resume today.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 26 Jul 2018 : 02:42:22
Purchase of Ocean Bay Hotel was not a better deal - Tamsir Badjie Tells Janneh Commission

The Point: Wednesday, July 25, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/purchase-of-ocean-bay-hotel-was-not-a-better-deal-tamsir-badjie-tells-janneh-commission


Tamsir Badjie, former director of Housing at SSHFC, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that the purchase of Ocean Bay Hotel was not a better deal.

Prior to the witness testifying, lawyer Musa Batchilly told the commission that he was taking over from Amie Bensouda as lead counsel to enquire on the circumstances leading to the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels respectively to BPI by Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, and also to find out whether the former president was involved in the process.

Mr. Batchilly told the commission that he was mandated by the attorney general and minister of Justice to deal with the said matters. He said that Mrs. Bensouda is the attorney for SSHFC and there might be a conflict of interest to handle the same matter affecting the corporation.

The former director of Housing, Mr. Tamsir Badjie, told the commission that he is an engineer by profession and a pensioner. He added that he worked as a public servant and had also worked at SSHFC for about 28 years and he retired in 2016.

He told the commission that before he retired, he was the director of Housing for 4 years (from 2012-2016). He said his function as director of housing was to manage houses and any other assignment given to him by the managing director.

At this juncture, he was given a document which he confirmed to be his statement he wrote to the investigators. Counsel Batchilly then applied to tender the statement in evidence as exhibit which was granted by the commission.

He testified that he knows about the leasing of Ocean Bay and Sun Beach Hotels respectively by SSHFC to BPI. He said the office of the MD set up a taskforce to discuss and negotiate the leasing of Ocean Bay Hotel and he was part of the key members together with the director of Finance, Abdoulie Cham, and Mr. Foon,

During the process, he said they agreed on certain terms and principles among which included to allow their technicians to check on the quality on the work done, be part of the renovation and maintenance of the hotels among others.

He said they were shown a letter where BPI showed interest to lease Ocean Bay Hotel; adding that there was a directive from the office of the former president to negotiate with BPI to lease the said hotels.

Mr. Badjie further testified that they had a standard process of leasing their properties. He was asked whether the committee was informed about two other offers. In response, he said it was only BPI‘s offer they received.

He adduced that they were dictated to by BPI team, and sometimes their meetings were distracted by their visits to State House. He told the commission that for the Ocean Bay meeting, the negotiation took place and he could not remember how long the meeting lasted.

At this juncture, he was shown an offer letter for the leasing of Ocean Bay to peruse, which he confirmed. Counsel Batchilly applied to tender the said letter which was admitted in evidence.

He was again asked whether there was a lawyer representing SSHFC during the negotiation. He answered in the negative and said that the lawyer came after the negotiation was drafted.

Another document was shown to him, and he went through it. He said that when they went for the negotiation, they were going for the best they could offer, further noting that they were powerless and the BPI team were strong.

He stated that the BPI’s lawyer drafted the letter and Lamin Ceesay, the lawyer of the cooperation, was given the draft .

At this juncture, he was given a letter of intent which he also confirmed, and was asked the content of the letter i.e. the conditions for a ten-year lease. He told the commission that they also offered a rent of 12,000 Euros per month, adding that 13,000 Euros was agreed as the offer per month by BPI. He said that they could not pay more than that.

According to Mr. Badjie, they could have got a better deal had bidders were allowed to bid and compete. He said BPI achieved most of the works specified but they had issues with them, stating that BPI did not allow their technicians to be present.

He told the commission that BPI came up with huge pack of invoices which were not privy to members of the committee and were only brought after the renovation was completed, noting that they discovered that some of the invoices presented were not even expenditures on renovation but hotel expenses.

He said they requested for the bill of quantities, receipts and invoices showing expenditures on the refurbishment and renovation of the hotels but BPI did not provide them.

“Do you think BPI was able to justify their expenditures?” asked Counsel Batchilly. Mr. Badjie replied in the negative and added he was aware that BPI was deducting €6000 from rent.

Mr. Badjie testified that in 2013, Ocean Bay lease was signed and there was a committee set up to monitor the works done; that they asked BPI to seek their consent before doing anything at the hotel but they did not, noting that they were adamant to comply.

The witness further testified that their team of technicians was on the ground to monitor the works by BPI but BPI was not complying and as a result, they withdrew the team and informed the management. He revealed to the commission that there were letters of demand for BPI to settle arrears, further stating that they had issues with NAWEC concerning bills.

On Sun Beach Hotel, he disclosed that BPI started at the beginning of the tourist season, and BPI told them that they loss part of the generation account and the committee was not aware when BPI started the work at Sun Beach. However, he said one day they went to the hotel and found that they were operating but he did not know who authorised them to use the hotel before the lease was finalised.

He said they asked them to give SSHFC the proceeds of that season but they never did so. Saibatou Faal, chairman of the committee, made several demands during the meetings but got frustrated, noting that BPI made an offer to lease Sun Beach Hotel the same way as they did with the leasing of Ocean Bay. He confirmed a document indicating a proposal to lease Sun Beach Hotel.

At this juncture, documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits. He said they were informed by the managing director, as the taskforce was created that there was an executive directive to lease Sun Beach Hotel. He said he saw the lease after it was finalised by SSHFC and BPI.

It was put to him that the committee agreed with BPI on terms for the leasing of the hotel, and he answered in the positive. It was further put to him that BPI agreed to spend €2,000,000 on the renovation of Sun Beach Hotel. However, he said BPI did not spend close to the said amount. He added that projection was attached to the renovation and this was why they highlighted their plan from 2013-2031.

According to him, his department was supposed to monitor the works but BPI did not provide them with specific schedule of works and they were frustrated at the end. The chairman of the committee reported the matter to the board.

He told the commission that they always requested for bills of quantity, invoices and receipts but to no avail. Responding to questions from Abiosseh George, he said he could not remember how much they bought the hotels and when.

“How come legal opinion was not sought?” Commissioner Saine asked. In response, Mr. Badjie responded that under normal circumstances, they worked hand-in- hand with their legal representative, noting that they acted based on directives and that they were never happy and comfortable.

“We were not benefiting at all, and SSHFC should have realised more than 60% of our investment,” he told the commission.

Hearings continue today.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 25 Jul 2018 : 00:50:21
Former NAWEC MD: You have to negotiate in fear

The Point: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/former-nawec-md-you-have-to-negotiate-in-fear

Momodou Jallow, former managing director of NAWEC, yesterday reappeared before the Janneh Commission and revealed that they had to negotiate in fear.

He was testifying under cross-examination at the instance of Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi by Counsel Victoria Andrews.

He was asked whether they paid for Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) storage, and he said he was not aware; adding that he was the MD most of the time and that Mr. Abdou Jobe and Mr. Sanyang were managing directors before him.

According to him, at the beginning of the contract, there was no transmission and distribution director, noting that Nani Juwara was the Commercial director while Sira Wally-Njie was the Human Resource manager. He testified that the positions he mentioned were held by NAWEC staff.

It was put to him by Counsel Andrews that the taskforce overshadowed these positions. In response, he said they used to work together with the taskforce. He adduced that he could not remember seeing the letter written by the taskforce for the increment of the tariff of electricity, further stating that it was not his decision to increase the tariff.

He further testified that he could not remember reducing the tariff. At this juncture, he confirmed a letter given to him which he said he signed.

Counsel Andrews then applied to tender the said letter, which was not objected by Mrs. Bensouda. It was therefore admitted in evidence.

The witness said NAWEC had a board of directors and that he could not remember whether the matter went to the board; adding that the letter was copied to the office of the former president. He testified that he signed all contracts as MD, noting that he did not make all decisions and he took over from Abdou Jobe in August 2006, and they continued with their operation.

At this juncture, a letter dated 17th of May, 2006, written by Mr. Abdou Jobe, was shown to him, and he said he could not remember seeing the said letter.

Mr. Jallow told the commission that they issued cheques to GTG for electricity supply, further stating that he had to know the full circumstances as to whether NAWEC and GTG had shared the debts owed by GTG. He disclosed that they had ongoing projects during his time, such as the Brikama Power Plant, Greater Banjul Area Electricity Supply and the Street Lights.

He narrated that the Rural Electrification Project was done by different contractors; adding that the said projects were all tendered and all the contracts went through due process. He indicated that the award of contract was based on the evaluation by NAWEC, noting that Dabananeh Company is owned by Mr. Alagie Conteh.

According to Mr. Jallow, he could recall Mr. Conteh being awarded some contracts and it went through due process, noting that Mr. Conteh never advised him neither was he given special treatment.

Dwelling on the Venuzela contract, he said it was for the transmission and distribution for the Greater Banjul Area, further stating that when he came back, the project was ongoing but stopped because he was removed.

At this juncture, Counsel Andrews put it to him that according to Mr. Jobe, they were relying on the goodwill of GTG for the supply of oil. He responded that Mr. Jobe was entitled to his opinion.

A letter dated 7th of July, 2010, was given to him and he said he could not remember the said letter, noting that GTG was there as their partners. He adduced that he was not aware of the reason for terminating Mr. Conteh’s contract.

It was further put to him that Mr. Fadi Mazegi got involved in the invoices and he answered in the positive. It was again put to him that Mr. Muhamed Bazzi cajoled NAWEC to pay him what the company owed him. He responded in the negative.

“I am putting it to you that Mr. Bazzi requested for the sum of $20,000 because the former president wanted to go to the Hajj,” said Counsel Andrews. In response, he told the commission that the former president needed the money for the Hajj.

The former NAWEC boss explained that there was no need for Mr. Bazzi to put pressure on them to be paid, noting that anytime GTG got invoices for NAWEC to pay them, they were paid. He said the management contract was in place and that transactions were going. He adduced that the taskforce could not pay themselves, noting that Mr. Bazzi would call them to pay the taskforce whenever they demanded cheques.

Mr. Jallow testified that they were told that NAWEC should buy two sets of generators and SSHFC would provide the funds. At this point, another document was given to him regarding the supply of the two generators contract which he signed. He confirmed that the generators were supplied.

On Fajara Booster Station occupied by GTG, he said he could not remember the details of the contract but they were told that they could build any structure they wanted. He added that this was why he did not sign the contract. The witness further adduced that GTG did some renovation on the structure at the Booster Station.

It was again put to him that a storage facility at the said place was rehabilitated, and he answered in the positive. He was shown a drafted contract and upon perusal, he said the draft contract was about 10 years ago.

On Global Power System (GPS), Mr. Jallow told the commission that they supplied oil to NAWEC and that he knows the company, noting that they had arrangement with NAWEC to service their generators but he does not know the shareholders of the said company.

However, Counsel Andrews put it to him that GPS took GTG to court for not paying bills. It was further put to him that GEG and GTG had nothing to do with GPS, and he responded that as far as he knows, they used to work together in the country.

According to him, GEG was controlling power supply in the country; adding that he could not remember whether GTG had bided for contract for spare parts. “Could Gambians have afforded to do without the supply of HFO?” inquired Counsel Andrews. He answered that Gambians needed HFO, noting that in business, the economy is never stagnant.

At this juncture, he was asked whether NAWEC enjoyed unlimited supply of oil on credit, and he responded in the positive. He said in 2006, two managing directors were eliminated and subsequently, his finance director was also eliminated. He said it was correct that he rented his property to Mr. Manhat in 2004 up to 2013-2014.

However, he said he did not know that Mr. Manhat was an employee of Mr. Bazzi prior to renting him the place, further stating that he had problems with Mr. Bazzi when he felt that he could not do what he wanted from him without any clearance.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda asked him to go through a letter and explain the circumstances surrounding the said letter but before the witness answered, Counsel Andrews objected to the question.

Consequently, Commission Chairman, Sourahata Janneh, said that the said letter was admitted through the witness, and the commission did not see why a question from the commission counsel should not be allowed. He then overruled the objection and allowed the witness to answer the said question.

Mr. Jallow then responded that following a meeting between PURA and the Ministry of Finance, they were trying to increase the tariff but they were asked by the authorities to reduce it, because they felt that what NAWEC was requesting was too high.

Next to testify was Mr. Abdoulie Tambedou, managing director of Gambia Ports Authority (GPA). He was asked what position he held between 2010 and 2013 respectively, in response, he reiterated that from 2010-2011, April, he was Finance director. He told the commission that as far as he knows; GPA did not accede to give a land to Gambia Milling Corporation (GMC) for the flour mill project. He said they were directed by the office of the former president to surrender the land to the said company.

According to him, as director of Finance then, he was part of the management to meet the Bazzi group; adding that during his tenure, it was not agreed for GPA to surrender the land to GMC. He said a letter before him did not state that the land should be acceded to GMC. However, he said the author of the letter, Mr. Ousman Jobarteh, and the managing director at the time, Momodou Lamin Gibba, are both around and they would be in a better position to explain the circumstances surrounding the land.

It was put to him by Counsel Andrews that the land surrendered to GMC was not valued at D18, 000,000. In response, Mr. Tambedou revealed that the office of the former president in collaboration with GPA valued the said land when there was a push and pull over it.

Earlier, the managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Adesina Adebesin, was reminded by Counsel Bensouda that he was supposed to verify a summary prepared by him. He said Mobicell Blue Ocean had a Dollar, Euro and Dalasi accounts respectively.

He told the commission that the debit on the Euro account was €6,001,939.33 while the credit was €6,002,279.10. He revealed that he had the debit and credit advices for all the accounts.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda applied for a stand down for 30 minutes for the witness to verify some documents and her application was granted.

The commission resumes today.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, July 21, Amadou Samba testified that the villagers of Mandinary made a lot of request, such as the building of a road which he said cost over US$400,000, and they were also asked to refurbish the mosque.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 18 Jul 2018 : 22:41:40
AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: ‘Former President Involved In Discussion

For Supply Of Generators to NAWEC’ Julia Joiner
July 18, 2018

By Mamadou Dem


http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-former-president-involved-in-discussion-for-supply-of-generators-to-nawec-juli/

Julia Joiner, former Secretary General at the Office of former president Yaya Jammeh, yesterday July 17th revealed to the ‘Janneh’ Commission, that the former president was part of the discussions involving the Global Trading Group, for the supply of generators to NAWEC.
Joiner reappeared for cross-examination by Counsel Mary Samba, who asked her the reason why she retired. Samba is attorney for businessman Amadou Samba.
Prior to her questioning, she was given a file from the office of the former president when she was the secretary general, to go through. She told the Commission that NAWEC was under the office of the former president.
At this juncture, she was referred to a document, and said Saihou Mboge was the permanent secretary at the time; that the said document was about a directive from the office of the former president for Euro Africa Group to supply generators to NAWEC.
She was given another letter which she read and stated that it indicated an agreement between Global Trading Group and NAWEC, for the supply of generators, further noting that the former president was involved in the discussion for the supply of generators to NAWEC, by Global Trading Group.
Joiner adduced that she had never met Amadou Samba, Muhammed Bazzi and others, to discuss the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group; that the directives were coming from the office of the former president and not from her.
On the 18 megawatt generators, she posited that the officials who were at the meeting, are in a better position to explain what had transpired; that she was not sure about the $5,000,000 for the purchase of generators by NAWEC from Global Trading Group. “I tried to level stability within the system,” she told Commissioners.
At this juncture, documents relating to the supply of generators by Global Trading Group to NAWEC and other relevant documents, were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Still answering questions under cross-examination, Joiner testified that she served as secretary general at the office of the former president since 1996; that the protocol officer at the office of the former president at the time, would be able to say who frequented the office of the former president.
She disclosed that there was a list of those who were going to visit the former president, further saying that if there was an investigation into the investment on Kairaba Beach Hotel and the “Daily Observer” Newspaper, she was not expected to remember all the details about it.
Joiner told Commissioners that the property at Kanilai is owned by the former president; that they had meetings and visitors used to meet the former president there; that cabinet meetings used to be held there as well. She testified that she would not remember whether constructions started at Kanilai.
At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked whether the former president had discussed with her, his dealings with Euro Africa Group. In response, she stated that she was not involved in any matter relating to Muhammed Bazzi and his group; that she voluntarily retired on the 26th of November 2002, because she was redeployed and Alieu Ngum was reinstated as the secretary general.
Next to testify under cross-examination by Counsel Mary Samba was Ousman Jammeh, former Secretary General. Counsel Samba asked the Commission to give the witness an exhibit which was a leased document, for him to go through.
Jammeh confirmed the said document as well as his signature on it, as the then Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands and confirmed that the document was approved in 2001; that Amadou Samba also signed the said document.
He confirmed the title deed of a land at the traffic light and told Commissioners that he held the position of secretary general twice, and was later redeployed.
When another exhibit dated 3rd August 2011 was shown to him, he confirmed that he wrote the said document which was for a loan and endorsed it, but not Amadou Samba.
Counsel Mary Samba then put it to him that it was not proper to sign on a plain sheet of paper, which was a letter he wrote to an institution. “As far as I am concerned, there was a directive from the office of the former president to write the said letter,” he testified.
At this juncture, he was referred to an invoice which was directed to Kanilai Family Farms, which he confirmed. On the purchase of tanks, he said he did not make a follow-up, adding that he was dismissed after he received directives from the former president.
Commissioner Saine then asked him whether he had ever queried the way and manner the former president was handling the National Assembly and he responded in the negative. “You have worked for the former president long enough to know better,” Counsel Mary Samba challenged him. In response, Jammeh told Commissioners that he was working for the country and not for the former president.
It was again put to him by Mary Samba that it was his responsibility as the secretary general, to make sure that the loans incurred by NAWEC were paid.
Still answering a question asked by Counsel Bensouda, he said he could not tell why the leased land at the traffic light was allocated.
Abdoulie Cham, the Director of Finance at SSHFC, was the next witness to be cross-examined by Counsel Mary Samba. Cham confirmed that SSHFC is a public enterprise, noting that there was a directive from the office of the former president and the secretary general, to pay $6,432,700 to Amadou Samba, for the purchase of a water tank, but did not make a follow-up because the directive came from the office of the former president.
He finally stated that the said directive came before their board approved the said sum.
Meanwhile, Abdoulie Cham, Director of Geology Department and Dr. Njogu Bah, former secretary general, were also cross-examined.
Sittings continue today.
Momodou Posted - 18 Jul 2018 : 22:33:21
Former SG says her redeployment was tantamount to demotion

The Point: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/former-sg-says-her-redeployment-was-tantamount-to-demotion

Julia Joiner, former secretary general at the office of the former president, yesterday disclosed before the Janneh Commission that her redeployment was tantamount to a demotion.
She was answering a question posed by Counsel Mary Samba who asked her under cross-examination to tell the commission the reason why she retired. Mary Samba was representing Mr. Amadou Samba.
Prior to the questioning, she was given a file from the office of the former president when she was the secretary general to go through, which she confirmed. She told the commission that NAWEC was under the office of the former president.
At this juncture, she was referred to a document, and she said that Mr. Saihou Mboge was the permanent secretary at the time, adding that the said document was about a directive from the office of the former president for Euro Africa Group to supply generators to NAWEC.
She was given another letter which she read and stated that it indicated an agreement between Global Trading Group and NAWEC for the supply of generators, further noting that the former president was involved in the discussion for the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group.
Mrs. Joiner adduced that she had never met Amadou Samba, Muhammed Bazzi and others to discuss the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group, noting that directives were coming from the office of the former president and not from her.
On the 18 mega watt generators, she posited that the officials who were at the meeting are in a better position to explain what had transpired at the meeting, stating that she was not sure about the $5,000,000 for the purchase of generators by NAWEC from Global Trading Group. “I tried to level stability within the system,” she told the commission.
At this juncture, documents relating to the supply of generators by Global Trading Group to NAWEC and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Still answering questions under cross-examination, she testified that she served as secretary general at the office of the former president since 1996, stating further that the protocol officer at the office of the former president at the time would be able to tell who frequented the office of the former president.
She disclosed that there was a list of those who were going to visit the former president, saying further that if there was an investigation into the investment on Kairaba Beach Hotel and the Daily Observer, she was not expected to remember all the details about it.
Mrs. Joiner told the commission that the property at Kanilai is owned by the former president and that they used to have meetings there and visitors used to meet the former president there. She adduced that Cabinet meetings used to be held there as well.
She testified that she would not remember whether constructions started at Kanilai. At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked her whether the former president had discussed with her his dealings with Euro Africa Group. In response, she stated that she was not involved in any matter relating to Muhammed Bazzi and his group.
She said that she voluntarily retired on the 26th of November, 2002, because she was redeployed while Alieu Ngum was reinstated as the secretary general.
Next to testify under cross-examination by Counsel Mary Samba was Ousman Jammeh, former secretary general. At this juncture, Counsel Samba asked the commission to give the witness an exhibit which was a leased document to go through, which was done.
Mr. Jammeh confirmed the said document as well as his signature on it, as the permanent secretary, Ministry of Lands. He also confirmed that the document was approved in 2001, further noting that Amadou Samba also signed the said document.
He also confirmed a title deed of a land at the Traffic light. He told the commission that he held the position of secretary general twice, and that he was redeployed.
When another exhibit dated 3rd August, 2011, was shown to him, he confirmed that he wrote the said document which was for a loan and endorsed it, but not Amadou Samba.
Counsel Mary Samba then put it to him that it was not proper to sign on a plain sheet of paper which was a letter he wrote to an institution. “As far as I am concerned, there was a directive from the office of the former president to write the said letter,” he further testified.
At this juncture, he was referred to an invoice which was directed to Kanilai Family Farms, which he confirmed. On the purchase of tanks, he said he did not make a follow-up, adding that he was dismissed after he received directives from the former president.
Commission Saine then asked him whether he had ever queried the way and manner the former president was handling the National Assembly. He responded in the negative. “You have worked for the former president long to know better,” Counsel Mary Samba challenged him. In response, he told the commission that he was working for the country and not for the former president.
It was again put to him by Mary Samba that it was his responsibility to make sure that the loans incurred by NAWEC were paid, as the secretary general.
Still answering a question asked by Counsel Bensouda, he said that he could not tell why the leased land at the Trafficlight was allocated.
Abdoulie Cham, the director of Finance at SSHFC, was the next witness to be cross-examined by Counsel Mary Samba.
He confirmed that SSHFC is a public enterprise, noting that there was a directive from the office of the former president and the secretary general to pay $6,432,700 to Amadou Samba for the purchase of a water tank, but did not make a follow-up because the directive came from the office of the former president.
He finally stated that the said directive came before their board approved the said sum.
Hearings continue today.
Author: Dawda Faye

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