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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||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
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)
||Posted - 23 Apr 2018 : 12:07:52
Engineer Testifies At ‘Janneh’ Commission
Foroyaa: April 20, 2018
By Mamadou Dem
The Commission of enquiry set up by the Government of Adama Barrow to investigate into the assets and financial dealings of former President Yaya Jammeh and his close associates, continues to receive the testimonies of witnesses who have been served to appear at the said Commission, chaired by Senior Counsel Surahata S. Janneh.
On the sitting of Thursday 19th April 2018, Mr. Adama Samba, a civil engineer by profession, was summoned to appear at the Commission to shed light on the construction of line houses at the Farafenni Military Barracks.
The brief sitting saw Mr. Samba indicate to Commissioners that he was called by the office of the former president, to conduct a survey and design the houses; that he was however informed that the houses were built by the Military but would not know whether they were built or not.
After looking at a document shown to him by Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, he confirmed the total sum of D6.9 million, as the cost of the project.
Sitting continues on Monday 23rd April.
||Posted - 19 Apr 2018 : 14:48:49
KGI MD could not explain who appointed her
The Point: Thursday, April 19, 2018
The managing director of KGI has told the commission that she was appointed as the managing director of the company in October 2016 after her predecessor; Tony Ghattas a Lebanese national was demoted.
However, she could not explain who actually appointed her but did confirmed that she was informed but later she was called by the then exiled General Saul Badjie who summoned a meeting for her to work with her predecessor in order to restructure and regularise the affairs of the company.
However, she pointed out to the commission’s Chairman Sourahata Janneh that she would not know why Mr. Ghattas was demoted and she was appointed. She said when she was appointed; she co-signed cheques with Mr. Ghattas whenever he wanted to make transaction at the bank.
Wureh Njie-Ceesay yesterday continued to give evidence before the Janneh Commission on matters relating to the affairs of APAM where she once served as the managing director.
Alhamdullahi Petroleum and Mining Company (APAM ) was a mining company initiated by the former President purposely engaged in the mining of black sands which were sent to China.
She further recollected that she was briefed by Mr. Ghattas about the affairs of the company and its involvement in the sand mining before an account was opened, further recalling that by the time she was appointed, the account was already closed.
The former banker explained that she was not involved in the selling of black sand but was briefed by Mr. Ghattas as well as the shipment account where the proceeds of the black sand were deposited.
She further clarify that she was not privy to the statement of the shipment account but did confirm the company’s hiring of foreign employees from China.
“I did not sign anything on the joint venture agreement between APAM and Shanghai Gambia,” she reacted.
Hearing continues today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 19 Apr 2018 : 09:03:56
Operation bulldozer used to recover KGI’s debts: KGI MD
The Point: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
The managing directors of Kanilai Group International, Wurreh Njie-Ceesay yesterday revealed to the ‘Janneh’ Commission that she was informed that a security unit under the former regime known as “operation bulldozer” was used in recovering KGI’s debts.
However, Mrs. Ceesay made it clear that she did not witness such an operation.
Mrs. Ceesay and the managing director of The Gambia Food and Safety Quality Authority formally called The Gambia Groundnut Corporation were summoned before the commission in connection to issues surrounding their companies, including the transaction and purchase of tractors among other related matters.
Wurreh Njie-Ceesay, who reappeared for the third time cantered her evidence on the Japanese rice grant and the purchase of Mahindra tractors.
She testified that there was a file purposely for the tractors but there was no account at the time she took over as the managing director of the company.
According to her, the tractors were a grant to the government but she has no idea about the tractors until when they talked to some customers and that was the time they realised that there was a sort of down payments with regard to the said tractors.
The former banker also recollected that based on their findings and consultations of some of the customers, they found out that the company owed the state the sum of D3.5million, and further disclosed that the total cash she received from the rice debtors when she took over as the MD was D1, 991,344 but did not know the total outstanding balance of the debt when she was appointed.
However, she pointed out that at the time of her appointment as MD, the total outstanding balance for the tractors was D1.4million.
Mrs. Ceesay categorically refuted any connection between KGI and West Wood Company but did confirm dealing with Euro Africa Group for the supply of fuel to the company.
She also explained to the commission that she had no relation with business mogul, Amadou Samba, when she assumed as the MD of the company.
At that juncture, commission counsel’s Amie Bensouda, asked her to provide her salary slip including the staff of the company, noting that she has never received any bonus other than her allowance.
On the recovery of the company’s debts, she revealed that she was informed that “Operation Bulldozer” was used in order to recover their debts but she had not witnessed the operation.
Next to testify was Anthony Gabriel Carvalho, the managing director of Gambia Food and Safety Quality Authority formally called The Gambia Groundnut Corporation also faced the commission to shed light on the purchase of John Deere tractors.
He recalled that in 2012, the corporation received a written information from the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance asking them to open a letter of credit at Trust Bank for the purchase of the said tractors from South Africa and the sum of $2.5million as their LC was made by the corporation which was sent to the bank and the ministry respectively.
Mr. Carvalho further testified that they later received a notice from the bank indicating that they have received collateral from Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation ( SSHFC). He said after due procedures were followed for the procurement of the tractors the bank also spelt out their conditions.
According to him, the ministry at the time could not open a letter of credit at the bank because they did not have an account and the corporation was requested to do so which they did but they never requested for the tractors at the time.
He finally explained that the tractors were purchased but the corporation was never refunded by the government and its apparatus, further stating that over D58million was debited from their account with interest for the overdraft.
Sittings continue today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 17 Apr 2018 : 13:48:10
Amadou Samba’s attorney cross-examines witness before Janneh Commission
The Point: Tuesday, April 17, 2018
The lawyer representing Mr. Samba, Sheriff Tambadou yesterday cross-examined the country coordinator of MA Kharafi and Sons, Momodou Lamin Sonko before the Janneh Commission following his evidence that Amadou Samba was involved in the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Mr. Sonko in his evidence before the inquiry had informed the commission that Amadou Samba and his sister, Mary Samba were initially involved in the sale of the hotel and explained various roles played by Mr. Samba and his sister, Mary Samba who is also his lawyer.
Under cross-examination yesterday, Mr. Sonko confirmed that he was called by MA Kharafi who was in Cairo, Egypt at the time for the sale of the hotel to the then exiled former President Yahya Jammeh.
According to him, no formal receipt was given to him after the payment of $10,000,000 which he said was paid at the Standard Chartered Bank after an agreement was reached.
Mr. Sonko further explained that the document which contained the name of Edward A. Gomez but it was not stated that the document was prepared by him rather it was prepared by Mary Samba.
He also explained that he could not remember whether he incorporated any business name called “Millennium” in the name of his business when asked by Counsel Tambadou, the lawyer for Mr. Samba.
Asked who were the shareholders of Millennium Africo Water and Electricity Power Company Ltd., after a careful perusal of a document given to him, he said the shareholders were himself and Kanilai Family Farm.
Barrister Tambadou at that point applied to tender the memorandum and article of association and business registration of the company as exhibits.
Counsel for Mr. Sonko, Combeh Gaye, however, raised an objection on the basis that it was irrelevant to the subject matter before the commission which his client was summoned to testify.
The document notwithstanding was admitted in evidence as exhibit after the commission’s chairman, Sourahata Janneh weighted its admissibility.
Mr. Sonko, the proprietor of Boto Construction refuted that the said documents do not mean that he was engaged in business with Jammeh rather the former president verbally offered him 20% share after he introduced a company to him which he vested interest.
He insisted that Mr. Samba signed a document during the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel on behalf of Jammeh but he has not got the documents which Mr. Samba signed, adding that the documents which Mr. Samba signed was rejected and could not produce.
KPMG report on the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel was requested by commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda and urged the witness to liaise with MA Kharafi to make it available to the commission.
Sitting continues today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 11 Apr 2018 : 13:59:24
It was intimidation under Jammeh: Aki Bayo
The Point: Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Momodou Aki Bayo, the former minister of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers has yesterday testified before Janneh Commission that under Jammeh’s rule, there was a climate of fear, intimidation, torture and disappearances and most officials under his administration had a story to tell.
However, he said despite all those difficult circumstances he tried everything possible not to make anyone cry.
He and Ismaila Sanyang, the former Agriculture minister appeared before the commission in connection to KGI, MRI and other government accounts and the leases of properties issued to the former president and Gambia Milling Corporation respectively.
Mr. Bayo who appeared in connection to land leased to Yahya Jammeh and Gambia Milling Corporation also gave a background on portfolios he held under the former governments.
Prior to his testimony, Mrs. Bensouda told him that he approved a leased land belonging to the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) to a private company (Gambia Milling Corporation) to which he responded in the affirmative.
However, the counsel told him that the land was a freehold but he said he rely heavily on technical advice and this matter was dealt with by Physical Planning and the Department of Lands and Survey, including technical staff of his ministry. He added that being a freehold land, there should have been an approval from the National Assembly and the president before it should have been leased.
According to him, his records showed that GPA gave their consent on the leasing of the land. However, he could not produce the document at that spot but was required to produce when next he face the commission.
On the approval of the four properties on the coastal area leased to KFF, he said he did not know how these extensive properties were acquired without following due process as alluded to by the Department of Tourism.
However, he said, as the minister at the time, he relied on his technical staff and if it was pointed out to him that the said land fall under TDA he would have made a second thought.
Mr. Bayo told the commission that it’s not his style to blame his junior staff; adding that he did not only signed the leased documents based on the advice from the technical staff but it was also done out of fear.
He further told commissioners that had it been he refused to approve them, then there would have been consequences which would be detrimental. He said his junior staffs were not consulted prior to granting lease lands to the former president.
On whether the former president discussed with him about land matters, he responded in the affirmative; adding that the former head of state on couple of occasions told him about land affairs.
According to him, during a Cabinet retreat in Kailai, the former president emphasised to him as to why one of his provincial properties was not leased but he responded to him that the documents were yet to reach his desk. Thereby describing the way the former president spoke to him as ‘threatening.’
At this juncture, Commissioner Saine interjected and asked whether there was a culture of collaboration between him and his staff and he responded in the positive. “I do interact with them and they did advise me not to do certain things,” he expounded.
Mr. Bayo is expected to reappear today in connection to the lease surrounding Gambia Milling Corporation.
Mr. Sanyang confirmed to the commission that he was a co-signatory to various accounts namely, Tax Recovery, GNPC, MRI Presidential, Higher Education, PAC/PEC and Kanilai Institute of Technology Account respectively.
On how the MRI was funded, he responded that he has no idea as to how the account was funded because he found the account in operation at the office of the president and it was managed by the permanent secretaries, office of the former president.
At this juncture, commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, asked him to explain a transaction for the withdrawal of D7, 000,000 which was authorised by him and Isatou Aurba, he responded it was an instruction from the former president for the said sum to be withdrawn and handed over to him as a matter of urgency.
However, he said he has no idea as to what the fund was intended for while confirming that he physically handed over the said sum to the former president but could not recollect in the presence of whom; adding that it is correct that he authorised the payment of D2,000,000 to Sanna Jarju, former chief of protocol.
Mr. Sanyang further told the commission that it will be difficult to know the purpose of the payment to Mr. Jarju, suggesting that Mr. Jarju should be in a better position to explain considering the condition they were working under and they dare not to ask.
According to him, these were inherited accounts and it would be difficult for him to explain how funds were lodged and withdrawn from the account; adding that the former president was more responsible for the funds than him as he was the chief executive of the country.
“It would be difficult for me to know what the monies were meant for under that circumstance,” he said.
He said if the issue of KGI was brought to his attention earlier as the Agric minister, he would have resolved the matter with regard to the debt amounting to D100, 000,000 it owe to the ministry.
Next to testify was Bakary Biati Trawally, a pathologist who indroduced himself as a former national and international civil servant.
Mr. Trawally who gave synopsis of his career as a civil servant since from 1979 was summoned in connection to the Japanese grants (rice) and testified that Japanese grants came well before Jammeh came into power but then it was in a form pesticides among others.
According to him, when the former president became minister of Agriculture in 2007, he was being move in and out of the ministry and hardly sees or communicates with him.
He alleged that it was very difficult to work with the former president as all correspondences had to be sent to the secretary general rather than the minister responsible for agricultural matters. He said during his time as PS, the ministry used to liaise with Sarja Camara of KGI regarding the Japanese rice, noting that the proceeds would be deposited at the bank but he never dealt with KGI.
“All the time I was at the Department of State for Agriculture (DOSA), there was no sitting minister at Quadrangle,” he said.
With regard to the Japanese grant, he said they were usually asked by the Japanese to list down the items needed prior to disbursement of consignment; that he did not think the Japanese grant help the poor people as intended, noting that the Gambia has a fertile soil and resources to produce what it consumes.
He, however, opined what the country needs to upgrade the soil by applying fertilizer, enhances the capacity of the farmers with farm implements as well as introduced irrigational systems. He said he never knew that KGI belongs to the former president and the Japanese would not specifically identify the companies to award contract for the sales of the rice.
He finally testified that he initially suggested for the sales of Japanese rice to be decentralised among the governors in various regions who will sale and deposit the proceeds into a Trust Bank account which would also in turn and deposit to CBG.
Next to face the commission was Woreh Njie-Ceesay, managing director of Kanilai Group International. She was summoned in connection to KGI accounts and APAM respectively.
During her evidence, Mrs. Ceesay told the commission that she was a banker with First International Bank (FIB) prior to assuming the responsibility of managing director of KGI.
On how she became MD for the said company, she said she was approached by the then Secretary General Momodou Sabally to serve in this portfolio; adding that while at the bank, she was the manager of the JB KGI account which she said was a joint venture investment different from KGI dealing with the importation of cement among others.
According to her, she was appointed as MD on March 14, 2014, and among the payments she was receiving were proceeds from Bakeries and Rental from Futurlec building among others. She added as MD of the company, she reports to Gen. Sulayman Badjie.
At this juncture, she confirmed that Gen. Sulayman Badjie owned 60% of KFF while she owned 40% as per the amendment on the Memorandum of Article and Association.
Mrs. Ceesay further disclosed to the commission that upon her appointment, a meeting was held between the former president, Momodou Sabally and herself and it was at this meeting that she was asked to be reporting to Gen. Badjie.
She finally testified that request for payments from the former president through Gen. Sulayman Badjie were available.
Sittings continue today.
||Posted - 06 Apr 2018 : 12:26:49
‘There was fraud in the management of the gateway and GAMTEL’
The Point: Friday, April 06, 2018
Lamin Camara, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that there was fraud in the management of the gateway and GAMTEL. He appeared to shed light on the management of GAMTEL gateway contract between the international telecom companies and the government. He said that GAMTEL at the time was losing a lot of revenue from the proceeds of the gateway.
He testified that the gateway used to be managed by GAMTEL until 2006 when Global Voice Group contract was signed but later terminated, then came Spectrum which was also terminated before the contract was awarded to System 1, TELL and finally MGI which was managing the gateway until 2007.
Mr. Camara who was summoned in his capacity as the then PS, Ministry of Information, recalled that when the visa license for the management of the gateway was revoked, GAMTEL used to exclusively manage the gateway.
He adduced that the role of the ministry at the time was to support GAMTEL for the agreement of visa license for the management of the gateway which he said was replaced.
Mr. Camara further testified that the payment by Spectrum regarding the sale of GAMTEL/GAMCEL shares to Spectrum was not determined at the level of the ministry.
Executive summon business evaluation prepared by PKF firm for GAMTEL/GAMCEL was tendered and admitted as an exhibit.
On the evaluation of the sale of GAMTEL/GAMCEL shares to Spectrum, he said the highest evaluation at the time was $161.2 million, noting that the ministry was also involved in the reverse decision by the government in the sale of the national telecom and its subsidiary company, GAMCEL.
He added that Mr. Ali Charari was the one behind TELL and Spectrum while system 1 is a Spanish- based company, noting that the said companies were not licensed at the time of managing the gateway.
“MGI had an issue with TELL and after the termination of TELL contract, MGI was contracted to manage the gateway,” Mr. Camara told the commission.
He testified that $ 2 million was deducted from the gateway proceeds by the Spectrum every month.
According to him, Gamtel at the time was not under the ministry of information and was under the office of the former president.
He further told the commission that all the staff of Gamtel were fighting for the termination of TELL company, noting that he was not aware of the projects of MGI at the time until he became part of the task force.
At this juncture, situational report on Gamtel prepared by the witness for the years 2007 to 2008 was tendered and admitted as evidence.
He further stated that a sum of $26 million was for projects done by MGI, adding that Gamcel billing system did not come to the board. He disclosed that MGI was under the office of the former president, disclosing that there was a letter from the said office that the gateway was under the office of the former president and anything relating to the gateway should be directed to the office of the former president.
At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked the witness whether he could comfortably say that the government benefited from the gateway, and he answered in the positive.
He was further asked by Commissioner Saine whether there was anybody in the government who could have made informed choices. In response, he told the commission that he believed that if the management was not performing, then it needed a replacement.
At this juncture, Commissioner Saine again asked who was the accounting executive to make a decision, in response, he answered that at the level of the office of the former president, it was the secretary general who handled such matters.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 05 Apr 2018 : 14:48:45
EX-President Jammeh claimed to be a medical doctor - Dr. Tamsir Mbowe tells Janneh Commission
The Point: Thursday, April 05, 2018
The former director of presidential treatment programme, Dr Tamsir Mbowe, yesterday told the commission that the former President Yahya Jammeh claimed to be a medical doctor. He appeared to explain the motive behind the former President Jammeh’s presidential treatment programme.
Dr. Mbowe who once served as the minister of health and the director of medical service gave brief synopsis of his career as a medical practitioner and explained the various positions he held before he was appointed as the director general of presidential treatment programme.
According to him, the treatment programme started in 2007 and he was appointed as the director and was responsible for the clinical aspect of the programme to monitor the clinical condition of the patients.
Dr. Mbowe also said that an account was opened for the programme which he was a signatory to with Ansumana Jammeh and Nyima Badgie.
He further testified that Ansumana Jammeh was responsible for the medication of the treatment programme while confirmed signing a cheque and the donation of funds by NAWEC, AMRC and GNPC for the treatment programme.
He explained that the funds were used to buy group uniform for the treatment programme and other medical items as well as food stuff for the programme which he said was operated at State House , Ndemban Clinic and Kanilai until 2017 when the former president went into exile.
According to him, Ndemban Clinic served as a registration centre for the patients and was well equipped and functional at the time of the treatment programme.
He testified further that the former president was the leading doctor while he was the clinical expert but had no idea whether the former president was registered as a medical doctor neither had he seen any certificate certified to him, despite he claimed to be a medical doctor.
Dr. Mbowe, however, pointed out that despite he was the director of the treatment and was paid by Jammeh with a salary of D21, 500; he said he did not have access to some of the records of the treatment programme.
He further testified that he was verbally appointed by the former president and had no idea whether he was exempted from tax.
According to him, about 48 staff were appointed by Jammeh for the programme but he had not got the record of the staff but was asked by commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, to provide the list of all the staff and the vehicles allocated for the programme.
He finally told the commissioners that to the best of his knowledge, the treatment programme was successful during the course of the treatment based on the medical point of view, claiming that the total death during the treatment was less than six.
Yam Mbamba Njie-Keita, former PS, office of the former president, also faced the commission in connection to the office of the former president and certain accounts during the period she served at the said office.
Isatou Auba, former PS at the office of the former president, also testified in relation to Kanilai Family Farm ram sales account and MRI account.
She was given a document which she confirmed, noting that she and Yam Mbamba Njie-Keita were given directives or assigned to supervise the sale of rams.
She testified that the soldiers were selling the rams but could not name all of them, noting that when the soldiers collected the funds, they gave them the money to be deposited into the account.
She further told the commission that Saul Badjie gave them directives to supervise the sale of the rams, confirming that she signed for the handing over of D2,000,000 to Saul Badjie who asked her to withdraw the money and gave it to him.
Mrs. Auba further told the commission that Saul Badjie did not tell her any authority to withdraw the said sum of money which was handed over to him.
She testified that the sale of rams in cash were deposited and that of the one-by-six were deducted from the salary of the civil servants.
At this juncture, she confirmed being a signatory to the MRI account but did not know the source of the account, noting that the former president instructed them to open the said account which was a presidential project.
Counsel Bensouda, at this point, put it to her that the sum of D7,000,000 was request for payment dated 16 July, 2015, from the said account. The said request was shown to her and she confirmed it and said that it was a directive from the office of the former president to pay the said sum as a matter of urgency.
She said she did not know why the money should be paid to Ismaila Sanyang and did not either know whether the money was withdrawn by Mr. Sanyang, noting that she did not find out.
At this juncture, a document relating to the said sum was tendered and admitted as an exhibit.
Another document was shown to her, indicating that she signed for the withdrawal of D2,000,000 from MRI account, which she confirmed and said that there was a memo for her to withdraw the said money.
At this juncture, the said document was tendered and admitted in evidence.
Hearings resume today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 04 Apr 2018 : 15:23:39
Janneh Commission hears more revelations on Jammeh’s properties
The Point: Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Investigators yesterday continued to present more properties acquired by the former President, Yahya Jammeh , in West Coast Region and districts within the region.
The lead investigator, ASP Delo Baldeh, continued his testimony on the properties of the former president in Kombo districts and Fonis as well.
ASP Baldeh told the commissioners that the former president had a property in Foni Kampassa measuring 32.5 hectares which was leased to him in 2013 by the community leaders.
He also informed the commission that the community leaders of Bussura, Duwasu, Kassa kunda, Seyone , Darsilami, Kuloro , Cubineh, Dimbaya and Manduarr villages respectively allocated lands to the former president.
According to him, the property in Kuloro village was allocated to the late Baba Jobe and Toullie Jarju by the alkalo of the village and the family, measuring 17.40 hectares. But according to ASP Baldeh, the said land was among the properties of Baba Jobe taken by the former president, noting that they have not got the lease document of the former president regarding the said property.
On the properties acquired by the former president in Fonis, commission’s Counsel Amie Bensouda, at this point, intimated to the commission that the former president acquired 32 properties in the fonis.
In his evidence, ASP Baldeh told the commissioners that the properties acquired by the former president in the districts of Foni were located in different villages namely: Kampassa , Kayaborr, Bantanjang, Alla Kunda, Santanba, Kanilai, Bujinka, Dobong, Burock, Ngiffi farm, Bunuborr Park, Tintinba, Jomo Kunda , Nyangit, Bintang Katacorr, Bintang Lewoto, Jalalo island, Batending Kajara farm, Kaw Kaw Island, Bulanghorr Island and Lewoto and Foni Berefet respectively.
According to the lead investigator, all these properties were leased to the former president by the community leaders of the respective villages measuring in different hectares.
Sittings continue today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 03 Apr 2018 : 19:01:33
Jammeh owns more than 110 properties so far
The Point: Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Former President, Yahya Jammeh has acquired more than 110 properties within Banjul, Kanifing Municipality and Kombos, according to revelations from the Janneh Commission so far.
It is revealed that he acquired 28 properties in Banjul, 38 in Kanifing Municipality, 18 in Kombo South and 27 in Kombo North, making a total of 111 properties so far.
Continuing his testimony for the commission, ASP Delo Baldeh, a member of the investigation team of the Janneh Commission, on the 29th of March, 2018, told the commission that the 24th property in Kombo North at Brufut owned by the former President Yahya Jammeh, was leased to Laurant Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast by Kanilai Family Farms.
Continuing his testimony, Mr. Baldeh stated that the former president had another property at Bijilo and was leased by Kanilai Family Farms and was bought by the former president for D10,000,000, noting that the former president also owned a property at Kerr Sering in 2000, and the assignment was made between Doudou Jobe and Babanding Fofana. He further disclosed that the former president made an authority and the property was occupied by somebody who refused to make a statement. He disclosed that the property is 900 square metres, and it originally belonged to one Alieu Ceesay.
The witness narrated that the former president had another property at Bijilo in the name of Santanba Farms and it measures 1.16 hectares which was not leased, adding that there was an allocation letter.
On the property at Busumbala owned by the former president, he said that there was a High Court judgment in the sum of D8,000,000, and that it was leased in the name of Kanilai Family Farms.
Mr. Baldeh informed the commission that the former president owned a property at Paradise Estate to the tune of D7,000,000, further noting that the former president owned a property at Brufut and was formerly owned by Baba Jobe, adding that they did not have any document relating to the said property and that it is occupied.
Continuing his testimony, he said that there was a property that belonged to the former president at Brufut Height which was sold by the High Court to the tune of D3,000,000, stating that there was another property which was assigned to Oceanic Bank and was sold to Kanilai Family Farms for D6,000,000.
ASP Baldeh further told the commission that the former president had another property at Brufut Car Park which was also assigned to Oceanic Bank and sold to Kanilai Family Farms to the tune of D4,000,000.
At this juncture, the Registrar General Alieu Jallow, told the commission that they found some people difficult to cooperate with the investigators but said they would get into the root of the investigation. He said that they would still investigate into the properties of the former president.
Chairman Sourahata Janneh assured him that the commission would give the investigators the necessary support if the need arises.
Sitting continues today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 29 Mar 2018 : 18:10:43
There was no due process when the land was acquired - says DG, Gambia Tourism Board
The Point: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Abdoulie Hydra, director general (DG) of The Gambia Tourism Board, yesterday revealed to the Janneh Commission that there was no due process when the former president acquired a land at Bijilo.
Investigators also close to the Janneh Commission continued to present more properties acquired by the former President Yahya Jammeh within the districts of Kombo South and Kombo North.
The total properties acquired by the former president in the District of Kombo South was 18 while that of Kombo North was more than 17 properties, according to the presentation done by officials from the Department of Lands and Physical Planning during a power point presentation before the commission.
ASP Delo Baldeh, in his evidence, told the inquiry that the former president acquires a property at Jambur village which was allocated to him by Wandy Bojang and the community leaders of the village.
On the properties located within the Kombo North, the director general of Gambia Tourism Board, at that point, intimated to the commissioners that plots number 4 to 14 were under the Tourism Development Areas.
The property located at Brufut Ghana town along the main highway, according to ASP Delo Baldeh, is in the name of Aja Asombi Bojang, the mother of the former president, which was acquired by him and it measures 1,126.50 square metres. ASP Baldeh, however, said they have not got the title deed except the sketch plan of the area.
Next property, he said, is located at Brufut, Madina, which was also acquired by the former president after he requested for it from the community leaders.
For the property located at Brufut Sanimentering near the Sheraton Hotel measuring 11.84 hectares, ASP Baldeh said the land was also acquired by the former president in 2005 as well as plot number 75 located at Brufut height layout but according to the director general of GT Board, the said land belongs to private individuals.
Brufut football field, according to the police ASP, was also acquired by the former president but it is part of tourism development areas and it measures 12.05 hectares, and it is not developed.
Brufut former CSC campus and Brufut fish landing site was also acquired by the former president but according to Delo Baldeh, the CSC campus was initially acquired by Ismaila Kabba Sambou who allocated the land to the former president as a replacement, while the fish landing site was leased to him.
Further exposing the former president’s properties, he said that there was another property at Bijilo and was leased to the former president in 2010, measuring 3.75 metres but there was no data allocation. He added that it was sold to the tune of D3,000,000.
On the Brusubi property by the roundabout, he said it was assigned to the late Baba Jobe but it now belongs to Awa B. Kaira and it was sold to Banta Kaira to the tune of D1, 000,000 but it was later bought by the former president.
On the Yundum/Banjulinding Garden, it was leased to David Kwasie Jawara but it was assigned by Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara to KFF. Still on the former president’s properties, ASP Baldeh disclosed that the former president has a property at the Banjul International Airport measuring 69.90 hectares but no record has been seen indicating that it was owned by the former president.
ASP Baldeh told the commission that the former president has another property situated at Kerr Sering which was formally owned by Baba Jobe and is occupied by one Modou Camara, adding that this property was taken from Baba Jobe by the former president and no documents were found.
At Yarambamba Housing Estate, Baldeh revealed that the former president owned five plots of land which were assigned to KFF by TAF Holding; adding that the chief executive officer of TAF Holding, Mustapha Njie, confirmed to the investigators that the former president sent soldiers for these properties and each was bought to the tune of D200,000.
On the Sukuta property, he stated that it was leased to Lawyer Edward Gomez who assigned it to the former president, noting that they have the lease of the property. He added that the former president also has a property at Kerr Sering which was occupied by Amadou Sanyang who is related to the former president’s mother.
Mr. Baldeh finally told the commission that the former president also has another property at Bijilo which was formerly occupied by the green boys, measuring 17.70 hectares; adding that they have a title deed of the property and it was for Home of Medical Mission.
Hearing continues today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 29 Mar 2018 : 08:01:55
More Assets, Properties of Former President Exposed
Foroyaa: March 28, 2018
By Mamadou Dem
ASP Delo Baldeh of the Gambia Police Force and member of the investigation team of the ‘Janneh’ Commission, yesterday continued to give more details on the numerous properties acquired by the former president, Yahya Jammeh.
Officials of the Departments of Lands and Surveys, Physical Planning, Gambia Tourism Board, also continued to give details of more properties owned by the former President.
A power point presentation made by Bunja Janneh, depicted 53 properties acquired by the former president and his business enterprise Kanilai Family Farm (KFF), within the Kanifing Municipality and the larger West Coast Region.
ASP Baldeh explained how the former president acquired a plot of land in Talinding which he said was acquired from the community; that there was a letter addressed by the Alkalo of Talinding Alhajie Ebou Bajie, to the former president, following his consent for the allocation of the said plot of land to him.
ASP Baldeh further revealed that the building located at the Kanifing Industrial Estate occupied by Kanilai Family Farms along the Banjul highway, was also acquired by Jammeh as well as the Maintenance Service Garage in the same location, which formerly belonged to one Mbye Njie and Sons, for maintenance services, which was assigned between AMRC and KFF.
The Commission also heard from ASP Baldeh that Jammeh bought a property of land belonging to Baba Jobe for D5million after an assignment between one Momodou Fofona and KFF.
According to ASP Badeh, one of Mr. Jobe’s properties located at Kotu West was also acquired by the former president through a deal between him and Tida Jaiteh-Jobe, the wife of Baba Jobe, who said she was forced to sell the property.
Baldeh at that point explained that all the properties they had come across, were acquired through the authority of the former president including that of the late Baba Jobe’s.
Continuing with the list of properties within the KM, Mr. Baldeh told the Commission that there was another property owned by the former president situated opposite the Kotu property, noting that one Marian Omar Sallah owned the property and allocated it to Baba Jobe, but was also taken by the former president despite the fact that it was not assigned to him.
According to Baldeh, there was an authority from the former president for one Pa Bojang to transfer all his (Jammeh’s) properties to KFF including Baba Jobe’s properties; that the president had a land situated at Kololi which was occupied by one Haruna Tamba and assigned to Baba Jobe’s daughter.
On the property at Cape Point, he told the Commission that it was owned by Baba Jobe and assigned to one Fatou Ceesay but was taken by the former president while the property at Bakau (a Super Market) was also owned by the former president and there was a title deed of the property. He testified that the property was sold for D8, 000,000.
Further testifying, he revealed that Ndeban Clinic was owned by the former president; that it measured 30,000 square metres, noting that it was sold by the High Court for $150,000 and is currently occupied by one Bully, but that the clinic is not operational.
On the property at James Baker’s Street in Bakau, ASP Baldeh said it was bought by KFF for D3,000,000 and was occupied by one Sierra Leonean; that the property at Bakau Newtown is an empty land and there is a deed of assignment; that it was sold to KFF for D2,000,000.
On the property at Fajara South Atlantic, he stated that it is an empty land sold to KFF for D2.7 million, noting that at Cape Point around Sunwing Hotel, the former president had a property measuring 11.9 hectares.
According to him, at Cape Point, there was a certificate of purchase for the land owned by the former president with 1000 square metres and was bought for D4,000,000 through the Sheriff Division. ASP Baldeh added that there was an assignment between Ansoumana Kujabi and KFF and further informed the Commission that the former president had another land at Cape Point in the name of his mother, which was purchased from Ismaila Kabba Sambou and measuring 1500 square metres.
ASP Baldeh further testified that there was another property owned by the former president assigned to Abdou Assan Kaira which was owned by Baba Jobe but taken by the former president; that it is now a developed property and occupied as well.
At this juncture, documents relating to the properties owned by the former president were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Dwelling on the Kombo South / East properties owned by the former president, ASP Baldeh said the Njambai Forest property belongs to the former president but was formerly owned by Dr. Lenrie Peters who sold it to KFF.
On Siffoe Garden property, the witness told the Commission that it was allocated by Alagie Malick Demba to the former president and is situated at the sea side but not fenced; that the Gunjur property owned by the former president is fenced and the length is from Medina Salam to Gunjur.
Mr. Baldeh further revealed that there was another Medina Salam property owned by the former president which he visited and showed interest in but that the community denied him; that when he gave them money, he acquired it.
He said the former president, had a property at Sambuyaa, further stating that he also had another property at Sanyang Kairaba.
Other properties, according to him, are Scan Gambia, Santamba at Sanyang, Sanyang quarry, Tanji River side property as well as another property in Kombo South which the former president acquired after demolishing some compounds in the area.
Sittings continue today.
||Posted - 28 Mar 2018 : 20:17:19
‘Baba Jobe’s properties were taken by president Jammeh’
The Point: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
ASP Delo Baldeh yesterday told the Janneh Commission that reports indicated that Baba Jobe’s properties were taken by the former president, Yahya Jammeh.
Mr. Baldeh, a member of the police investigating team of the Janneh Commission, shed light on the properties of the former president.
Officials of the Departments of Lands and Survey, Physical Planning, Gambia Tourism Board also continued to present more properties owned by the former president.
The power point presented by Bunja Janneh, displayed over 50 properties acquired by the former president and his business enterprise, Kanilai Family Farm within the Kanifing Municipal Council and West Coast Region respectively.
Mr. Baldeh also explained how the former president acquired a plot of land at Talinding which he said was acquired through the community of Talinding.
He explained that there was a letter addressed by the alkalo of Talinding, Alhajie Ebou Bajie, to the former president following his consent for the allocation of the said plot of land to him.
ASP Baldeh further revealed that the building located at Kanifing Industrial Estate occupied by Kanilai Family Farms along the Banjul highway was also acquired by Jammeh as well as Maintenance Service Garage at the same location which formerly belonged to one Mbye Njie and Sons for maintenance service which was assigned between AMRC and KFF.
Commission also heard that Jammeh bought a property of land belonging to Baba Jobe to the tune of D5million after an assignment between one Momodou Fofona and KFF.
According to ASP Badeh, one of Mr. Jobe’s properties located at Kotu West was also acquired by the former president through a deal between him and Tida Jaiteh-Jobe, the wife of Baba Jobe, who said she was forced to sell the property.
ASP Delo Baldeh at that point explained that all the properties they had come across, there was an authority from the former president including that of late Baba Jobe’s properties.
Continuing with the list of properties within KMC, Mr. Baldeh told the commission that there was another owned by the former president which is opposite the Kotu property, noting that one Marian Omar Sallah owned a property which was allocated to Baba Jobe, and it was also taken by the former president despite the fact that it was not assigned to him.
According to Baldeh, there was an authority from the former president to one Pa Bojang to transfer all his (Jammeh’s) properties to KFF including Baba Jobe’s properties; adding that the president had a land situated at Kololi which was occupied by one Haruna Tamba, and assigned to Baba Jobe’s daughter.
On the property at Cape Point, he told the commission that it was owned by Baba Jobe and assigned to one Fatou Ceesay but was taken by the former president while the property at Bakau (a super market) was also owned by the former president and there was a title deed. He testified that the property was sold for D8, 000,000.
Further testifying, he revealed that Ndeban Clinic was owned by the former president and it measured 30,000 square metres, noting that it was sold by the High Court for $150,000 and is occupied by one Bully but the clinic is not operational.
On the property at James Baker’s Street at Bakau, he said it was bought by KFF for D3,000,000 and was occupied by one Sierra Leonean; adding that the property at Bakau Newtown is an empty land and there is a deed of assignment, and that it was sold to KFF for D2,000,000.
With regard to the property at Fajara South Atlantic, he stated that it is an empty land and was sold to KFF for D2.7 million, noting that at Cape Point around Sunwing Hotel, the former president had a property measuring 11.9 hectares.
According to him, at Cape Point, there was a certificate of purchase for the land owned by the former president with 1000 square metres and was bought for D4,000,000 through the Sheriff Division. He added that there was an assignment between Ansoumana Kujabi and KFF.
Mr. Baldeh informed the commission that the former president also had another land at Cape Point in the name of his mother, Ajaratou Fatou Asombi Bojang, who purchased it from Ismaila Kabba Sambou which measures 1500 square metres.
He testified that there was another property owned by the former president assigned to Abdou Assan Kaira and was owned by Baba Jobe but taken by the former president and it is now a developed property and occupied as well.
At this juncture, documents relating to the properties owned by the former president were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Dwelling on Kombo South- East properties owned by the former president, he said the Njambai Forest property belongs to the former president but it was formerly owned by Dr. Lenrie Peters who sold it to KFF and was transferred to the former president.
On Siffoe Garden property, the witness told the commission that it was allocated by Alagie Malick Demba to the former president situated at the sea side but it is not fenced. He added that the Gunjur property owned by the former president is fenced and the length is from Medina Salam to Gunjur.
Mr. Baldeh further revealed that there was another Medina Salam property owned by the former president which he visited and showed interest but the community denied him but he gave out money and acquired it.
He said the former president also had a property at Sambuyaa, further stating that he also had another property at Sanyang Kairaba which the former president claimed to be the owner.
Other properties, according to him, are Scan Gambia, Santamba at Sanyang, Sanyang quarry, Tanji River side property as well as another property in Kombo South which he acquired after demolishing some compounds in the area.
Sittings continue today.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 28 Mar 2018 : 13:38:38
KFF Bought ‘Futurlec’ Building ASP Delo Baldeh
Foroyaa: March 27, 2018
By Mamadou Dem
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Delo Baldeh of the Gambia Police Force and a member of the Commission’s investigating team, yesterday revealed to the ‘Janneh’ Commission that Kanilai Family Farms bought ‘Furelec’ building for D44, 000,000.
ASP Baldeh made this revelation while testifying in connection with assets belonging to the former president, Yahya Jammeh.
According to ASP Baldeh, the former president owned a property at 17A Hagan Street and it was sold for D2.5 million while his property at 78A and B of the same Street, were also sold to the former president but that there was an outstanding part of the properties which were not sold to him.
On the property at 26 Buckle Street, he said they did not have the title deed for the transfer but the property was owned by Mr. Ebrima A Samba, while the property at 13 Picton Street was owned by one Mr. Jones and was occupied by soldiers; that it was sold to the former president to the tune of D4, 000,000.
Further revealing the properties, he said the property at 15 Dobson Street was an empty land sold by the Ndow Family to the tune of D3,000,000 while the property at 11 Russell Street, was occupied by one Salieu Nyassi of KGI.
ASP Baldeh explained that the Banjul Aqua Culture Farm (Saro Garden), was owned by one Ebrima and Omar Jatta; that it measured 30.75 hectares, noting that he did not see any fish project in the said premises; that the whole place was developed with trees and three rooms were constructed for use as offices.
Still testifying, ASP Baldeh told the Commission that the former president owned a property at 73A Leman Street, but that he did not have the title deed; that they had the sketch plan, further noting that they did not know who sold it to the former president.
He added that another property at 64 Leman Street was sold to the former president to the tune of D3.4 million by the Cham Family; that it is a developed land and they had the title deed of the said property.
Testifying further, ASP Baldeh told the Commission that the former president bought Jeng’s Electrical Company to the tune of D900, 000 and it was a leased property.
On the property at 3 Hagan Street, he said it was occupied by one Fatoumata Jammeh and was sold by the High Court to Kanilai Family Farm; that they did not have the title deed. ASP Baldeh further told the Commission that he would verify whether there is a property at 75 Hagan Street owned by the former president.
Mr. Baldeh further testified that the property at 57A Hagan Street was occupied by Ya Lison Ndong and one Assan Joof; that Yasin Joof sold it for D900, 000 to Kanilai Family Farm, while the property at 78B Hagan Street was sold to the former president in 2005.
On the property at 49A Grant Street, ASP Baldeh said it belongs to KFF and they did not have any documents.
Baldeh further stated that there is another property at number 25 Fitzerald Street which is an undeveloped plot, noting that the property at 9 Leman Street was sold to the KFF for D1.2 million, and is not developed.
He told the Commission that the property at 18 Picton Street was bought by the former president but they did not have the title deeds.
On the Hamza Barracks property, formerly Palm Grove Hotel, ASP Baldeh disclosed that it was sold for £500, 000 by Edward Raphael Jansz and Carol Anne Jansz; that it has ever been occupied by soldiers since it was bought by the former president.
ASP Baldeh further testified that the property at 61 Hagan Street was owned by the children of Matarr Sarr and it was bought for D1.5 million, while the property at 60 Hagan Street was occupied by soldiers and owned by one Malick Mbaye; that it was bought for D1.5 million and he had a copy of the title deed.
He revealed that the property at 34 Wellington Street was owned by Sir Dawda Jawara, and was sold to the former president to the tune of $650,000; that this is an empty land, while the property at 2 Fitzerald Street was sold to the former president in 2010 for D2, 000,000 through the Principal Registrar of the High Court; that they have a copy of the title deed.
Baldeh told the Commission that the property at 72 Gloucester Street was acquired by Kanilai Family Farms and they had the sketch plan, while the property at 6 Independence Drive, was an empty plot and formerly owned by the Gambia Electrical Company. He said they were in possession of the sketch plan.
Dwelling on the property at 13 Grant Street, he said it was sold through one Raymond Ceesay for D21.5 million which was owned by Julia Ceesay; that there were 24 properties owned by the former president in Banjul, noting that there were other four properties discovered in Banjul as well.
At this juncture, documents relating to the properties of the former president in Banjul, were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Further continuing his testimony, ASP Baldeh said former president Jammeh owned 38 properties in the KMC, namely Kotu Power Station Property leased by the then Minister of Lands; Kotu Point Property, which covers the space from the Kotu Police Station to Palma Rima Hotel; former Destiny’s Night Club which is still operating but subleased; Futurelec property sold to KFF to the tune of D44,000,000 by the former Chief Justice; a property from Djembe Hotel junction to Bakadaji Hotel which is 6.4 hectares; Old Kotu Quarry property which was bought in 2014 and is 19.7 hectares and fenced; a property leased to KFF in 2001 which is situated at Old Jeswang and covers Cape Point-Sting Corner junction measuring 103 hectares; a property at Mile 7 which is also leased and is 1.25 hectares; Fajara Water Tank property which was sold in 2009 and was also leased by the former Secretary of State, Ismaila Sambou and fenced; No. 72 Kairaba Avenue property which is a developed property sold by I.B. Jobe alias Jobe Dollar, but that the owners of the property are claiming that the property was illegally taken from them by the former president; Kairaba Avenue property where the bakery is and sold by the late Alhagie Marie Jagana; a property at 16 Kairaba Avenue opposite Alliance Francaise which was acquired from Edward Joiner; Fajara ‘M’ Section property which was sold by Gambia Baptist Mission in 2015 for D5,000,000; another Fajara ‘M’ Section property owned by one Sulayman Sowe; another Fajara ‘M’ Section property near the Standard Chartered House which is an empty land measuring 1800 square metres.
||Posted - 23 Mar 2018 : 18:05:36
I could not have said no because of circumstances, Amadou Samba Testifies
The Point: Friday, March 23, 2018
Amadou Samba yesterday told the Janneh Commission that he could not have said no when the former president asked him to sign a contract for the construction of a recording studio and a conference centre at Kanilai.
Mr. Samba began his testimony by reminding the commissioners that the former president on numerous occasions would ask him for quotation which he had been doing for him on many occasions and that was what happened in the case of the construction of the recording studio and the conference centre that was built at Kanilai.
He recalled that during the said works at Kanilai, he invited the officials of Swami India Construction Company in his office for the contracts which were executed.
Mr. Samba testified he had no vested interest in the affairs of Kanilai Family Farm (KFF), despite he had signed numerous agreements on behalf of the company but he knew the consequences if he refused to sign .
“Being a lawyer, I knew that there was no implication for not signing. I don’t even know the managers or the general manager of Kanilai Family Farm. If there is any liability, KFF will be responsible for it and not me,” Mr. Samba told the commission.
Though he confirmed his involvement in the construction of four houses for the president in his village who asked him to find workers for him but he would not know the cost of the houses, since there was no formal contract.
Mr. Samba accused Jammeh of using his company, Gacem, and its resources to build the said four houses, claiming that some of his materials are still at Kanilai for 20 years and he dared not to ask Jammeh about them.
He testified that the fish pond and the three storey buildings were built by CSE but did not know who built the military school.
Mr. Samba further recalled that Jammeh would some time ask him to do some work for him.
Next to testify was the former secretary general, Sulayman Samba, who was also summoned in connection to the International Telecommunication gateway.
In his evidence, Mr. Samba told the commission that he is a retired public servant from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in 1996, adding that he was also once a permanent secretary as well as secretary general after then SG Lamin Nyabally’s appointment was terminated from 2015 to 2016.
However, Counsel Amie Bensouda asked him whether he was aware of the Special Project account opened by the former president for proceeds to be deposited in the said account from payments made by MGI, which had an agreement with the former government. In response, he said he was not aware, noting that he was not also aware of the Gamcel Billing System which MGI financed.
Counsel Bensouda reminded him that there were Carnegie and Sand Mining accounts to which he was a signatory, and asked why he was a signatory to the said accounts.
In reply, he said that was a cultural organisation he found at the office of the former president.
Asked whether it was proper for the former president to misappropriate funds that should have been in the consolidated revenue fund, and he stated that it was not proper under normal circumstances.
Counsel Bensouda further asked him why the former president was using public funds without the participation of the accountant general and the Ministry of Finance. He replied that the question should go to the former president.
He was again asked by commissioner Bai Mass Saine whether he had the latitude to tell the former president that something was wrong, and in response, he stated that there were some failures.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 22 Mar 2018 : 21:27:58
Bala Jassey Reappears At The ‘Janneh’ Commission
Foroyaa: March 22, 2018122
By Mamadou Dem
The Chief Executive Officer and proprietor of Mobicell Company Bala Jassey, yesterday reappeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission to testify on the Gamtel Gateway contracts among other related matters.
Appearing before the commission, it was put to him by Counsel Bensouda that a letter dated 3rd February 2014, was written to him by one Muhammed Lamin Jaiteh from the office of the former president and the said letter was shown to him which he confirmed.
Upon perusal of the letter, Jassey stated that it was a proposal he made that never happened; that he submitted a proposal to the tune of $995,000, noting that he spoke to the former First Lady in French through Saul Badjie’s phone; that he did not know why the first lady spoke to him in French while he was in Dakar, Senegal. Jassey confirmed that he had worked at the office of the former first lady.
At this juncture, a letter written by the former Gamtel MD Baboucarr Sanyang, was shown to him, which he also confirmed to the Commission. He confirmed working at the state house in 2012 and added there was a letter indicating that they did some work at State house amounting to $316,469; that he never had any connection with General Saul Badjie, and that his interaction with him was on instructions.
At this point, Counsel Bensouda reminded him that he had a contract with the former Government and there were documents showing payments relating to the contract. In response, Jassey said those were payments made to him for the second phase of the contract.
When it was further pressed on him by Counsel Bensouda that he was instrumental in connecting MGI to The Gambia, Jassey replied that he never had specific meetings with any Secretary General.
Mrs. Bensouda further put to him that Njogu Bah said in his evidence that he (Jassey) accompanied MGI representatives to Kanilai. In response Jassey responded that a letter was written to the MGI office for him to attend the meeting in Kanilai; but that he never attended.
Counsel Bensouda further asked whether he knew that MGI wanted to manage the International Gateway, and the effort he made to assist them. Responding to the question, Jassey said MGI was directly dealing with the office of the former president.Counsel Bensouda again asked whether he got a certificate from GIEPA and he responded in the negative; that he never bid for any contract at the office of the former president and Gamtel.
At this juncture, he was shown documents indicating some payments amounting to D461, 680 from the tax recovery account, which he confirmed.
He told the Commission that he worked at the National Assembly and confirmed that the said contract was awarded to him by Baboucarr Sanyang, the then MD of Gamtel. He testified that the National Assembly did not award him any contract.
At this juncture, Bensouda put it to him that the sum of $585,804 was the cost of the contract and Gamtel paid him more than the said amount; that he charged $35,000 for default payment. Jassey responded in the negative.
He was further shown a set of documents and was put to him that he also charged $35,687 which he said was currency loss, but Jassey denied this.
Further testifying, Jassey told the Commission that there was a letter showing reasons for the payment of $35,000; that the said amount was not for a penalty.
The telecom expert revealed that he had several meetings at the National Assembly before and after the contract and was invited by the National Assembly and Gamtel; that he never communicated directly with NA. He told the Commission that he had the said contract to provide the maintenance services for the NA.
At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put to him that there was no contract between him and the NA, which he confirmed.
Again, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that the NA did not sign a document that was sent to them because the NA said they had no connection with his Company. In response, Jassey said they did not send a contract to NA, noting that when Gamtel said they could not support the system that was the time they sent a contract to the NA.
Counsel Bensouda further put it to him that he performed a contract for MGI. In response, Jassey said he carried out ICT projects for MGI; that he replaced the router at Gamtel on behalf of MGI, further stating that he could not tell the Commission the total cost for the ICT projects but they summarised the payments.
Mr. Jassey testified that he did not do additional work at the office of the former president.
At this juncture, documents relating to the projects carried out on behalf of MGI and other relevant documents, were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Sitting continues today.
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