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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 - 06 Dec 2018 : 13:30:09
Jammeh’s closed associate ask Supreme Court to restrain Commission of Inquiry

The Point: Thursday, December 06, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/jammehs-closed-associate-ask-supreme-court-to-restrain-commission-of-inquiry

Feryale Ghanem; close associate of the former president Yahya Jammeh is asking the Supreme Court of the Gambia, presided over by Chief Justice Hassan B.Jallow, Justice G.B.S.Janneh, Justice Raymond C. Sock, Justice Marke Browne and Justice Mam Yassin Sey to restrain the Commission of Inquiry from holding her in contempt.


It could be recalled that the Commission of Inquiry made an order against the plaintiff; Feryale Ghanem dated the 5th June, 2018.

The plaintiff filed a motion asking the Supreme Court to restrain the Commission of inquiry from taking any steps intended to give effect to or holding her in contempt or acting in any manner which may prejudice her pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The plaintiff is also asking the Supreme Court to prevent the Commission from or entitled to act in any manner calculated to carry into effect the letter dated the 6th November, 2018, addressed to her.

During yesterday’s sitting the director of Civil Litigation, Binga D. drew the court’s attention to the fact that the Commission of Inquiry which was the 1st defendant in the suit filed by the plaintiff; Feryale Ghanem has been struck out.

Binga D. submitted that the plaintiff still maintains the Commission of Inquiry having been struck out by the Supreme Court.

Lawyer Ida Drammeh, plaintiff’s counsel informed the court that all the processes in the suit were filed before the order of striking out the name of the Commission was made, noting that the application was filed on the 14th November, 2018.

Binga D. interjected and submitted that the plaintiff has an option to amend its motion, adding that the court cannot make an order against a party that is not before the court.

Lawyer Ida Drammeh then asked the court whether the plaintiff can submit written arguments before the court.

Binga D. submitted that lawyer Ida Drammeh’s move was a calculated attempt to delay the proceedings of the court towards speedy disposal of the suit.

At this point Lawyer Ida Drammeh took objection to what the director of Civil Litigation; Binga D. said the plaintiff’s calculated attempt to delay the proceedings.

Lawyer Drammeh disclosed that the plaintiff has pursued the case with extreme diligence.

Binga D. submitted that the issue before the court was whether the motion before the court was competent which the State wants the court to determine.

Hearing continues on Friday, 7th December, 2018.

Author: Bruce Asemota
Momodou Posted - 03 Dec 2018 : 14:33:37
Commission of Inquiry cannot be sued, Supreme Court declares

The Point: Monday, December 03, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/commission-of-inquiry-cannot-be-sued-supreme-court-declares

The Supreme Court of The Gambia, presided over by Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow has declared that any party cannot sue the Commission of Inquiry.


The Supreme Court made this declaration last Friday, 30 November 2018 in its ruling in the civil appeal suit filed by Feryale Ghanem against the Commission of Inquiry and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

It could be recalled that the Commission of Inquiry, that’s probing the financial dealings of the former President Yahya Jammeh made an interim order to freeze the assets of former President Jammeh and his close associates including the plaintiff; Feryale Ghanem.

The plaintiff; Feryale Ghanem had filed a motion before the country’s apex court seeking redress to overturn the Commission of Inquiry’s order.

The Commission of Inquiry and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice were joined as defendants in the suit but Lawyer Amie Bensouda applied that the Commission of Inquiry cannot and should not be joined in the suit with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

In her application, Lawyer Amie Bensouda submitted that the Commission of Inquiry is not a party to any suit in respect of its orders, adding that the Commission of Inquiry has the same powers as the High Court and cannot be dragged to court to defend its decision.

In the ruling last Friday, November 30, 2018, the Supreme Court granted Lawyer Amie Bensouda’s application that the Commission of Inquiry cannot be sued for it decision by a/any party.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, the applicants counsel, Lawyer Ida Drammeh informed the court that there is a motion that has been filed by the applicant for an injunction and the main suit.

Lawyer Binga D. replied that the entire application made by the applicant’s counsel is to delay the proceedings of the Commission.

Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned to the 4 December, 2018.

The session was presided over by Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow, Justice G.B.S Janneh, Justice Raymond C. Sock, Justice Sulayman C. Jallow and Justice Mam Yassin Sey.

Author: Bruce Asemota
Momodou Posted - 03 Dec 2018 : 10:29:21
Janneh Commission extends mandate to next year


The Point: Friday, November 30, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/janneh-commission-extends-mandate-to-next-year

The Commission of Inquiry which is widely coined by the media as Janneh Commission, has decided to extend its duration to 10 January 2019 to enable it complete its mandate, a media dispatch reveals. It added that the commission finds it necessary to extend its duration to complete public hearing and the compilation and writing of its report.

Momodou Posted - 01 Dec 2018 : 13:05:00
AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: Counsel Bensouda Continues Her Address

Foroyaa: November 30, 2018

By Kebba Secka

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-counsel-bensouda-continues-her-address/

The ‘Janneh’ Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, on Thursday November 29th 2018, continues her address at the ‘Janneh’ Commission of Inquiry, set up by the president to probe into the financial dealings and properties of the former president and his close associates.
Counsel Bensouda submitted that Muhammed Bassi and the shareholders of EuroAfrica Group Ltd., were all close associates of former president Jammeh. She cited various evidence and testimonies of witnesses which she said, clearly proves they were close associates of former President Jammeh; that the testimony of the former Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Abdou Colley, indicate: “EuroAfrica Group was not fulfilling its financial obligations and requirements.” She said the illegal activities of EuroAfrica Group Ltd., started way back in 2002, which she said was also part of Balla Jarssey’s testimony; that Ahmad Bazzi, brother to Muhammed Bazzi, testified that all the invoices were made in the name of EuroAfrica Group Ltd.
Counsel Bensouda further submitted that Gobal Trading Company Ltd., registered in The Gambia in 2015, made millions at the expense of tax payers. She submitted: “The incomes and value added taxes, are sources of evidence before this Commission.” She further submitted that the interference from the executive of the former regime, has adversely affected the operational efficiency of Gamtel. “The interference from Statehouse by the former regime, has jeopardize the efficient operation of Gamtel,” she said; that an account was created for the Telecommunications Company in which the Secretary General at the time Momodou Sabally, was among the signatories; that before payments could be effected, 50% of the revenue gained from the Company was diverted to Gamtel. Bensouda continued to explain to Commissioners that the former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service Momodou Sabally, in his testimony before the Commission said he was fired shortly after he made enquiries about the creation of an account by MGI; that the incomes generated by the Company was tampered with by the former president and his close associates. “As we know, the former president eventually terminated the contract. Why? Because of another Ccompany called MGI. This Company was negotiated at Kanilai, residence of the former president, in the presence of Sulaiman Badjie, Babucarr Sanneh, former manager of GAMTEL Balla Jarsey and others.
Commission Counsel Bensouda further submitted that the MOU between Gamtel and MGI, was signed by Babucarr Sanneh on behalf of the Government of the Gambia. “Evidence is before the Commission that the Company generated $140m with 70, 000, 000 Dalasi as profit. Bensouda further told the Commission that staff of Gamtel were all denied access to the Gateway accounts.
She reminded Commissioners that part of their mandate is to investigate the procurement activities of the former president, citing various procurement Sections of the Constitution. She said TK Motors took part in the supply of goods for the former president.
Momodou Posted - 29 Nov 2018 : 14:24:31
Supreme Court hears motion against Commission of Inquiry


The Point: Thursday, November 29, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/supreme-court-hears-motion-against-commission-of-inquiry


The Supreme Court of The Gambia yesterday heard a motion filed by Feryale Ghanem against the Commission of Inquiry and the Attorney General.

The apex court was presided over by Chief Justice Hassan B.Jallow, Justice G.B.S Janneh, Justice Raymond Sock, Justice Sulayman C. Jallow and Justice Mamyassin Sey.

It could be recalled that the Commission of Inquiry made an order early this year freezing assets of former President Yahya Jammeh and his close associates including the plaintiff (Feryale Ghanem).

The Commission of Inquiry was established by an Act of the National Assembly to probe into the financial dealings of the former president and his close associates.

The plaintiff therefore filed a motion before the Gambia final appellate court seeking redress to overturn the interim order made by the Commission.

The Commission of Inquiry and the Attorney General were joined as the 1st and 2nd defendants in the said suit but lawyer Amie Bensouda in her submission yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the Commission filed a motion dated the 12th October 2018 and filed the same day seeking Court powers to strike out the Commission as a party to the suit.

Lawyer Bensouda submitted that the Commission of Inquiry is not a party to any suit in respect of its orders and that it is not a person but an adjudicating body.

She cited Section 200 of the Constitution that the Commission is an institution for appointing commissioners having regards to the fact that the Commission of inquiry was set up by the president pursuant to Section 200 of the Constitution.

She also cited Section 202 of the Constitution, which states the functions, and powers of the Commission.

She indicated that it is clear from the writ of summons that the plaintiff; Feryale Ghanem is questioning the interim decision made by the Commission against her.

Lawyer Bensouda submitted that she relied on the cases of Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi that the Commission of Inquiry has the same powers as the High Court and that the Commission of inquiry is not the proper defendant to be cited in the suit.

She pointed out that a tribunal (as an adjudicating authority) should not be summoned to courts to come and defend its decision (orders).

She argued that if a party is aggrieved about the interim order as stated in the Court of Appeal judgment on the 18th January 2018, that party can appeal at the Court of Appeal noting that the Commission cannot be made a party to that suit.

Lawyer Bensouda argued that by virtue of the State proceeding Act section 13, the proper party is the Attorney General adding that the Commission of Inquiry should not be dragged into any court to defend its decision.

She therefore applied for the Supreme Court to strike out the Commission of inquiry as a party in the suit.

Lawyer D. Binga from the Attorney General’s Chambers and ministry of Justice aligned himself with the submission of lawyer Amie Bensouda and urged the court to strike out the name of the Commission of Inquiry from the suit.

In her response, the plaintiff counsel, lawyer Ida Drammeh submitted that section 24 of the Constitution makes provision to secure and for the protection of laws in the country.

Lawyer Drammeh submitted that basic natural justice is for a party to be allowed to state its case without any hindrance adding that whether the Commission of Inquiry is a party or not, the court must accord a fair hearing in the matter.

She referred the court to Section 45 Subsection 3 of the Supreme Court rule and submitted that rule 45 is in accordance with Section 24 of the Constitution that it affords any person likely to be affected by its decision to be given an opportunity to be heard.

She pointed out that hearing a party is such a fundamental issue and the Gambia laws seek to ensure that all parties are heard.

Lawyer Ida Drammeh submitted that the argument made by lawyer Bensouda in relying on the Court of Appeal decision is untenable noting that she ignored the Supreme Court rule for any party likely to be affected by the decision.

Lawyer Drammeh argued that the plaintiff named the Attorney General because the rule requires that it should be named, referring to Rule 45 (3) of the Supreme Court.

She further argued that the State Proceeding Act defines the State and the definition of the State does not include the Commission of inquiry.

She stated that State means the government of the Gambia and the Commission of Inquiry is not the government.

She submitted that if for any reason, the Commission is not to be named as a defendant, then the commissioners ought to be made a party.

She explained that the Commission is independent of the Executive until the Commission provides its report to the President adding that the Commission was set up by the Constitution and it is not for the State to seek to defend the report or decision made by the Commission.

She submitted that the Court of Appeal judgment is not helpful because it de-categorizes the Commission and has no regard for the functions of the Commission.

In her reply on points of law, lawyer Amie Bensouda drew the court’s attention to Section 202 (3) of the Constitution and argued that Commissioners cannot be joined in any matter unless when they are affected by their conducts.

She submitted that there is a distinction between a defendant or a person made a defendant whilst pointing out that Rule 45 of the Supreme Court doesn’t contemplate adjudicating authority but contemplates juristic person.

The matter was adjourned for ruling on a later date.

Author: Bruce Asemota
Momodou Posted - 29 Nov 2018 : 09:41:39
Supreme Court To Hear Cases Against ¡®Janneh¡¯ Commission Today

Foroyaa: November 28, 2018

By Yankuba Jallow

http://foroyaa.gm/supreme-court-to-hear-cases-against-janneh-commission-today/

The Gambia Supreme Court will today hear for the first time, the case of Muhammed Bazzi, Fadi Mazegi and Loxly Epie, against the ¡®Janneh¡¯ Commission of Inquiry.

Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi are aggrieved with the decision of the Commission of Inquiry, probing into the financial dealings of ex-president Jammeh and his close associates.

The two appellants filed an appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal to quash the order of the Commission, but things did not go in their favour. Now before a quorum of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow, the case is set for mention.

The Court comprises Justice Hassan B. Jallow, Justice G.B.S. Janneh, Justice R.C. Sock, Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, Justice Nicholas Colin Brown-Marke (from Sierra Leone), Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya (from Nigeria) and Justice Mamyassin Sey. Muhammed Bazzi will be represented by Loubna Farage and Fadi Mazegi will be represented by Lawyer Andrews.

Other cases to be heard by the Court today include, Feryale Ghanem versus the ¡®Janneh¡¯ Commission. The appellant will be represented by Lawyers Ida Drammeh and Yassin Senghore.

Loxly Epie versus the Central Bank of the Gambia, will also be heard today. Lawyer Hawa Sisay Sabally will be the Counsel for the appellant.

According to a press release issued by the Office of the Chief Justice, thirty matters have been scheduled to be heard during the session. Ten of these are criminal appeals, three are civil suits relating to Commissions of Inquiry and the remaining 26 are civil appeals. The session will close on 7 December, 2018.

Read Foroyaa's subsequent publications for more information on these cases.
Momodou Posted - 29 Nov 2018 : 09:40:08
AT THE JANNEH COMMISSION: Commission Counsel Bensouda Continues Marathon Address

Foroyaa: November 28, 2018

By Momodou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-commission-counsel-bensouda-continues-marathon-address/

Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, yesterday November 27th 2018, continued her marathon address before the ‘Janneh’ Commission. Commission Counsel Bensouda intimated that the executive has no power to interfere in public enterprise’s investments.
In her address, Bensouda referred the Commission to the 50% mark-up on Global Trading Group (GTG); that GTG was required to pay Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to NAWEC. She submitted that GTG failed to build the storage tank as agreed and the premium was reduced to 3%; that Muhammed Bazzi, the proprietor of GTG, who had the responsibility of managing NAWEC, was aware of the 3% mark-up and that GTG had not produced any evidence to show that they had a contract with NAWEC.
According to her, Abdoulie Jobe, former Managing Director of NAWEC, informed the Commission about the IPP, and that there was a license and an agreement with PURA. She said during the process, NAWEC wrote to the office of the former president, noting that one could infer that the management of NAWEC, subdued under duress.
She said the generators were second-hand machines and the price at which they were bought, were too exhorbitant which she said, was confirmed by Fadi Mazegi; that GTG charged NAWEC $720,000 per month while the energy charge was 41.1 cent per hour.
Commission Counsel Bensouda argued that Abdoulie Jobe sent a letter to the office of the former president indicating the capacity charge; that GTG had to provide the demonstrated capacity which was not done.
She further submitted that $12,000,000 was spent on HFO, while the total investment was to the tune of $17.5m; that there was a directive from the Ministry of Energy that NAWEC should stop the investment with GTG, and that no further capacity charge should be made. Bensouda argued that GTG submitted a proposal to hand over the facility to NAWEC and NAWEC could have had a better contract with SSHFC, than that of the GTG. She alleged that there was no evidence that GTG was compelled to hand over the Power Plant to NAWEC, as earlier alluded to by Bazziz’s attorney, Victoria Andrews. She went on to say that an outstanding capacity charge was $8,000,000 with a total of over $9,000,000, noting that GTG was able to secure the agreement; that a document dated 6th March 2010, indicated that GTG paid $1,000,000 into the account of the former president as well as $500,000.
According to her, the mark-up was not justified for NAWEC to pay as charged by GTG, because the generators were old. She wondered how could the office of the former president order NAWEC to sign a contract with GTG, and that NAWEC was paying 61% from its revenue to GTG.
On the letter written by Muhammed Bazzi to the former president regarding the tariff, it was stated that he and his Company were responsible for the operations of NAWEC. She went on to say that Bazzi said the former president wrote to him in response to his letter, that he was humiliated, and that the exclusivity was guaranteed by GTG.
She submitted that GTG paid $500,000 into the account of Kanilai Group International (KGI), and it was the language of Bazzi that GNPC was an exporter and a retailer. However, she said there was no evidence to show that Bazzi and his team were arrested and detained at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
She further stated that they could not understand why the former Government should hand over NAWEC to GTG, noting that Messrs Mamburay Njie, and Momodou B. Jallow, testified that they were invited to a meeting to discuss the contract between NAWEC and GTG.
Bensouda submitted that it was amazing that Bazzi did not know what conflict of interest was, noting that the agreement did not say that GTG was just an adviser. She argued that Alagie Conteh accused Bazzi of inflating the tender on the contract to provide electricity, and that there was evidence that the price was inflated as Conteh testified.
On the extension of the exclusivity license for the importation of fuel by Euro Africa Group, Bensouda revealed that it was extended on the 10th of August 2010; that Mazegi said payment had been made by SSHFC and the sum of $3,300,000 was transferred from SSHFC’s account.
Commission Counsel Bensouda further stated that Bazzi said there was a directive from the office of the former president for SSHFC to purchase generators on behalf of NAWEC, and the said generators were not delivered until March, 2018. She said GTG did not pay any guaranty and the generators were not installed because GTG needed €1.8m; that the contract should have been completed within eight months.
She submitted that the project expiry date was extended several times, further submitting that there was no single matter as submitted by counsel Andrews, that GTG had genuine contracts with NAWEC.
On Gam Petroleum, Bensouda submitted that Amadou Samba told the Commission that he was not involved in the daily transactions of the Company, and that Bazzi said there was a major investment to build the Gam petroleum depot.
According to her, there was nothing in the file to show that MA Kharafi was interested in the construction of the storage facility; that the contract was done at the request of the former president, and there was no agreement signed; that it was not clear who the shareholders were and how much they held. She said the executive has no power to interfere or direct any public enterprise to invest in such enterprises; that there was no evidence to show that there was reluctance to sell shares in the Company.
Bensouda submitted that Gam petroleum was controlling the depot and management of the Company; that dividend could not be paid and expenditure was deflated. She said the audit report by DT Associates reveal that Gam petroleum did not produce documents of their expenditures.
According to her, the sum of $24,000,000 worth of fuel belonging to TOSTA, was supplied to Gam petroleum by GNPC, and this was based on the fact that there was an emergency.
On the Mandinary land where the depot is situated, she said the former Government did not own the said land and could not compulsorily take a land and give it to Gam Petroleum; that all what they promised to the villagers of Mandinary was not honoured. She however said the land was valued at D6.8m but the proprietors were only given D1,000,000 as compensation.
Bensouda further addressed the Commission on the ownership of the “Daily Observer” Newspaper.
Sittings continue on Thursday November 29th 2018.
Momodou Posted - 28 Nov 2018 : 13:25:29
Counsel Bensouda: Jammeh forced GNPC, GPA & SSHFC to buy shares in Gam Petroleum

The Point: Wednesday, November 28, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/counsel-bensouda-jammeh-forced-gnpc-gpa-sshfc-to-buy-shares-in-gam-petroleum

Counsel Amie Bensouda yesterday told the Janneh Commission that the former president, Yahya Jammeh, forced GNPC, GPA, and SSHFC to buy shares in Gam Petroleum.


Continuing her address, Mrs. Bensouda referred the commission to the 50% markup on Global Trading Group (GTG); adding that GTG was required to pay Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to NAWEC.

She submitted that GTG failed to build the storage tank as agreed and the premium was reduced to 3%. She said Muhammed Bazzi, the proprietor of GTG, who had the responsibility in managing NAWEC, was aware of the 3% markup and that GTG had not produced any evidence to show that they had a contract with NAWEC.

According to her, Mr. Abdoulie Jobe, former managing director of NAWEC, informed the commission about the IPP and that there was a licence and an agreement with PURA. She said during the process, NAWEC wrote to the office of the former president, noting that one could infer that the management of NAWEC was subdued under duress.

She said the generators were second-hand machines and the price at which they were bought were too high, which she said was confirmed by Mr. Fadi Mazegi; adding that GTG charged NAWEC $720,000 per month while the energy charge was 41.1 cent per hour.

Lead Counsel Bensouda argued that Mr. Abdoulie Jobe sent a letter to the office of the former president indicating the capacity charge, and that GTG had to provide the demonstrated capacity which was not done.

She further submitted that $12,000,000 was spent on HFO while the total investment was to the tune of $17.5m. She adduced that there was a directive from the Ministry of Energy that NAWEC should stop the investment with GTG, and that no further capacity charge should be made according to the directive.

Mrs. Bensouda argued that GTG submitted a proposal to hand over the facility to NAWEC and NAWEC could have had a better contract with SSHFC than that of the GTG. She alleged that there was no evidence that GTG was compelled to hand over the Power Plant to NAWEC as earlier alluded to by Bazzi’s attorney, Victoria Andrews.

She went on to say that an outstanding capacity charge was $8,000,000 with a total of over $9,000,000, noting that GTG was able to secure the agreement and that a document dated 6th March, 2010, indicated that GTG paid $1,000,000 into the account of the former president as well as $500,000.

According to her, the markup was not justified for NAWEC to pay as charged by GTG because the generators were old. She wondered how could the office of the former president order NAWEC to sign a contract with GTG, and that NAWEC was paying 61% from its revenue to GTG.

On the letter written by Mr. Muhammed Bazzi to the former president regarding the tariff, it was stated that he and his company were responsible for the operations of NAWEC. She went on to say that Mr. Bazzi said the former president wrote to him in response to his letter that he was humiliated, and that the exclusivity was guaranteed by GTG.

She submitted that GTG paid $500,000 into the account of Kanilai Group International (KGI), and it was the language of Mr. Bazzi that GNPC was an exporter and a retailer. However, she said there was no evidence to show that Mr. Bazzi and his team were arrested and detained at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

She further stated that they could not understand why the government should hand over NAWEC to GTG, noting that Messer. Mamburay Njie, and Momodou B. Jallow testified that they were invited to a meeting to discuss the contract between NAWEC and GTG.

Mrs. Bensouda submitted that it was amazing that Mr. Bazzi did not know what a conflict of interest was, noting that the agreement did not say that GTG was just an adviser. She argued that Mr. Alagie Conteh accused Mr. Bazzi of inflating the tender on the contract to provide electricity, and that there was evidence that the price was inflated as Mr. Conteh testified.

On the extension of the exclusivity licence for the importation of fuel by Euro Africa Group, she revealed that it was extended on the 10th of August, 2010. She added that Mr. Mazegi said payment had been made by SSHFC and the sum of $3,300,000 was transferred from SSHFC account.

Commission Counsel Bensouda further stated that Mr. Bazzi said that there was a directive from the office of the former president for SSHFC to purchase generators on behalf of NAWEC, and the said generators were not delivered until March, 2018. She said GTG did not pay any guaranty and the generators were not installed, because GTG needed €1.8m, and that the contract should have been completed within eight months.

She alleged that the project expiry date was extended several times, further submitting that there was no single matter as submitted by counsel Andrews that GTG had genuine contracts with NAWEC.

On Gam Petroleum, she submitted that Mr. Amadou Samba told the commission that he was not involved in the daily transaction of the company, and that Mr. Bazzi said there was a major investment to build Gam petroleum depot.

According to her, there was nothing in the file to show that MA Kharafi was interested in the construction of the storage facility, noting that the contract was done at the request of the former president, and there was no agreement signed and it was not clear who the share holders were and how much they held.

She said the executive has no power to interfere or direct any public enterprise to invest in such enterprises; adding that there was no evidence to show that there was reluctance to sell shares in the company.

Mrs. Bensouda submitted further that Gam petroleum was controlling the depot and the management of the company, stating further that dividend could not be paid and expenditure was deflated. She said the audit report by DT Associates revealed that Gam petroleum did not produce documents on their expenditures.

According to her, the sum of $24,000,000 worth of fuel belonging to TOSTA was supplied to Gam petroleum by GNPC and this was based on the fact that there was an emergency.

On the Mandinary land where the depot is situated, she said government did not own the said land and could not compulsorily take a land and give it to Gam Petroleum, further stating that all what they promised to the villagers at Mandinary were not honoured. However, she said the land was valued at D6.8m but the proprietors were only given D1,000,000 as compensation.

She also addressed the commission on the ownership of the “Daily Observer” Newspaper.

Sittings continue on Thursday 29th November, 2018.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 25 Nov 2018 : 14:56:26
Commission Counsel Bensouda Addresses Janneh Commission

Foroyaa: November 23, 2018
By Yankuba Jallow

http://foroyaa.gm/commission-counsel-bensouda-addresses-janneh-commission/


Amie Bensouda, the lead counsel for the Janneh Commission of Inquiry has on Thursday the 22nd November, 2018 addressed the Commissioners on issues raised during the sittings of the Commission.

This Commission fondly called the Janneh Commission was established by President Adama Barrow to probe into the financial dealings of the ex-president of the Gambia, Alhajie Yahya AJJ Jammeh who is currently in exile, in Equatorial Guinea, and his close associates.

In her address, the senior lawyer said the evidence before the Commission shows that licences were issued in The Gambia for mining. She said the first license was given to Carnergie Mining Company but was later terminated by the ex-president.

“The ex-president was interested in knowing the amount of money generated by the Carnergie Company and this was what led to him terminating the licence,” she said.

She adduced that Muhammed Bazzi was interested in seeing that the ex-president terminates the Carnergie Licence.

“The evidence suggested that Bazzi was interested to see to it that the Carnergie Licence was terminated and he influenced the ex-president because of his interest,” she said.

Counsel Bensouda stated that the standard of proof at the Janneh Commission is based on ‘balance of probability’. She said it is more likely than not that Muhammed Bazzi has knowledge of the existence of a contract between the Gambia government and Carnergie. She said the government of the Gambia has suffered damages as a result of the termination of the Carnergie License. She said extensive and substantial sum of money were awarded against the Gambia government by the arbitration panel.

She quantified that the damages suffered by the government of The Gambia included a liability of 993,668 dollars owed to Carnergie, 2 million dollars for cost of arbitration, among others. She said the ex-president without respecting the term of the contract terminated the contract with Carnergie.

“As far as the arbitration panel is concerned, the arbitration panel found out that the GAMICO company where Muhammed Bazzi is a shareholder, has taken over the equipment belonging to Carnergie without court order or ruling,” she adduced.

She said the Janneh Commission has visited the mining areas and that they have seen the damages caused to those areas.

“There is no doubt that the damages at those sites were as a result of the mining activities,” she said.

On the issue of APAM which is also a mining Company, Bensouda said the ex-president signed a licence to give APAM a mining licence.

“APAM was not registered to run any form of business. APAM was carrying out illegal activities,” she said.

The learned senior lawyer, in her recommendation said the Commission should look into the dealings of the Guaranty Trust Bank and First International Bank who had opened both dollar and dalasi accounts for APAM.

“APAM hold both dollar and dalasi accounts at the Guaranty Trust Bank and FIBank. APAM did not submit to these banks any article or memorandum of association. For two (2) years, the Guaranty Trust Bank has allowed APAM to run its accounts. It is a general practice for companies to submit their documents although it is not incorporated into the Banking Act, that a company should submit its documents of incorporation before opening account,” she said.

Bensouda said Tony Gathas is a close associate of the ex-president of the Gambia, Alhajie Yahya AJJ Jammeh.

About The Kairaba Beach Hotel, she said it was purchased by The Gambia government money from the Central Bank of the Gambia.

“The Kairaba was purchased from the funds of the Central Bank of The Gambia,” she said.

She said Baba Jobe in the year 2001 instructed the Central Bank of The Gambia to pay the sum to West Coast Company Limited. She said evidence shows that the Company belonged to Baba Jobe and Lang Conteh. She added the duo owners transferred the ownership to the Millennium Company Limited.

“Kairaba Beach Hotel was owned by the Millennium Company and Millennium was owned by the ex-president. MA Kharafi purchased The Kairaba from the Millennium Company,” she said.

She said MA Kharafi paid 10 million dalasis for the purchase of The Kairaba. She added that for 14 years, the MA Kharafi run the Hotel without accounting to the true owners which was the government of the Gambia.

She said there is no sufficient evidence that the Millennium purchased The Kairaba by its own fund.

“The Millennium acted fraudulently because it used the State fund to purchase The Kairaba fraudulently,” she submitted.

Moreover, she said the then AFPRC government signed 35 million dollar loan with Taiwan. She said it was signed by the then minister of finance, Bala Jahumpa. She said out of the $35 million, $3 million was paid into a special account in New York, United States of America.

About the Sindola Safari Lodge, Lawyer Bensouda said it was built in the years 2002 and 2003.

“Until the year 2004, The Kairaba was running the Sindola Safari Lodge. Sindola was constructed by the Sight Gambia Company whose shares were purchased through State fund,” she said.

On the Gam Bridge Oil Company, Counsel Bensouda rubbished the presumption that it was a valid contract between them and the Gambia government. She said the agreement was signed by Amadou Samba and Muhammed Bazzi but the government of the Gambia has not sign it.

“The government of The Gambia is not in breach of Sight Gambia contract. There was no agreement because it was not signed as intended,” she argued.

She submitted that the Gam Bridge Company should refund the Gambia Government 700,000 dollars which was transferred by the Central Bank of the Gambia. Bensouda said the Guaranty Trust Bank gave 2 million dalasis of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) to the transaction between the Gam Bridge Oil and KGI.

“The Commission should consider whether the Guaranty Trust Bank should refund the said amount to the SSHFC because there was no board resolution. The managing director does not have the authority in law to give such money without a board sanction (resolution). The Corporation lost 7 million dalasis on interest,” she said.

On NAWEC, she said it has a liability of 9.3 billion dalasis.

“75% of the total liabilities remains on the tax payers. Many witnesses have attributed the challenges that NAWEC face to the ex-president for his interference into the activities of the company,” she said.

The matter was adjourned to Tuesday, the 27th November 2018 at 10 am for the continuation of address by Counsel Bensouda.


Momodou Posted - 23 Nov 2018 : 15:13:48
Kairaba Hotel remains gov’t property – Bensouda

The Standard: November 23, 2018

By Baba Sillah

http://standard.gm/site/2018/11/23/kairaba-hotel-remains-govt-property-bensouda/

Continuing her summing of evidence before the Janneh Commission, Counsel Amie Bensouda yesterday said that the Kairaba Beach Hotel is still the property of The Gambia Government as the sale agreement between MA Kharafi and government was fraudulent .
She went on to justify this claim by explaining that the late Baba Jobe had directed the Central Bank of The Gambia to transfer US$5 million from ‘3M account’ even though there was no evidence before the inquiry to show that Mr Jobe was a signatory to the account.
She asked the commission to determine whether MA Kharafi had put himself in the position of purchaser at the time.
Counsel Bensouda contended that monies were fraudulently withdrawn from Central Bank to purchase the hotel and as such the statute of limitation has not run out regarding the sale and that the commission should determine that Kairaba Hotel remains the property of the state.

She also urged the commission to “carefully look” at the issues relating to Sindola Safari Lodge in Kanilai to determine whether it is the property of the state.
Drawing the attention of the commission to the mining activities, she submitted that the evidence before the commission showed various licences were issued for mining in The Gambia with the main licence issued to Carnegie Mineral Company.
According to Counsel Bensouda, Mr Muhammad Bazzi confirmed introducing a group of investors to the former president who made a presentation to him.
She further submitted that the former president at the time knew how much resources were generated by Carnegie Mineral.

The lead counsel at that point questioned why Mr Bazzi would be paid over 9 million pounds sterling when he claimed he had no interest in the company, arguing that the standard of probability is in the balance, citing relevant law authorities to back her point of contention.
Going further in her address, she argued that Mr Bazzi had more knowledge about the contract between The Gambia and Carnegie Mineral and was aware of the damages to the state.

She also blamed the former president for not following due procedures in issuing licence to the company and urged the commission to determine whether Mr Bazzi also played a role in the damage incurred.
She contended that Mr Bazzi has not produced documents to show the equipment left behind by Carnegie Mineral which were taken over by Gamico.

According to Counsel Bensouda, APAM was issued licence by Jammeh when it has no mining prospect and licence to operate, adding that Tony Ghattas was appointed as the managing director.
She drew the attention of the commission to the various payments made by Mr Ghattas to various
Momodou Posted - 22 Nov 2018 : 15:12:25
BENSOUDA SAYS 26 PERSONS IDENTIFIED AS JAMMEH ASSOCIATES ..as Janneh commission nears end

The Standard: November 22, 2018
By Baba Sillah

http://standard.gm/site/2018/11/22/bensouda-says-26-persons-identified-as-jammeh-associates-as-janneh-commission-nears-end/

The Commission of Inquiry into the financial dealings of former President Yahya Jammeh and his close associates has entered its penultimate stages with commission Counsel Amie Bensouda now starting to address the commission.
Beginning her address yesterday, Bensouda disclosed that out of the 253 witnesses that testified before the commission, 26 have been identified as close associates of the former president.
She however did not disclose their names.
Bensouda then referred the commission to the act that mandated its establishment and the principle of fair hearing, which she said has been accorded to all the parties by the commission.
Counsel Bensouda also drew the attention of the commission to the interim order on Amadou Samba, Muhammad Bazzi and Fadia Mazegi whom she said were all shareholders in Euro Africa Group and Global Trading Group, explaining further how payments were made into the personal accounts of former president Jammeh.

According to her, Euro Africa Group received and made various payments from various banks without any explanation.
She further argued that over US$10 million was paid to the personal account of Jammeh by Mr Bazzi and Mazegi without any legal explanation.
Counsel Bensouda further contended that the counsel for Mr Bazzi has challenged that her client was deprived of his privilege to a fair hearing, arguing that there is no evidence to substantiate that claim. Rather according to Bensouda, the witness was ignorant of his right.
Counsel Bensouda at that point cited the Evidence Act authored by Chief Justice Hassan Jallow to back her submission.

She further contended that neither Mr Bazzi nor Mazegi has claimed privilege at no time, challenging that, that privilege has no place during the proceedings and was not claimed by any of the said persons, citing various sections of the law to substantiate her submission.
Bensouda further argued that when the commission made an interim order, Amadou Samba and Muhammad Bazzi challenged the order at the court of appeal but their appeal was dismissed for lack of merit and the court upheld the power of the commission on the interim order.
Counsel Bensouda thereof urged the commission to uphold the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the interim order challenged by Bazzi and Mazegi.

She went on to state that Mr Bazzi and others who have been named close associates of Jammeh have failed to defend themselves as to whether they are close associates or not, citing section 204 of the Constitution which she read out to the commission to strengthen her submission.
Bensouda also revealed that three categories or factors were identified in this finding of the financial dealings of Jammeh, as the initiators, collaborators and facilitators in the withdrawal or use of public funds and resources, stressing that these factors needed to be considered by the commission to make a decision and recommendation.
Bensouda will continue her address today.
Momodou Posted - 30 Oct 2018 : 12:30:48
‘Janneh’ Commission Visits Kanilai

Foroyaa: October 29, 2018


http://foroyaa.gm/janneh-commission-visits-kanilai-2/

The ‘Janneh’ Commission of Enquiry set up by the president to probe into the financial dealings of former president Jammeh and his close associates, on Wednesday October 24th 2018, visited the home village of the former president for the second time, to assess and see for themselves, the situation of the properties he left behind and the state or condition they are in.

The tour party which include some staff of the Commission with the Chairperson Surahata Janneh and Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, visited various sites and unfinished projects, left behind by Yaya Jammeh. The Commission delegation visited the crocodile pool, an ambitious but unfinished Agric. Project site with an unfinished overhead water tower, and a huge unfinished mansion project, all left behind by the former president, some of which have since started to dilapidate. The delegation was led on a conducted tour of the huge unfinished mansion left behind by the former president. The huge unfinished mansion houses several suites and luxury rooms with lots of luxury furniture that has started losing quality. Documents left behind were also inspected and taken by the Commissioners as evidence including a bag full of what resembles ‘gold’ coins. The Commissioners visited the crocodile pool, where some huge crocodiles can be seen to have survived during the absence of the man who brought them there. Some other animals can also be seen to have survived including peacocks etc.

At all the sites visited, immense wear and tear can be seen on the properties including equipment, due to lack of proper upkeep and maintenance.
Momodou Posted - 25 Oct 2018 : 13:02:46
Ex-protocol officer says Jammeh promised to transfer a land


The Point: Thursday, October 25, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/ex-protocol-officer-says-jammeh-promised-to-transfer-a-land

Natalie Gomez-Ceesay, former protocol officer, office of the former president, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission and said that the former president, Yahya Jammeh, told her that he would transfer a land situated at Kololi to her. She was summoned in connection to the said land.


She testified that she was a protocol officer attached to the office of the former president from 2009 to 2011, November; adding that she is now studying law at the University of The Gambia. She said it was correct that she was summoned in connection to the said property.

Before continuing her testimony, she was given her statement, which she confirmed and then signed it before the commission; she also confirmed that she was occupying the property.

She told the commission that while at state house, the former president told her that he was interested in her father’s land situated at Nemakunku to build an estate. She said they, as a family, agreed to transfer the land to the former president without giving them anything.

According to her, the former president asked her what she was going to do with the money given to her by her dad, and she responded that she was going to build a house. She added that few days later, the former president called her again and informed her that he had a property at Kololi and would transfer it to her name.

She revealed that after the transfer, the documents were given to her by Mr. Amadou Samba. She said that it came to her knowledge that her dad talked to the former president. She revealed that the former president told her that she should go back to tell her dad that he wanted the land.

She told the commission that her dad asked her how did the former president know about the land and she told her father that she did not know. She testified that her father told her that he would transfer the land to the former president.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda asked her whether she was aware that her dad’s transfer of ownership was not completed but she responded that she had no idea.

It was put to her that her father told the commission that he gave the land to the former president without any consideration. In response, she confirmed that she heard her father say so.

Counsel Bensouda put it to her that the said land belongs to Kainilai Family Farmers, and she answered in the positive. However, she said her father’s land cannot be compared to the house given to her by the former president; adding that she was told that the said property was owned by one Mr. Bojang who had a financial problem and sold the land to the former president.

At this juncture, her statement dated 10th March, 2018, was tendered and admitted as exhibit.

Earlier, Ms. Kumba Jobarteh, who confirmed to be a friend of Aisha Fatty for 5-6 years, also testified before the commission in relation to a property situated at Bijilo, which Aisha Fatty claimed to be the owner.

She stated that she is a businesswoman, and has a fashion shop called Dada’s at Kotu, noting that she knew Aisha fatty through her aunt; adding that Aisha Fatty was working at State House.

The businesswoman further testified that she did not know Gen. Saul Badjie, and she never met him.

At this juncture, she was given a document which she said she signed as witness for Aisha Fatty, but prior to that, Aisha told her that she bought a house and wanted her to serve as a witness on the transfer of ownership certificate.

According to her, she had been to the house but could not remember the date. She disclosed that she made a statement to the investigators.

At this juncture, she was given a statement which she went through and confirmed that she signed the said statement.

It was put to her that she signed as a witness for a transfer of ownership which she said was prepared by Saul Badjie. Mrs. Bensouda then asked her how she knew that it was prepared by Saul Badjie. In response, she told the commission that she was told by the investigators that the house was sold to Aisha Fatty.

Further testifying, she stated that she does not know whether Aisha Fatty gave money to Saul Badjie.

At this juncture, the statement signed by her dated 26th January, 2016, was tendered by Counsel Bensouda. It was put to her that the date written on the transfer of ownership was 17th February, 2015. She responded that the document was not brought to her to sign as a witness in 2017.

Sittings continue on the 31st October, 2018.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 24 Oct 2018 : 15:26:42
At The ‘Janneh’ Commission Lt. Colonel Musa M. Jammeh, Aisha Fatty Appear

Foroyaa: October 24, 2018

By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-lt-colonel-musa-m-jammeh-aisha-fatty-appear/

Lt. Colonel Musa Jammeh of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), yesterday on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff General Masanneh Kinteh, appeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission in connection to salaries and allowances paid to former Army officers.

In the same vein, Aisha Fatty, the proprietor of Metro Cosmetics Shop and former protocol officer at the office of the former president, also testified.

According to Jammeh, retired Captain Edward Singhateh received the sum of over D249,000 from 1st May 1994, to December 1996, while Captain Yankuba Touray was paid the sum of D393,833.70 from the period 1st May 1994, to December 1996. He said Captain Ebou Jallow was paid the sum of D116, 404.40 from 1st May 1994, to 31st December 1995.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked him why Ebou Jallow was called Captain and not retired captain. He responded that Captain Jallow did not retire from the Army but deserted. Further testifying before the Commission, he revealed that Retired Captain Lamin Karba Bajo, received over D237,000 from May 1994, to 31stDecember 1996. Documents relating to the salaries and allowances of the ten ex-army officers, were tendered and admitted in evidence. A letter written by the witness to the Secretary of the Commission on the said subject matter, was also admitted by the Commission.

Aisha Fatty was mentioned during previous proceedings of the Commission on properties owned by the former military aide and commander of the State Guard Battalion, Saul Badjie.

It was revealed to the ‘Janneh’ Commission by Inspector Lamin Sanneh of the Gambia Police Force (GPF); that one of the properties at Bijilo was managed by Aisha Fatty. The Commission therefore deemed it prudent to hear her testimony on the said property prior to admitting any document relating to the said property. She was then accordingly summoned to face the Commission and narrate her story.

On the day of Ms. Fatty’s appearance, she told the Commission that she lives at Bijilo and has a fashion and cosmetic shop called Metro. However, before she continued her evidence, Barrister C.E Mene announced his representation for the witness.

At this juncture, Commission Chairman Sourahata Janneh said they received a letter through the Secretary of the Commission to the attention of the Chairman. He said he read it and wanted Counsel Mene to confirm that he was asking for the sittings to be heard in camera (out of public hearing).

He consequently ordered that they would retire to Chambers and would be ready in 15 minutes. The matter was later heard in Chambers.

Testifying before the Commission, Ms. Fatty confirmed that she was asked to vacate the said property by the Registrar General; that she did not vacate the property because it belongs to her family.

According to her, she was working as a Protocol Officer at the office of the former president from December 2013 to December 2015. When asked if she had an appointment letter, she responded in the affirmative.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda told her that she was required to provide her appointment letter and business registration certificates; that she told Lt. Buba Jammeh that she earlier got a property at Sukuta but was duped, noting that Lt. Buba Jammeh told her that Saul Badjie would be able to help her.

She revealed that Saul Badjie was informed and he asked where the property was located, and was told by Saul Badjie, that he would be of help, and showed her a plot of land. She said Saul Badjie asked her where she would want the property to be situated, and she told him that she would want it to be situated within Senegambia.

She said subsequently, Saul Badjie told her about a land at Bijilo costing D450,000 which she bought, noting that her family agreed to contribute after informing them about the land; that she was not happy because the contractor was not regular at work and was very slow. She said she engaged another contractor by the name Talla Barry of Manjai, who completed the work while the first contractor was terminated.

On how she came to know Lt. Buba Jammeh, she said she knew him at State House as Head of Intelligence, at the office of the former president; that General Saul Badjie told her that they had a transfer from the Alkalo in her name, but she never saw the transfer.

She disclosed that she paid the said sum in 2014; that Saul Badjie gave her no receipt. She went on to say that the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Lands Buba Sanyang, in 2016 was doing the transfer of ownership but never gave her any document to sign.

However, Counsel Bensouda told her that the PS does not deal with the transfer of ownership of lands, noting that she banked with Guaranty Trust Bank and her salary as protocol officer was between D8,000 and D10,000. She revealed that she paid about D100,000 for the fence and foundation, further stating that she built the foundation around 2014 and it was completed in 2016.

Ms. Fatty confirmed that D2.3m was the cost of the building.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked her whether she had a contract with Talla Barry. In response, she said she has the contract at home and can produce it; that she paid Talla Barry D2.2m for completing the storey building.

Sitting continues.



Salaries, allowances of 10 army officers from 1994 to 1996 revealed at Janneh commission

The Point: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/salaries-allowances-of-10-army-officers-from-1994-to-1996-revealed-at-janneh-commission

Lt. Colonel Musa Jammeh of the Gambia Armed Forces yesterday on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Masanneh Kinteh, appeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to salaries and allowances paid to former army officers.


According to Jammeh, retired Captain Edward Singhateh received the sum of over D249,000 from 1st of May, 1994, to December, 1996, while Captain Yankuba Touray was paid the sum of D393,833.70 from the period 1st of May, 1994, to December, 1996. He said Captain Ebou Jallow was paid the sum of D116, 404.40 from 1st May, 1994, to 31st December, 1995.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda asked him why was Ebou Jallow called captain and not retired captain, he responded that Captain Jallow did not retire from the army but he disserted.

Further testifying before the commission, he revealed that Retired Captain Lamin Kabba Bajo, received over D237,000 from May, 1994, to 31st of December,1996. Documents relating to the salaries and allowances of 10 ex-army officers were tendered and admitted in evidence. A letter written by the witness to the secretary of the commission on the said subject matter was also admitted by the commission.

Aisha Fatty was mentioned during the proceedings of the commission on properties owned by the former military aide and commander of the State Guard Battalion, Saul Badjie.

It was revealed to the Janneh Commission by Inspector Lamin Sanneh of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) that one of the properties at Bijilo was managed by Aisha Fatty. The commission therefore deemed it prudent to hear her testimony on the said property prior to admitting any document relating to the said property. She was then accordingly summoned to face the commission and narrate her story.

On the day of Ms. Fatty’s appearance, she told the commission that she lives at Bijilo and has a fashion shop and a cosmetic shop called Metro. However, before she continued her evidence, Barrister C.E Mene announced his representation for the witness.

At this juncture, commission’s chairman, Sourahata Janneh said they received a letter through the secretary of the commission to the attention of the chairman. He said he read it and wanted Counsel Mene to confirm that he was asking for the sittings to be heard in camera (out of public hearing).

He consequently ordered that they would retire to chambers and would be ready in 15 minutes. The matter was later heard in chambers.

Ms. Fatty confirmed that she was asked to vacate the said property by the Registrar General. She said she did not vacate the property because it belongs to her family.

According to her, she was working as a Protocol Officer at the office of the former president from December 2013 to December 2015. When asked if she had an appointment letter, she responded in the affirmative.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda told her that she was required to provide her appointment letter and business registration certificates. She added that she told Lt. Buba Jammeh that she earlier got a property at Sukuta but was duped, noting that Lt. Buba Jammeh told her that Saul Badjie would be able to help her.

She revealed that Saul Badjie was informed and he asked where the property was located, and was told by Saul Badjie that he would be of help, and showed her a plot of land. She said Saul Badjie asked her where she would want the property to be situated, and she told him that she would want it to be situated within Senegambia.

She said subsequently Saul Badjie told her about a land at Bijilo costing D450,000 which she bought, noting that her family agreed to contribute after informing them about the land. She adduced that she was not happy because the contractor was not regular at work and was very slow. She then engaged another contractor by the name Talla Barry of Manjai who completed the work while the first contractor was terminated.

On how she came to know Lt. Buba Jammeh, she said she knew him at State House as Head of Intelligence, office of the former president. General Saul Badjie told her that they had a transfer from the ‘alkalo’ in her name, but she never saw the transfer.

She disclosed that she paid the said sum in 2014; adding that Saul Badjie gave her no receipt. She went on to say that the permanent secretary, Ministry of Lands, Buba Sanyang, in 2016 was doing the transfer of ownership but never gave her any document to sign.

However, Mrs. Bensouda told her that the PS does not deal with the transfer of ownership of lands, noting that she banked with Guaranty Trust Bank and her salary as Protocol Officer was between D8,000 and D10,000. She revealed that she paid about D100,000 for the fence and foundation, further stating that she built the foundation around 2014 and was completed in 2016.

Ms. Fatty confirmed that D2.3 million was the cost of the building. At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked her whether she had a contract with Talla Barry. In response, she said she has the contract at home and could produce it; adding that she paid Talla Barry D2.2 million for completing the storey building.

Sitting continues.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 15 Oct 2018 : 21:08:11
Commission gets more information on Jammeh & Zineb properties


The Point: Monday, October 15, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/commission-gets-more-information-on-jammeh-zineb-properties

Lamin Touray, the registrar of companies, on Thursday reappeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to properties belonging to the former president and his wife respectively.

He was supposed to submit the rest of the files of the said properties as requested by the commission. However, he told the commission that they continued to search and discovered that Jammeh Foundation for Peace (JFP) was not registered.

According to him, Kanilai Family Farm (KFF) Abattoir was not also registered but Kanilai Institute for Science and Technology was registered while Excel Construction file was found but he could not trace the rest of the files.

The registrar of companies further testified that Operation Save the Children Foundation which was operated by the former First Lady was also registered. At this juncture, a copy of Kanilai Group International, certificates of incorporation for Excel Construction and KFF as well as certificates of business registration were tendered and admitted in evidence.

He told the commission that they would continue to search for the rest of the files, despite the challenges.

Detective Sub-Inspector Lamin Sanneh, of the Fraud Squad Unit, Gambia Police Force (GFP), Surveyor Bunja Janneh, Director of Lands and Survey, Kebba Ceesay, testified simultaneously in relation to General Saul Badjie’s properties.

Sub-Inspector Sanneh testified that during the course of investigations, they discovered eight properties belonging to Saul Badjie. However, he said investigations are still on-going. He said the first property was found at Bijilo and one Aisha Fatty is taken care of it.

According to him, the property is measuring 699 square metres which was confirmed by the Surveyor Bunja Janneh. He added that the land is not a layout. The director of Lands and Survey, Mr. Ceesay, also added his voice and disclosed that the land is customary. Sub-Inspector Sanneh told the commission that they were able to interrogate and obtained a statement from Aisha Fatty.

On the second property, Mr. Ceesay revealed that there is a storey building and the property measures 35×25 square metres and is part of government layout, noting that it was an open space. He said that he came across an inventory with Saul Badjie’s name; adding that the property is situated at the Brufut Heights Annex. Mr. Ceesay testified that he thought that the Brufut Heights Annex was allocated during Aki Bayo’s time as a minister for Local Government and Lands.

It was further stated that the 3rd and 4th properties are situated at Sinchu Alagie and the 4th one is under the protection of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU).

On the 5th property, Mr. Ceesay adduced that it is located at Old Yundum and it has a mass structure with 3000 square metres, noting that it is occupied by two people with their brothers.

He further told the commission that Saul Badgie also has two plots at Sukuta, adding that Saul Badjie’s mother and his brother occupied the first plot, while the second property at the same place measures 20×40 square metres and it has poultry area, and it is also a customary land which is leased.

He revealed that the 8th property is located at Salaji layout and it is empty; adding that it was allocated to General Badjie by the former government.

Commission’s Chairman Sourahata Janneh, told the director of Lands to provide the Mbarala file since it was conflicting with the testimonies regarding the ownership of the property. He observed that on this property, it bears the name of KFF.

Mrs. Bensouda told the commission that documents provided in connection to the eight properties discovered that they belong to General Saul Badjie. She then applied to tender them in evidence as exhibits.

However, Chairman Janneh told her that Aisha Fatty is a potential witness and for that reason, a subpoena was issued for her to appear before the commission. He said based on that ground, the file for the property at Bijilo would not be admitted unless she appears before the commission.

Documents indicating properties owned by Saul Badjie were tendered and admitted in evidence.

At this juncture, commission’s Chairman Sourahata Janneh, announced that the commission would resume on the 23rd of October, 2018 for continuation.

Author: Dawda Faye

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