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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 - 18 Jul 2018 : 22:41:40
AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: ‘Former President Involved In Discussion

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

By Mamadou Dem


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

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

The Point: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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

Julia Joiner, former secretary general at the office of the former president, yesterday disclosed before the Janneh Commission that her redeployment was tantamount to a demotion.
She was answering a question posed by Counsel Mary Samba who asked her under cross-examination to tell the commission the reason why she retired. Mary Samba was representing Mr. Amadou Samba.
Prior to the questioning, she was given a file from the office of the former president when she was the secretary general to go through, which she confirmed. She told the commission that NAWEC was under the office of the former president.
At this juncture, she was referred to a document, and she said that Mr. Saihou Mboge was the permanent secretary at the time, adding that the said document was about a directive from the office of the former president for Euro Africa Group to supply generators to NAWEC.
She was given another letter which she read and stated that it indicated an agreement between Global Trading Group and NAWEC for the supply of generators, further noting that the former president was involved in the discussion for the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group.
Mrs. Joiner adduced that she had never met Amadou Samba, Muhammed Bazzi and others to discuss the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group, noting that directives were coming from the office of the former president and not from her.
On the 18 mega watt generators, she posited that the officials who were at the meeting are in a better position to explain what had transpired at the meeting, stating that she was not sure about the $5,000,000 for the purchase of generators by NAWEC from Global Trading Group. “I tried to level stability within the system,” she told the commission.
At this juncture, documents relating to the supply of generators by Global Trading Group to NAWEC and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Still answering questions under cross-examination, she testified that she served as secretary general at the office of the former president since 1996, stating further that the protocol officer at the office of the former president at the time would be able to tell who frequented the office of the former president.
She disclosed that there was a list of those who were going to visit the former president, saying further that if there was an investigation into the investment on Kairaba Beach Hotel and the Daily Observer, she was not expected to remember all the details about it.
Mrs. Joiner told the commission that the property at Kanilai is owned by the former president and that they used to have meetings there and visitors used to meet the former president there. She adduced that Cabinet meetings used to be held there as well.
She testified that she would not remember whether constructions started at Kanilai. At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked her whether the former president had discussed with her his dealings with Euro Africa Group. In response, she stated that she was not involved in any matter relating to Muhammed Bazzi and his group.
She said that she voluntarily retired on the 26th of November, 2002, because she was redeployed while Alieu Ngum was reinstated as the secretary general.
Next to testify under cross-examination by Counsel Mary Samba was Ousman Jammeh, former secretary general. At this juncture, Counsel Samba asked the commission to give the witness an exhibit which was a leased document to go through, which was done.
Mr. Jammeh confirmed the said document as well as his signature on it, as the permanent secretary, Ministry of Lands. He also confirmed that the document was approved in 2001, further noting that Amadou Samba also signed the said document.
He also confirmed a title deed of a land at the Traffic light. He told the commission that he held the position of secretary general twice, and that he was redeployed.
When another exhibit dated 3rd August, 2011, was shown to him, he confirmed that he wrote the said document which was for a loan and endorsed it, but not Amadou Samba.
Counsel Mary Samba then put it to him that it was not proper to sign on a plain sheet of paper which was a letter he wrote to an institution. “As far as I am concerned, there was a directive from the office of the former president to write the said letter,” he further testified.
At this juncture, he was referred to an invoice which was directed to Kanilai Family Farms, which he confirmed. On the purchase of tanks, he said he did not make a follow-up, adding that he was dismissed after he received directives from the former president.
Commission Saine then asked him whether he had ever queried the way and manner the former president was handling the National Assembly. He responded in the negative. “You have worked for the former president long to know better,” Counsel Mary Samba challenged him. In response, he told the commission that he was working for the country and not for the former president.
It was again put to him by Mary Samba that it was his responsibility to make sure that the loans incurred by NAWEC were paid, as the secretary general.
Still answering a question asked by Counsel Bensouda, he said that he could not tell why the leased land at the Trafficlight was allocated.
Abdoulie Cham, the director of Finance at SSHFC, was the next witness to be cross-examined by Counsel Mary Samba.
He confirmed that SSHFC is a public enterprise, noting that there was a directive from the office of the former president and the secretary general to pay $6,432,700 to Amadou Samba for the purchase of a water tank, but did not make a follow-up because the directive came from the office of the former president.
He finally stated that the said directive came before their board approved the said sum.
Hearings continue today.
Author: Dawda Faye
toubab1020 Posted - 18 Jul 2018 : 19:12:54

COMMISSION ASKS 67 TO DECLARE ASSETS?


By Baba Sillah July 18, 2018

The Standard has sourced a document titled: “List of Persons To Be Issued The Assets Declaration Form” from the Janneh Commission.
The list has been making the rounds since weekend and contained the names of 67 persons, all of whom with a few exceptions, have testified at the commission of inquiry into the financial affairs of former president Yahya Jammeh and his associates.

The list included two family members and 24 “close associates” of Jammeh; six former cabinet ministers including a vice president; eleven “public officers”; four members of the military junta; three secretaries-general including current finance minister; two former secretaries to cabinet; four former senior protocol officers and the current chief of protocol; Sheriff Sawaneh a contractor; four military officers; and five senior former officials of the Central Bank.

Officials at the Commission declined to comment on the list and although the Attorney General confirmed “seeing” the list, he said at the weekend he was not formally notified of it.
The Standard cannot confirm whether the people whose names were listed, have been served. Although the purpose of serving the assets declaration form has not been announced, it is believed it may be used in the event of any adverse finding against any of the persons by the commission. The commission is said to be winding down.

Observers have noted that not all those who testified at the commission were listed. Below is the full list:
List of Persons To Be Issued The Assets Declaration Form

1. Family members
Zineb Souma Jammeh
Ansumana Jammeh
2. Close associates
Lt General Sulayman Badjie
Brigadier General Umpa Mendy
Brigadier General Bora Colley
Brigadier General Ansumana Tamba
Lt Colonel Amadou Joof
Lt Colonel Nuha Badjie
Lt Colonel Sana Manjang
Lt Colonel Sana Jarju
Mohamed Bazzi
Amadou Samba
Fadi Mazegi
Toni Ghattas
Balla Jassey
Baboucarr Sanyang (ex-Md Gamtel)
Ali Charara
Tarek Musa
Yankuba Badjie (ex-NIA DG)
Ilija Reymond
Nicolae Buzainou
Dragos Buzainou
Woreh Njie–Ceesay
Amadou Colley (ex-governor Central Bank)
Feryale Ghanem–Diab
Muhammed Lamin Gibba (ex-Md GPA,
SSHFC, & AMRC)
3. Public Officers
Tumbul Danso (ex-Md SSHFC)
Abdoulie Cham (Geology)
Alieu Jawo (Geology)
Elizabeth Mendy-Johnson (GM Gamcel)
Momodou Badjie (ex-MD GNPC)
Edward Graham (ex-Md SSHFC)
Abdoulie Cham (SSHFC)
Banding Sillah (Gamtel)
Ousman Jobarteh (GPA)
Lamin Sanyang (GPA)
Ebrima Cham (Gamworks )
4. AFPRC members
Edward Singhatey
Yankuba Touray
Ebou Jallow
Lamin Kaba Bajo
5. Vice president
Isatou Njie-Saidy
6. Ministers
Balla Garba Jahumpa
Mousa Bala Gaye
Sirra Wally-Ndow
Fatou Mass Jobe
Ismaila Sanyang
7. Secretaries-general
Mambury Njie
Njogou L Bah
Momodou Sabally
8. Secretaries to Cabinet
Ebrima O Camara
Noah Touray
9. Protocol Officers (OP)
Alhaji Ousman Ceesay
Fatou Njie
Muhammed Batata Juwara
Buba I Demba
Borry S Colley
10. Contractor
Sheriff Sawaneh
11. Military officers
Nuha William Jammeh (Military Police)
Momodou Lamin Mendy (GAF Active Member
Edward Mendy
Yankuba Colley (Sergeant Major)
12. Central Bank of The Gambia
Basirou Njie (ex-DG 1)
Oumie Savage-Samba (ex-Dg 2)
Ousainou Corr (ex-Director of Finance)
Abdoulie Cham (ex-Director of Finance)
Njoba Sankareh Sarr (Prinicpal Currency Officer)

http://standard.gm/site/2018/07/18/commission-asks-67-to-declare-assets/
Momodou Posted - 18 Jul 2018 : 14:16:30
Former SG says her redeployment was tantamount to demotion

The Point: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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

Julia Joiner, former secretary general at the office of the former president, yesterday disclosed before the Janneh Commission that her redeployment was tantamount to a demotion.

She was answering a question posed by Counsel Mary Samba who asked her under cross-examination to tell the commission the reason why she retired. Mary Samba was representing Mr. Amadou Samba.

Prior to the questioning, she was given a file from the office of the former president when she was the secretary general to go through, which she confirmed. She told the commission that NAWEC was under the office of the former president.

At this juncture, she was referred to a document, and she said that Mr. Saihou Mboge was the permanent secretary at the time, adding that the said document was about a directive from the office of the former president for Euro Africa Group to supply generators to NAWEC.

She was given another letter which she read and stated that it indicated an agreement between Global Trading Group and NAWEC for the supply of generators, further noting that the former president was involved in the discussion for the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group.

Mrs. Joiner adduced that she had never met Amadou Samba, Muhammed Bazzi and others to discuss the supply of generators to NAWEC by Global Trading Group, noting that directives were coming from the office of the former president and not from her.

On the 18 mega watt generators, she posited that the officials who were at the meeting are in a better position to explain what had transpired at the meeting, stating that she was not sure about the $5,000,000 for the purchase of generators by NAWEC from Global Trading Group. “I tried to level stability within the system,” she told the commission.

At this juncture, documents relating to the supply of generators by Global Trading Group to NAWEC and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Still answering questions under cross-examination, she testified that she served as secretary general at the office of the former president since 1996, stating further that the protocol officer at the office of the former president at the time would be able to tell who frequented the office of the former president.

She disclosed that there was a list of those who were going to visit the former president, saying further that if there was an investigation into the investment on Kairaba Beach Hotel and the Daily Observer, she was not expected to remember all the details about it.

Mrs. Joiner told the commission that the property at Kanilai is owned by the former president and that they used to have meetings there and visitors used to meet the former president there. She adduced that Cabinet meetings used to be held there as well.

She testified that she would not remember whether constructions started at Kanilai. At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked her whether the former president had discussed with her his dealings with Euro Africa Group. In response, she stated that she was not involved in any matter relating to Muhammed Bazzi and his group.

She said that she voluntarily retired on the 26th of November, 2002, because she was redeployed while Alieu Ngum was reinstated as the secretary general.

Next to testify under cross-examination by Counsel Mary Samba was Ousman Jammeh, former secretary general. At this juncture, Counsel Samba asked the commission to give the witness an exhibit which was a leased document to go through, which was done.

Mr. Jammeh confirmed the said document as well as his signature on it, as the permanent secretary, Ministry of Lands. He also confirmed that the document was approved in 2001, further noting that Amadou Samba also signed the said document.

He also confirmed a title deed of a land at the Traffic light. He told the commission that he held the position of secretary general twice, and that he was redeployed.

When another exhibit dated 3rd August, 2011, was shown to him, he confirmed that he wrote the said document which was for a loan and endorsed it, but not Amadou Samba.

Counsel Mary Samba then put it to him that it was not proper to sign on a plain sheet of paper which was a letter he wrote to an institution. “As far as I am concerned, there was a directive from the office of the former president to write the said letter,” he further testified.

At this juncture, he was referred to an invoice which was directed to Kanilai Family Farms, which he confirmed. On the purchase of tanks, he said he did not make a follow-up, adding that he was dismissed after he received directives from the former president.

Commission Saine then asked him whether he had ever queried the way and manner the former president was handling the National Assembly. He responded in the negative. “You have worked for the former president long to know better,” Counsel Mary Samba challenged him. In response, he told the commission that he was working for the country and not for the former president.

It was again put to him by Mary Samba that it was his responsibility to make sure that the loans incurred by NAWEC were paid, as the secretary general.

Still answering a question asked by Counsel Bensouda, he said that he could not tell why the leased land at the Trafficlight was allocated.

Abdoulie Cham, the director of Finance at SSHFC, was the next witness to be cross-examined by Counsel Mary Samba.

He confirmed that SSHFC is a public enterprise, noting that there was a directive from the office of the former president and the secretary general to pay $6,432,700 to Amadou Samba for the purchase of a water tank, but did not make a follow-up because the directive came from the office of the former president.

He finally stated that the said directive came before their board approved the said sum.

Hearings continue today.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 18 Jul 2018 : 00:01:30
AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: ‘I Did Not Have The Power To Stop Euro Africa Group Fuel Exclusivity’ Abdou Colley
Foroyaa: July 17, 2018124

By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-capital-gas-proprietor-appears/

Mr. Abdou Colley, former Finance and Trade Minister, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that he did not have the power to stop the exclusivity contract granted to Euro Africa Group by the former Government. Colley made this statement yesterday Monday July 16th, when he appeared for the first time before the Commission. He testified that he is currently working as a freelance consultant but prior to that, he started working as an economist in 1997 and in 2004, he was working with Gambia Divestiture. He however told Commissioners that he has been rotating between the Ministries of Finance and Trade.

At this juncture, he was shown a statement on the exclusivity granted to some Companies, to go through, which he did and responded that he had seen it before. He went through some of the correspondence and confirmed that he wrote the said letters.

With regard to fuel supplied by Euro Africa Group, he told the Commission that he was not in favor of the exclusivity granted to Euro Africa Group; that the former Government appointed an agent for the exclusivity facility but that Euro Africa Group was not paying the IPP facility.

A letter dated 8th May 2013, was read to him and he said the former Government wanted to withdraw the facility, and that according to the letter, they were threatening the former Government. He said as the former minister, he did not have the power to stop the exclusivity contract because the office of the former president granted Euro Africa Group with the facility. “If I had the power, I would have stopped it,” he told the Commission.

According to him, when he was appointed as minister, the exclusivity was already in place; that they had an idea to allow GNPC to import fuel; GNPC did their initial supply but there was a query from Euro Africa Group. He however said GNPC’s initial supply had a better quality than that of Euro Africa Group.

Earlier, Cherno Marena, Solicitor General at the Ministry of Justice, reappeared before the Commission and testified under cross-examination by Victoria Andrews, attorney for Messers Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi.

He was asked whether he had seen the license issued to Carnegie Mining Company, and in response, he said he had seen it; that he did not know whether the Ministry gave advice before the license was issued. When asked by Counsel Andrews that he was not in the position to know that the Commonwealth advised against the termination of the said license, he replied that he did not know. It was put to him that there was a stockpile before Carnegie took over, but he responded that he did not know; that he did not see the list of items after Carnegie took over; that he only saw the arbitration file.

At this juncture, Counsel Andrews requested for the production of the Carnegie file since the witness said it is with the Commission. Marena was further asked when the arbitration was instituted against Government, and he stated that he did not know; that a liquidator was assigned to find out the asset left by the mining Company.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda told the Commission that the liquidator Augustus Prom, gave evidence on the assets left by Carnegie. Counsel Andrews then stated that she would like to see the evidence of Mr. Prom.

Further cross-examining the witness, Counsel Andrews asked him whether he knows a Company called Conapro, and he responded that it is a Lebanese Company that supplied fuel in the country. Again, she asked whether his Ministry sought for legal opinion from the office of the former president in relation to Carnegie Mining Company, he responded in the negative.

Marena told the Commission that Carnegie’s contract was terminated before the performance started. Counsel Andrews then asked the witness when legal opinion was requested by his Ministry, the former president had to approve it, but Marena responded that it is his Ministry that approves.

Next to testify under cross-examination was Marie Saine Firdaus, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice. She was asked whether she saw the license in relation to Carnegie Mining Company, and she replied that the last time she saw it was when they had a meeting at the office of the secretary general.

She was further quizzed as to whether she was aware of the advice against the termination of the license, and she responded in the negative. She told the Commission that an inventory was done as to what was found on site, and that she saw it; that she could not recall whether there was a list of equipment.

Counsel Andrews reminded her that she had indicated that she was called at the office of the former president and she found certain investors together with Muhammed Bazzi.

She replied that she said so, and was only invited to be a witness but was not given a copy of the minutes of the meeting; that the license issued to Carnegie and Gamico, may be similar; that Ms. Farage attended the meeting at the office of the secretary general, when it was put to her by Counsel Andrews that Farage did not attend the said meeting.

Firdaus maintained that Ms. Farage was present at the meeting as a lawyer for Muhammed Bazzi. She further told the Commission that as Attorney General, they had the power to prosecute any matter; that she was called in connection to the Carnegie case to prosecute; that before prosecution, there should be an investigation, and based on the investigation, they filed a case.

She finally testified that she could not recall what she said at a meeting at the office of the former president in 2012.

Buba Sanyang, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands, was also cross-examined by Counsel Andrews. She asked him whether his Ministry has a policy to allocate lands, and he answered in the positive. He told the Commission that they allocated land to a Sea Food Factory at Sanyang. He was asked whether they directly allocate land to hotels, and he responded that this is the responsibility of the Gambia Tourism Board.

According to him, there is an application fee of D50, 000 for the allocation of land; that Government can allocate state lands.

Sitting continues today.
Momodou Posted - 17 Jul 2018 : 23:49:31
Solicitor general cross-examined at Janneh Commission

The Point: Tuesday, July 17, 2018
http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/solicitor-general-cross-examined-at-janneh-commission

Cherno Marena, solicitor general at the Ministry of Justice, was yesterday cross-examined by Counsel Victoria Andrews in connection to Carnegie Mining Company when he reappeared before the Janneh Commission. Counsel Andrews was representing Messer Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi.

He was asked whether he had seen the license issued to Carnegie Mining Company, and in response, he said he had seen it; adding that he did not know whether the ministry gave advice before the license was issued.

When asked by Counsel Andrews that he was not in the position to know that the Commonwealth advised against the termination of the said license, and he replied that he did not know. It was put to him that there was stockpile before Carnegie took over, and he responded that he did not know; adding that he did not see the list of items after Carnegie took over.

However, he said he only saw the arbitration file. At this juncture, Counsel Andrews requested for the production of the Carnegie file since the witness said it is with the commission.

He was further asked when the arbitration was instituted against the government, and he stated that he did not know. He testified that a liquidator was assigned to find out the asset left by the mining company.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda told the commission that the liquidator, Augustus Prom, gave evidence on the assets left by Carnegie. Counsel Andrews then stated that she would like to see the evidence of Mr. Prom.

Further cross-examining the witness, Counsel Andrews asked him whether he knows a company called Conapro, and he said it is a Lebanese company that supplied fuel in the country. Again, she asked him whether his ministry sought for legal opinion from the office of the former president in relation to Carnegie Mining Company. He responded in the negative.

Marena told the commission that Carnegie’s contract was terminated before the performance was started. Counsel Andrews then asked the witness whether when legal opinion was requested by his ministry, the former president had to approve it, but Mr. Marena responded that it is his ministry that approves.

Next to testify under cross-examination was Marie Saine Firdaus, former attorney general and minister of Justice. She was asked whether she saw the license in relation to Carnegie Mining Company, and she replied that the last time she saw it was when they had a meeting at the office of the secretary general.

She was further quizzed as to whether she was aware of the advice against the termination of the license, and she responded in the negative. She told the commission that an inventory was done as to what was found on the site, and that she saw it. She further stated that she could not recall whether there was a list of equipment.

Counsel Andrews reminded her that she had indicated that she was called at the office of the former president and she found certain investors together with Mr. Bazzi.

She replied that she said so, and that she was only invited to be a witness but was not given a copy of the minutes of the meeting. She further testified that the license issued to Carnegie and Gamico may be similar; adding that Ms. Farage attended the meeting at the office of the secretary general, when it was put to her by Counsel Andrews that Farage did not attend the said meeting.

Mrs. Firdaus maintained that Ms. Farage was present at the meeting as a lawyer for Mr. Bazzi. She further told the commission that as attorney general, they had the power to prosecute any matter; adding that she was called in connection to Carnegie case to prosecute. She said before prosecution, there should be an investigation, and based on the investigation, they filed a case.

She finally testified that she could not recall what she said at a meeting at the office of the former president in 2012.

Buba Sanyang, permanent secretary, Ministry of Lands, was also cross-examined by Counsel Andrews. She asked him whether his ministry has a policy to allocate lands, and he answered in the positive. He told the commission that they allocated a land to Sea Food Factory at Sanyang. He was asked whether they directly allocate lands to hotels, and he responded that it is the responsibility of the Gambia Tourism Board.

According to him, there is an application fee of D50, 000 for the allocation of lands; adding that the government can allocate state lands.

Abdou Colley, former Finance and Trade minister, testified that he is now a freelance consultant but prior to that he started working as an economist in 1997 and in 2004, he was working with Gambia Divestiture.

However, he told the commission that he has been rotating between the ministries of Finance and Trade. At this juncture, he was shown a statement on the exclusivity granted to some companies to go through, which he did and said he had seen it before. He also went through some correspondences and confirmed that he had written the said letters.

With regard to fuel supplied by Euro Africa Group, he told the commission that he was not in favour of the exclusivity granted to Euro Africa Group, noting that the former government appointed an agent for the exclusivity facility but Euro Africa Group was not paying the IPP facility.

A letter dated 8th of May, 2013, was read to him and he said the former government wanted to withdraw the facility, and according to the letter, they were threatening the former government. He said as the former minister, he did not have the power to stop the exclusivity because the office of the former president granted Euro Africa Group with the exclusivity facility. “If I had the power, I would have stopped it,” he told the commission.

According to him, when he was appointed as minister, the exclusivity was already in place; adding that they had an idea to allow GNPC to import fuel. He said GNPC did their initial supply but there was a query by Euro Africa Group. However, he said GNPC initial supply had a better quality than that of Euro Africa Group.

The commission resumes today.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 12 Jul 2018 : 22:18:31
AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: Capital Gas Proprietor Appears
Foroyaa: July 12, 2018169


By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-capital-gas-proprietor-appears/

Mr. Antonio Daniel, the proprietor of Capital Gas Limited, was yesterday summoned before the Janneh Commission in connection to Gam Petroleum storage facility at Mandinary.

He said he lives at Oasis Building at Senegambia and that he is an Argentinean; adding that he has been in The Gambia for 20 or 21 years. He said he holds Argentinean passport and his second nationality is Lebanese.

At this juncture, he was requested to submit a copy of his passport to the commission.

Continuing his testimony, he said that he started work in 2003 or 2004, noting that he worked on a project at Gam Petroleum depot at Mandinary.

He stated that Gam Petroleum belongs to Mr. Muhammad Bazzi, Fadi Mazegi and Tarik Mousa, who asked him to do the work, further testifying that before he was approached by the owners of Gam Petroleum, he never did any work in The Gambia. He stated that the said people were told about his company and this was the first project he executed in the country.

At this juncture, a Memorandum of Article of Association was shown to him, and he confirmed that his company was incorporated in 2007, noting that he owns 60% shares while his son owns 40% shares in Capital Gas.

Mr. Daniel further testified that they do not own the premises occupied by the company but they want to buy it; adding that part of the land belongs to one lady with whom they discussed to buy it. However, he revealed to the commission that there was a Senegalese company using the land prior to them, further indicating that one Donald Travor, a Senegalese, owns TTS Company.

At this juncture, Commission Chairman, Sourahata Janneh, told him that the investigators, with the help of land officials, will visit the said land to know who owns it.

The businessman further revealed that there was a verbal contract between himself, Mr. Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi, noting that he did not see Tarik Mousa again after the contract. He added that he did not sign a contract with them. He said he built the depot, the pipeline and the marine system, further stating that a company from Senegal, CSE, built the road from the village to the premises.

Mr. Daniel adduced that Beem Company was the supervisor for the whole project while SGS did the welding works, and that Mr. Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi brought some people for the civil works but one of them left the country after working with him for a year.

He told the commission that Mr. Tony Ghattas owns Afric Star Company and they did the civil works; adding that Gamsen Construction Company belongs to Mr. Amadou Samba, who owns one of the cranes and they usually buy cement from Mr. Samba. He added that the back filling was done by one Tony Hajj.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda asked him whether he knows a company called Zorbex and he responded in the negative. He testified that they made the renovation of Shell depot and that the landscaping was done by one engineer from Lebanon. He said he did everything necessary on the depot.

At this juncture, he confirmed signing a contract between Capital Gas and Gam Petroleum, and according to him, the contract was for him to do the maintenance.

Mr. Daniel further told the commission that he was paid for all the work he did up to the completion and were paid salaries to the tune of $20,000 every month for all the team. He said they promised to give him 10% shares on the project but they did not fulfill their promise.

At this juncture, the witness was asked to calculate the 10% shares, and was required to produce the list of those who were working on the project, and what kind of work they were doing. He said the SGS company were taking pictures and used to advised his company whether to continue with the work or not.

He said he was responsible for the marine line installation as well as the installation of internal and external pipes, but the painting was done by CSE, noting that the boiler for the Banjul depot was bought from Belgium while that of Mandinary was ordered from Lebanon.

According to him, one Mr. George Zacko was the project manager, and was paid from the $20,000, further indicating that he did not know the overall cost of the project. He said he would order things and someone would buy, stating that it was difficult to estimate the cost of the whole project. However, he promised to provide documents regarding the cost of the project.

Mr. Daniel disclosed to commissioners that after completing the project, he could not get some of his money but was compensated with a barge and a welding machine. A contract agreement dated 27th September, 2008, between Capital Gas and Gam Petroleum was shown to him, and he said that it was meant to provide a tug boat and a barge to Gam Petroleum.

He further informed the Commission that Gam Petroleum bought a tug boat and they provided the maintenance of the barge.

At this juncture, a copy of the witness’ passport, certificate of business registration, Memorandum and Articles of Association, Tin number of the company and his statement were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Mr. Sanna Jarju, former Chief of Protocol, office of the former president, testified under cross-examination via Skype, while Mr. Sarjo Khan continued to testify under cross-examination and was later re-examined by Counsel Bensouda.
Momodou Posted - 12 Jul 2018 : 08:09:09
Gamtel top brass cross-examined by Mobicell lawyer
Foroyaa: July 11, 2018172


By Mamadou Dem
http://foroyaa.gm/gamtel-top-brass-cross-examined-by-mobicell-lawyer/

Top officials of the National Telecommunication Company (GAMTEL) were yesterday cross-examined by Malick Mba’I, attorney for Mr. Balla Jassey, Mobicell Blue Ocean Wireless and the Multimedia Gateway Incorporation (MGI).

Testifying under cross-examination, the Managing Director of Gamtel, Mr. Sulayman Suso, said he could not remember a local company called MGI.

When asked whether he witnessed any meeting with Balla Jassey at the office of the former president about the management of the Gamtel international gateway, he responded in the negative.

Responding to another question as to whether he attended any meeting with Balla Jassey or any member of MGI Switzerland, he said he knew MGI in 2017. He added that he was not told that Balla Jassey was an agent for MGI Switzerland in The Gambia.

He was asked whether he was told that MGI and Balla Jassey protected their interest in The Gambia, and he replied in the negative. Asked whether he knew any company called MGI in The Gambia, he responded that he knew it through the Commission.

He was asked again whether he had any information about the shares of MGI. He said he did not. It was put to him that he said that Mr. Balla Jassey was very active in representing MGI a lot, but the witness said he never said so; adding that he did not write to anyone indicating that Mr. Jassey was managing the gateway and what he mentioned was MGI Swiss.

It was further put to him that he had not shown any evidence to show that Mr. Jassey, Mobicell and MGI managed the International Gateway. In response, he said he did not say so. Again it was put to him that he had not presented any evidence that MGI, Mr. Jassey, and Mobicell protected MGI Switzerland interest. He responded that he did not say so in any of his testimonies.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda told the commission that she had no questions for the witness.

Next to be cross-examined was one Mr. Lamin Camara, and he testified that Mr. Jassey applied for a Mobile Virtual Network (MVN); adding that he could not remember the exact year but this was around 2013-2014.

According to him, prior to the application, he read a letter and he referred Mr. Jassey to the Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure regarding his application; adding that they got assessment of recommendation from PURA.

At this juncture, commission chairman, Sourahata Janneh, told the witness to answer the questions and he could add something if he wished.

Further responding to lawyer Mba’I, he said he could not recall whether there was a letterhead on the said letter, adding that he could not either recall whether Mr. Jassey signed the letter. He disclosed that the application was reviewed by his ministry.

“Was the letter addressed to Mr. Jassey?,” quizzed counsel Mba’I. in response, Camara said PURA is the institution that gives approval. He was asked again whether he had presented the said letter to the Commission, and he answered in the negative. He adduced that Mr. Jassey never applied or signed any letter.

It was also put to him that he mentioned in the application that the licence had some implications in the management of the international gateway. The witness said he could not explain, unless he got back to his office.

Mrs. Bensouda said she had no re-examination for the witness.

Mr. Alhagie Abdoulie Kebbeh, a telecom engineer and consultant, was also cross-examined by counsel. Mr. Kebbeh, who served as a taskforce member of Gamtel, said it was his understanding that MGI Switzerland had contract for the management of the International Gateway and they set up a local company in The Gambia.

“Who gave you the information?” asked Mba’i.

He said the information was either from Mr. Balla Jassey or Ilea. When asked whether he had seen incorporation documents of MGI, he said it was given to them. He was again asked whether the MGI is a subsidiary to MGI Switzerland. He answered that he would not know.

On whether there was any member from MGI Swiss that owned shares in MGI Gambia, he responded that he did not know. It was also put to him that he had not shown any evidence to show that MGI Switzerland created MGI in The Gambia. He replied that it was clear that Mr. Jassey was representing MGI Switzerland, and that this information was verbal.

At this juncture, Chairman Janneh advised lawyer Mba’I to put things to the witness but not to tell him that he did not have evidence because he is not a lawyer, and the nature of the evidence may vary.

Still answering, Mr. Kebbeh said they could provide documents before the Commission. On how much was paid for the Unified Communication System Project at the National Assembly, he responded that the sum was $585,808.17 which was equivalent to D28,000,000.

However, it was put to him that it was correct that Gamtel sub-contracted the contract to Mobicell to the tune of $585,808.17, and he said that this was unknown to him and he did not know how much was paid to Mobicell. It was put to him that it was said that Gamtel did not benefit from the contract. He answered in the affirmative.

“Are you in a position to explain whether Gamtel had the capacity to install a unified communication system at the National Assembly?” counsel Mba’I inquired. Mr. Kebbeh said he could not testify to that.

Hearings continue today.

Meanwhile, sources close to the commission disclosed that Mr. Alhagie Mamadi Kurang has been replaced by Ramatoulie Sarr, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice
Momodou Posted - 11 Jul 2018 : 08:09:09
Building The new Gambia

Janneh Commission Needs to be Investigated.

The letter allegedly written by former Secretary to the Janneh Commission of Inquiry Alhaji Mamadi Kurang to the Lead Counsel of that Commission Amie Bensouda deserves the urgent and serious attention of both the Commission and the Gambia Government. Alhaji may have acted beyond his authority according to the Justice Minister but then in doing so Alhaji did raise very serious issues of integrity and professionalism that cannot also be ignored.

The fact that Mr. Kurang was a staff of the Commission and could have the audacity to expose such alleged malpractices and attribute them to the Lead Counsel should indeed be a matter that should interest any reasonable individual especially the Commission itself and the Gambia Government. Hence it is not enough to either sack or accept the resignation of Mr. Kurang just like that. Rather both the Commission and the Government must be interested to verify that indeed his allegations were either false or true.

This is necessary to maintain the integrity and credibility of the Lead Counsel on one hand as well as that of the Commission on the other hence the entire inquiry as a whole. As a citizen I have been afflicted with doubts and counter doubts when I read the letter and naturally I felt I need to get more answers. If I were in a position of authority surely I will want to ascertain the facts of this letter, but not to dismiss it unceremoniously.

I would assume that Alhaji Kurang is not a reckless boy but indeed a very responsible adult just as I hold that Amie Bensouda to be also a very responsible professional. The fact that the letter was written on the official letterhead of the Commission and addressed to the Lead Council and then copied to the President of the Republic, the Commission Chair and Commissioners as well as the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General indicates that this is a serious mater. It cannot and must not left to fade away!

This letter by all intents and purposes is a petition which is a right guaranteed under Section 25 subsection 1(f) which states that everyone has the right to petition the Executive for redress of grievances and to resort to the Courts for the protection of his or her rights. The reason why Alhaji copied the Executive, i.e. the President and the Minister and the Solicitor General is to express his grievances to them for redress.

Therefore when a citizen petitions the Executive, which Alhaji had done in this case, the Executive must not dismiss that petition without conducting any investigation. Failure to investigate and give an appropriate response to the petition means the Executive is failing its responsibilities hence undermining the rights of citizens. This means the Executive is therefore potentially forcing citizens to take the law into their own hands since they cannot obtain justice from the Executive.

I wish to therefore demand that Pres. Adama Barrow and Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou respond to this petition appropriately by instituting an independent investigation to determine the allegations made by Alhaji Kurang against the Lead Counsel. If the allegations are found to be false then we can take the petition of be false and malicious. But if the allegations are found to be true then necessary measures must be taken to save the integrity and legality of the Commission.

Since the petition was issued we have not also heard from the head of the Commission Surahata Janneh make any public comment on it. Does he agree or disagree with the petition? What is the basis of his agreement or disagreement with the petition? Mr. Janneh cannot remain silent while his staffs release accusations against each other in the open. Hence I wish to also demand that Mr. Janneh cause an unbiased investigation of his counsels to ensure that they are acting within the law and their terms of reference in view of these allegations.

Brushing aside this petition will be a huge mistake that will come to haunt the Gambia sooner or later.

For the Gambia Our Homeland.
By Madi Jobarteh
toubab1020 Posted - 10 Jul 2018 : 19:39:22
This is from The Standard newspaper. No other newspaper (that I could discover) has written anything , Alhaji Mamadi Kurang, states "he hasn’t received any communication suggesting that he has been sacked." ANY problem in the endeavors in the functioning of this enquiry are to be regretted.
===================================================================================================

The secretary to the Janneh Commission Alhaji Mamadi Kurang, who recently made allegations against lead counsel Amie Bensouda in a letter he sent to President Barrow, has been terminated.
News of this development was confirmed by the minister of Justice Ba Tambadou at a press conference yesterday.

Addressing the media on the issue which put Mr Kurang and Counsel Bensouda trading accusations, Minister Tambadou said Alhaji Kurang made a number of unproven allegations “against Counsel Amie Bensouda which went beyond the confines of his administrative authority which was principally to execute the orders of the Commission and not to question the wisdom or motivations underpinning those orders.

“As a result of his actions, and in consultation with the Commission, Mr Kurang’s position as Secretary to the Commission has now become untenable under the circumstances and we wish to thank him for his service and wish him luck in his future endeavours.”
However, contacted for comments, Kurang said he hasn’t received any communication suggesting that he has been sacked.

http://standard.gm/site/2018/07/10/kurang-axed-from-commission/

Momodou Posted - 27 Jun 2018 : 08:38:19
MOTION TABLED BEFORE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS TO CONSIDER AND APPROVE THE REMUNERATION FOR THE COMMISSIONERS ( BY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE)

Honourable Minister for Justice tabled a motion for the August assembly to consider and approve the remuneration for the commissioners, appointed by the President of the Republic to the commission of Inquiry into the financial activities of public enterprises, bodies and offices as regards their dealings with former President Yahya Jammeh, of an amount of 300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand Dalasis) each, following the further extension of three months.

He further went on to explain the objects and reasons for the motion. He first reminded the members that the President of the Republic, Adama Barrow, established the said Commission on 12th July pursuant to section 200 of the 1997 Constitution and that Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act and appointed the following to serve in it:

- Mr Surahata Janneh as Member and Chairman
- Mr Bai Mass Saine as Member
- Ms Abiosseh George as Member

"Honourable Speaker and members will recall that paragraph 8 of the Establishment Order of 12 July 2017 provided for the Commission to complete its inquiry within a period of three months of its first sitting. However, it also gave the power to the Commission to continue beyond that period if in its opinion it is necessary to do so. The commission extended its mandate to an additional six months, which expired its term for a further period of three months based on the following:

The continued emergence of new evidence, which warrants the calling of more witnesses to testify before the Commission; the nature and complexity of the evidence adduced by witnesses before the Commission, which necessitates continued financial investigations; the numerous public enterprises, bodies and offices that are the subject of thus inquiry and are get to be heard; and the time frame of the investigations covering a period of over 22 years from 22 July 1994 to 21 January 2017."

He, therefore, requested that the August assembly considers and approves the remuneration amount of 300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand Dalasis) for each of the said commissioners based on the following:

* The further extension of the duration of the commission's mandate from 10th May 2018.

* The fact that the commissioners have now suspended their professional careers to devote more time to the work of the commission for an additional three months; and

* Have regards to the usual fees and charges of such professional for comparative work in the private sector.

He informed the members that request is being made pursuant to Section 16 (1) of the Commission of Inquiry Act, Cap 30, Volume 5 of the Laws of the Gambia which, he added, states:

Subject to subsection (2) of this Section, Commissioners appointed under this Act are not entitled to any remuneration beyond the actual expenses incurred in holding the inquiry, unless such remuneration is specifically voted by the National Assembly.

The motion was seconded by Abdoulie Ceesay of Old Yundum Constituency and after which the floor was opened for interventions from National Assembly.

Ousman Sillah, National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul North, asked the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacar Ba Tambadou, to tell the august Assembly when would the Commission on the dealings of former President Jammeh and his associates definitively complete it's work, considering that this is the third time that he is coming before them to ask for remuneration and an extention of its mandate.

Hon. Sillah also asked the Justice Minister how much is it costing the state to maintain the services of the counsels working for the Commission.

The Members for Sandu and Kantora also reminded the Justice Minister that this is the third time he is coming before MPs with the same request while any position goes with responsibly, so could the minister give the Assembly a time frame and also asked the minister to why the commission is going on the former president assets.

Other member informed the minister that they expected that minister could have come with or will love to see a report of the commission for what work have been achieved for consideration before talking about another 3 months.

Hon. Halifa Sallah, in his intervention, indicated that the Commission was established and they are informed of the need under Section 16 subsection 1 of the Commission of inquiry Act for this august body to approve the remuneration for the commissioners, because they are only entitled to what they actually spend or expenditure, but if they want to earn more than that then the remuneration could have to be voted for by the National Assembly. In essence. it is this National Assembly that's responsible for giving them the entitlement they now have and under subsection 3, it emphasized that this some must be paid from the general revenue, so it's coming from the consolidation fund, we have extended it once, twice and now the third time and it's important for us to know the benefits for the exercise, so it important that if the minister come before them could sum up what have been achieved so far, assets have been frozened to tell us the state of those assets and a revelation had been made to give information for the revelation for them to anticipate what maybe gained if law really speaks in any favor of any recommendation that the commission may make. Yes, we should not assume what have not been provided by a report, but essentially we are now simply asked to approve a given money for further investigation and we are given reasons why the investigation is being extended going back to 22nd July 1994 to 21st January, 2017. But this is specified to one person and people who may associate with him, so that the investigation will be restricted and time bound and be completed without much cost to the state.

"So it's important then for the minister to explain again and convince us that using the same justification 22nd July to 21st January 2017 the same justification of public enterprises, bodies and others that still are supposed to be subjected to inquiry. He will be saying numerous public enterprises, so could that work been done in three months so this is what you have convinced us so that we will know we are coming to the conclusion.

The AG and Justice responded that these additional three months, which will make exactly one year since the Commission started its work, are meant for rounding up and tying of the knots by the Commissioners.

The mandate was initially three months 300,000 which was later extended for another six months 500,000 and now an additional three months 300,000 and he assured the members that this will be the last time.

The AG and Justice Minister, in response, said Mrs. Amie Bensouda is being maintained with a much discounted rate. He said she was paid D500,000 per month for the first three months and then with an agreed discounted monthly payment.

Here is his verbatim response "on the payment for the counsel to the commission the reason why I only for the members commission is because that is what the law require nothing else counsel to the commission is not a commissioner, counsel was hired by me to conduct this inquiry, is an inquiry that require lot of experience, someone who know how public office function and my choice of counsel was informed by several facts including repetition, credibility, experience and that informed my choice of candidate, counsel Amie Bensouda has a very reputable in this country, she was a solicitor general she understand how government process and how government work and I think she executing that at the commission proceedings.

I negotiate with Amie for her pay as counsel to the commission and what we agreed on was not pay her fees at a discounted rate on what she charges in her private practices and we negotiated to 500,000 Dalasis a month for the first three months and if the extension is made to the commission on it temporary mandate then she will give two or three months free of charge and there after continue her usual charges for the rest of the commission mandate. That's what we agreed and that's her paid".
On the sale of the assets it was not to lost on the assets like the cows, they are dying or stolen and the same goes to the cars,bsome of spare parts are loosing.

After responding to the questions the motion is accepted by National Assembly for the extension of the commission to three months with a salary of 300,000 for each commissioners.

It could be recall that this is the third time for the extension of commission, the first was three months with a salary of 300,000 each, then to six months with a salary of 500,000, today another 3 months with a salary of 300,000 each.
Momodou Posted - 26 Jun 2018 : 20:26:41
Mandinary alkalo: Soldiers threatened to shoot me to death


The Point: Tuesday, June 26, 2018
http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/mandinary-alkalo-soldiers-threatened-to-shoot-me-to-death
Fa Ceesay, the alkalo of Mandinary, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that soldiers threatened to shoot him to death when he was arrested by them.

He was testifying in connection to Gam Petroleum storage facility at Mandinary. He said he became the alkalo since 2008, noting that before 2008, his father’s brother was the alkalo, and that he knew Gam Petroleum storage facility.

Mr. Ceesay told the commission that Gam Petroleum had their storage facility at Mandinary since 2004 but the laying of the foundation was in 2005 by the former president, further stating that the former president also laid a foundation for a flour factory on the other side.

He adduced that instead, they imported raw materials but there was no structure on it, and that it was fenced. He further told the commission that Edrisa Jobe told him that he was a consultant to look for a better place for a storage facility.

He said that the land in question was bigger than Bond Road and the area was allocated to the former government but not to an individual. He stated that there was a meeting which was attended by Edrisa Jobe, himself, Eric Tunde Janneh and Mr. Manha and others. He disclosed that Eric Tunde Janneh at the time was the chief.

Mr. Ceesay testified that Eric Tunde Janneh told them that the land should be allocated to the former government or they would face the wrath of the former president, noting that he was arrested. He said he had series of problems, and that Eric Tunde Janneh had warned him.

He adduced that he decided to keep silent, adding that he didn’t know whether those who attended the meeting were from the ministry, stating that at the meeting, empty promises were made.

According to him, when the place was cleared, he received a call that the former government was going to give kola nuts to the people of Mandinary for the measurement of the land, stating that Kairo Company finalised the consultancy work.

Mr. Ceesay further narrated that family members came together and a sum of D1,000,000 was given to them. He disclosed that they asked if the money was going to be an annual gesture, noting that Eric Tunde Janneh told him that the money was meant for the owners of the land.

He said that they received D500,000 and the other D500,000 was given to the contractors, further stating that the land was allocated to the former government to bring oil to The Gambia.

He told the commission that they met Muhammed Bazzi and Mr. Manha at Mandinary, noting that they told them that they had huge money with NAWEC and that they would start the construction.

Mr. Ceesay further stated that according to Sanna Sabally, he, Sanna Sabally, had a call from someone who used his (the witness’ name) and insulted them. He said he met Sanna Sabally and the others, who arrested him and took him to the Court Martial, adding that they hit him and he fell down.

He told the commission that because of his past experience, he took Eric Tunde Janneh’s warning seriously.

At this juncture, a letter written by the witness to the Minister of the Interior, his statement and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.

He stated that he was not aware of the granting of the lease to Gam Petroleum , noting that they gave the land to the former government for national interest. He said that they did not know that those with whom they attended the meeting were not working for the former government, but Edrisa Jobe told them that he was working for the former government.

At this juncture, he was asked why he went to Mr. Bazzi in 2011. In response, he told the commission that the verbal agreement they made with Gam Petroleum was not fulfilled. He said that it was Edrisa Jobe who took them to Mr. Bazzi, who told them that they had money for the said land.

Earlier, Kebba Ceesay, director of Lands and Survey, reappeared on the same subject matter. He said he served as the director of Lands and Survey for about 6 months, from the 17th December, 2017, further stating that before he was in the public service, he was director of Physical Planning in October, 2008, and that he was terminated in October, 2008.

At this juncture, he was reminded that he was supposed to produce the Gam Petroleum file for storage facility at Mandinary, and he confirmed that he had brought it along. He said that the land was allocated to Gam Petroleum which was approved and was signed by Mr. Amadou Samba, further noting that there was no indication to show who previously owned the land.

Mr. Kebba Ceesay said that the land was allocated by the ministry, and that every piece of land has a traditional landlord.

At this juncture, documents relating to Gam Petroleum and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Mr. Ceeay finally told the commission that the size of the said land is 9.0 hectares. Sittings continue today.

The former NAWEC boss Momodou B. Jallow last week adduced that Nabil Bazzi was the logistic and procurement officer and they were paying the taskforce €15,000 per month, stating that they were operating in terror. He said Nabil Bazzi was engaged in projects, and that he would be with NAWEC and would also work with GTG.

Author: Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 22 Jun 2018 : 11:14:47
‘NAWEC was never a party to the agreements’


The Point: Thursday, June 21, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/nawec-was-never-a-party-to-the-agreements

Baba Fatajo, the managing director of NAWEC, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that the company was never a party to the agreements made by the office of the former president and the Ministry of Finance.


Baba Fatajo and Amat Cham, the finance director of NAWEC, reappeared before the commission on matters relating to NAWEC’s MoU and contracts.

Testifying before the commission , Fatajo indicated that the government has started paying the liabilities, loans and bonds of the company as part of the 75% contribution towards the settlement of the company’s debts.

According to him, though NAWEC was not part of the instructions given to SSHFC, rather it was an instruction from the Ministry of Finance and the government for the loan given to the company.

Mr. Fatajo recalled that SSHFC has even filed a legal suit against NAWEC for the loans given to the company but the case was dismissed by the court on the grounds that NAWEC was not part of the agreement.

However, he acknowledged that NAWEC has also owed Global Trading Group a lot of money with regard to the contracts signed between them and GTG.

Mr. Fatajo, who reappeared along with his finance director, Amat Cham, further testified that there was reconciliation for the bonds between NAWEC and the commercial banks as well as the debt owed to GTG.

According to him, NAWEC has now hired a service contractor to restructure the company in order to make it more viable for investment, noting that the idea would enable them to have separate utility company for the supply of energy and water in the country.

Mr. Fatajo blamed the former government for its interference in the affairs of the company which he said had affected the company for the past years.

He testified that Annex two has given the liabilities of NAWEC, stating that the loans that are related to investment in the Greater Banjul Area are in their books. He further stated that the rural electrification and water sewage project loans were taken over by the Ministry of Finance.

He told the commission that NAWEC has a loan of D2.09 billion and that a sum of D7.3 billion was taken over by the government, stating that they are still working out modalities and government is paying the liabilities of NAWEC.

Further testifying, he adduced that the sum of D239, 000,000 which was ITFC loan was paid by SSHFC under the directives of either the office of the former president or Ministry of Finance, adding that ITFC has extended facility loans to the government.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to Mr. Cham that according to the MoU, NAWEC owes D235,000, 000. In response, he confirmed the sum and said it was owed to SSHFC.

Counsel Bensouda put it to Mr. Cham again that the commission did not have a reconciliation between NAWEC and GTG. He answered that in their records, it was captured as the government of The Gambia and not as SSHFC because the government authorised SSHFC to pay loans owed by NAWEC.

He further testified that there was a sum of $50,000,000 reconciliation between NAWEC and GTG for heavy fuel which was paid by SSHFC.

Documents relating to NAWEC’s contracts were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Hearings continue on Monday.

Author:
Dawda Faye
Momodou Posted - 21 Jun 2018 : 09:50:00
At The ‘Janneh’ Commission: ‘NAWEC Was Operating In Terror’ M B Jallow

Foroyaa: June 20, 2018

By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-nawec-was-operating-in-terror-m-b-jallow/

Momodou B. Jallow, former Managing Director of NAWEC, yesterday told the ‘Janneh’ Commission that the Energy Company was operating in terror, under the former regime.

Jallow reappeared to shed more light on the testimony of Fadia Mazegi, the Managing Director of Euro Africa Group, concerning the Fajara Booster Station, among other related issues.

According to Jallow, the said place was renovated by Bazzi and his people who told him, that he was going to store some equipment for the former president’s Royal Apartments project, which he wanted to build near Palma Rima Hotel; but that NAWEC did not sign any contract concerning the renovation.

He said he wanted to relocate NAWEC technicians from Half Die in Banjul, to the Booster Station because the building at Half Die was dilapidated and the sewage was not in order.

Prior to these testimonies, Jallow was told by Counsel Bensouda, that he was summoned to shed light on Fadia Mazegi’s testimony on the Booster Station among others.

Reacting to Mazegi’s testimony, Jallow said Magezi’s this was not true because their management contract gave them (taskforce) absolute power over NAWEC.

According to Jallow, when Muhammed Bazzi approached him for the Booster Station, he (Jallow) decided to call the Chief of Protocol Alagie Ousman Ceesay, who later confirmed to him that the former president was aware of Bazzi’s intention; that one Nabil Bazzi also told him that they wanted to have the place and that they renovated it; that he was not expected to sign the contract because it was a minor renovation. Jallow said he was then relieved of his post prior to concluding the renovation.

However, it was put to him that Mazegi had told the Commission that the taskforce was not in charge of the management of NAWEC. In response, Jallow said Mazegi was adding insult to injury, after all what had happened to NAWEC; that he could not understand why Mazegi should say something like that, and should withdraw the statement.

According to him, Bazzi and his group were in charge of NAWEC; that when it comes to NAWEC, it was Bazzi and the former president; that Bazzi was working with a brutal dictator, and when he (Bazzi) was around, he would receive invoices; that Bazzi was aggressive and that they were trying to salvage the Company by keeping it going.

The former NAWEC MD adduced that Nabil Bazzi was the logistic and procurement officer and they were paying the taskforce €50,000 per month, stating that they were operating in terror; Nabil Bazzi was engaged in projects, and would be with NAWEC and would also work with GTG.

Jallow testified that NAWEC used road tankers before they had storage tankers; that they used to pay $10,800 per day for the storage tankers; that a French guy in the taskforce was in charge of finance at NAWEC.

With regard to the Standard Chartered House meetings organized by Bazzi, he recollected that in one of the meetings, he had a problem with him when he raised the issue of the SSHFC generators.

He finally told the Commission that everybody was scared of the former president.

Earlier, Marie Saine-Firdaus, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, appeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission in connection to Carnegie Mining Company.

During her testimony, she told the Commission that she is working with the African Union as a Senior Legal Adviser responsible for human rights abuses; that she worked in the public service in May 2000, at the Attorney General Chambers.

She recollected that she was appointed Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda reminded her that Carnegie Mining Company took an arbitrary action against the former Government. She said when she became Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Company was operating; that she was summoned at the Attorney General Chambers and was informed that there was a directive to advise the former president on whether the Company had acquired a license but they realized that there were procedures to grant a license.

According to her, Carnegie Company was written to as to what they were going to mine, as well as the quantity; that Carnegie Company replied and there was a delegation that went to UK for a meeting and was part of that delegation with former Secretary General, Ousman Jammeh, who gave an update; that after the meeting, Carnegie Company said they were going to comply; that the former Secretary General, Ousman Jammeh, had a meeting with the former president along with Bazzi, who came with other investors at the meeting.

She added that it was after a meeting that the license of Carnegie Company was terminated at the level of the office of the former president, as she was informed. She testified that the former president told her Carnegie Company should be taken to Court; but that she responded to him that they should not sue the Company but investigate.

She said they could not have access to the site and the DPP advised them that they could file a suit against the Company, noting that the security were sent to the site to secure the place and the Managing Director of Carnegie Company was arrested but he later jumped bail.

The former justice minister revealed that they took an inventory but is not sure about what was left at the site; but that she was informed of some stockpiles but she did not know how many they were.

Further testifying, she told the Commission that after the termination of Carnegie mining licence, there was arbitration against the former Government; that when the processes were received, they went through them and advised the former president as a taskforce.

She disclosed that they made recommendation to the former president but they never received a reply from him; that the former president said she was not with him, noting that the former president was not happy with her and was instructed to work with two gentlemen who came from Paris.

Firdaus revealed that she was able to get someone who was knowledgeable in geology and gave his opinion on the technical side. She said she was removed from her post.

She further explained to the Commission that she did not know Bazzi’s role at the meeting held at the office of the former president; that Bazzi did not say anything at the meeting, further stating that they felt it prudent to settle the case out of Court.

According to her, Carnegie Company was out of stock and the CEO left; that the Company ceased operations. However, she said Bazzi told her to go through the contract because the investors were to start operation; that one Professor Strasser was the independent adviser to the former Government, and that the pressure was coming from the office of the former president because he felt that the process was too slow.

At this juncture, she was shown a copy of her statement which she confirmed. She stated that after they submitted the report, she was snubbed by the former president and felt that the former president did not have confidence in her.

She finally testified that the reason for the termination of Carnegie Mining licence, may be that the former Government was surcharged.
Momodou Posted - 20 Jun 2018 : 14:34:46
At The ‘Janneh’ Commission NAWEC MD, Finance Director Reappear

Foroyaa: June 19, 2018
By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/at-the-janneh-commission-nawec-md-finance-director-reappear/

Amat Cham, the Finance Director of NAWEC, as well as the Managing Director of the Company, Baba Fatajo, yesterday Monday June 18th, reappeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission to continue testimony in connection to NAWEC’s contracts.

Cham confirmed the sum of D25,468,354.40 which he said was a summary of payments NAWEC made on the discount cheques.

At this juncture, Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, applied for the said summary to be included in exhibit SC92A. This was granted by the Commission Chairman, Sourahata Janneh.

On the capacity charge, Cham disclosed that the sum of $41,609,163.01, was the total payment made by NAWEC, in respect to the IPP.

Documents relating to the 3% capacity charge and supporting invoices, were also tendered and admitted as exhibits. Cham said EURO Financing Gambia Limited, is also owned by Muhammed Bazzi along with Global Trading Group and Global Electrical Group; that he could not remember whether there was a free storage of fuel and transportation between GTG and NAWEC.

Commission Chairman Sourahata Janneh at this juncture, said the investigators would find out more about Euro Financing Gambia Limited.

Cham was ordered to provide the Commission with all payments from NAWEC to GTG, including payments made on their behalf by other institutions like SSHFC, starting from 2000 to date.

Next to testify was the Managing Director of NAWEC Mr. Baba Fatajo. He was required to produce some documents relating to NAWEC’s contracts. However, he told the Commission that he could not find one of them.

Documents relating to NAWEC’s projects such as the Kotu Ring Water Supply, Gunjur Water Supply and Brikama Phase 2 projects, were tendered as exhibits.

According to Fatajo, if Brikama Phase 2 is completed, it would be commissioned in 2019 and would add 20 megawatt to the current volume of electricity. On the Memorandum of Understanding between NAWEC and the Ministry of Finance, Fatajo said the essence was to clean up the books of NAWEC; that most of the liabilities are in the form of investment loans.

He further stated that NAWEC could not fulfil the payment of loans and held discussion to see how Government would assist by taking 75% liability of the Company; that the total liability of NAWEC is D9, 335,425,000.

Fatajo testified that ITS came about in respect of payments made by GTG; that reconciliation by GTG and NAWEC was over $64,000,000; that ITS does not only affect NAWEC but other institutions as well.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked whether they owed the sum of $29,000,000 for supplies received from GTG. In response, Fatajo confirmed the said sum was owed by NAWEC. He was asked to produce documents showing the reconciliation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) before the Commission.

Commissioner Saine suggested for him to appear with his Finance Director to enable the commission know better, as to what actually transpired; that without this, it would be difficult to establish whether there were any outstanding sums owed to Euro Africa Group by NAWEC.

Fatajo responded that he is not ‘au fait’ with some of the things that happened at NAWEC and would therefore appear with his Finance Director, but would also need time to familiarize himself with some of the things that happened when he was not the MD.

Sitting continues today

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