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 Janneh Commission of inquiry on Y. Jammeh's assets
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2017 :  20:08:27  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
EURO-AFRICA GROUP Ltd.

Mohamed Bazzi owns 55% of EAG
Amadou Samba owns 45% of EAG

The EAG was established in 2003 according to the worldenergynews.com. Between 30 June 2011 until January 2013, EAG paid into the personal TRUST BANK account of Yaya Jammeh the total sum of D 240 million. Mohamed Bazzi told the Commission's legal counsel that he was not aware of these sums being deposited into Jammeh's personal account.

Mohamed Bazzi refuses to acknowledge that his company had monopoly for the importation of petroleum into The Gambia. I guess he prefers the word 'exclusivity' of import instead of 'monopoly'. EAG did not pay dividends in some years but paid in others. His attention was drawn to the fact that EAG contributed a total of over $ 2 million to the Jammeh Foundation for Peace - a figure he seems to be unaware of.

He will be back before the Commission on Monday.

Sidi Sanneh

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2017 :  12:47:23  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

GPA MD Disclosed Numerous Debts Owed Them (GNPC, YDE & KFF Main Debtors)

By Mamadou Dem
Foroyaa: September 28, 2017

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/18023

Mr. Abdoulie Tambadou, the Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority, yesterday disclosed to the Janneh Commission of Enquiry probing into the Financial Dealings and assets of the former President, his families and close associates, that the GNPC, YDE & KFF owed them millions of dalasi.

Mr. Tambadou testified that he joined the Gambia Ports Authority in 1989 as an accounts clerk and rose through various ranks key among them, the director of finance and the current position he is holding.

On the Youth Development Enterprise (YDE), he confirmed that they used to have vessels in the name of the Enterprise which was headed or chaired by the late Baba Jobe; that the connection between the Enterprise and the then President was, they used to receive letters in the name of Baba Jobe, State House.

He however said due to the time and dissolution of the enterprise as well as the legal tussle against the enterprise, all the documents relating to YDE were tendered in court; but that the total debt owed to GPA by YDE, is D16, 000,000.00

The chartered accountant further informed Commissioners that there was a directive from the office of the then president for GPA to transport items belonging to GNPC and Barajali Ferry was used for the services; that later the ferry was damaged by GNPC and the company failed to compensate the damages claimed by the GPA amounting to D16, 500,000.00.

When asked whether GPA took any legal action against GNPC for failure to compensate them, he responded that the managing director at the time did not take any legal action. He revealed that there was also transfer of properties owned by GPA to three companies namely Gamveg, Shyben A Madi & Sons and EURO Africa Group.

According to him, Gamveg is related to Euro Africa Group and directives from the office of the then president ordered for them to handover GPA tanks to Gamveg which he said was in November, 2005 and that the negotiation was led by one Amadou Samba. He further disclosed that Gamveg Company was involved in the processing of groundnut oil and the company was using their tank at the time of operation and the leased agreement was signed by Mr. Samba.

Mr. Tambadou recalled that at the time of his return as the managing director in March 2017, several letters were written to Gamveg Company regarding the agreement but the company never responded to their letters necessitating them to write to the Ministry of Justice for legal advice.

With regards to Shyben A Madi & Sons, Mr Tambadou said in 2011, they received a letter from the Ministry of Lands requesting for the handing over of their land to Shyben A Madi & Sons for a rent free period of 4 years; that the office of the then president was importing sugar and the land occupied by the company was used for the storage of sugar. According to Mr Tambadou, the claim is against the Kanilai Family Farm for failure to pay the rent amounting to D2, 700,000.00 for the period of 4 years.

The claim against the Euro Africa Group, according to the Managing Director of GPA, was that the company failed to honour the lease agreement from the year 2008-2016 after they were asked by the office of the then president to lease one of their properties and shares to the Euro Africa Group, amounting to D10, 420,103.28. Further claim by the GPA, he said was the sum of D383, 365.00 owned by the companies of the former president for the crossing services at the Barra – Banjul terminal.

Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, applied to tender all the documents indicating debts owed to the GPA which were accordingly admitted and marked as exhibits by the Commission.

Next to appear was the managing director of the Gambia Milling Corporation, Christophe Bardy.

Mr. Bardy told the Commission that the registered name of the Company is Gambia Milling Corporation and the directors of the company are Muhammad Bazzi, Fadia George Mazagi and David Dannov. According to Mr Bardy, Premium Investment Group has 50% shares in the company whilst the other 50% is owned by a Company in the USA.

He said the land occupied at the Navy belongs to the GMC after a lease agreement between government which was in May 2013 and the parties were the Ministry of Lands and his Company.

Mr Bardy recalled that because of the market potential, they decided to invest in the Gambia as in Sierra Leone and other countries and the amount of money proposed for the investment at the time was D1, 000,000.00

He lamented that the then government had promised to protect them and allocate them land which is called Navy land after his Company promised to invest a billion dalasi again.

Mr. Bardy however said he did not have any documents at that point to show the commission how his company acquired the land as well as who the mediator for the land acquisition was.

However, he requested for time to enable him to go through their achieve to know how the company acquired the said land as well as other relevant documents related to the company with regard to the notice of summon.

Mr. Bolaji Yusuuf of Guaranty Trust Bank who stepped in for the Managing Director, gave evidence on the mobilization account.

He said D422, 000,000.00 was deposited into the account. He said the first withdrawal was D5, 000,000.00 while the second withdrawal was D50, 000,000.00.

Next to testify was Fadia George Mazagi, Managing Director Euro Africa Group and he confirmed to the Commission that Global Trading Limited received from the Central Bank of the Gambia, the sum of €1,000,000 and €720,000 respectively.

According to him the sum of One million Euros paid to their company by CBG, was for the purchase of an Aircraft, 757 for the then Government; that prior to ending negotiations for the purchase of the aircraft, it was already sold.

Mr. Mazagi disclosed that Kanilai Family Farm owed Global Trading the sum of €1,354,000 which was in respect of avian water supply, Hyundai vehicles and coach buses and there was a letter authored by Dr. Njogu L Bah, former Secretary General instructing them to set off the one million euro which was meant for the purchase of the aircraft to Kanilai Family farm.

He however said he did not have the letter with him. “How could you set off debts owed by a private company to public funds?” Mrs. Bensouda quizzed. “This was the instruction we received,” said the witness noting that he did investigate where the money was coming from.

At that juncture, commercial invoices from Global Trading showing payments of One million Euro from State Aircraft Accounts as well as bill of lading of the said vehicles, were admitted as exhibits.

The witness informed the Commission that there was an incident in their office and they lost the letter authored by Njogu Bah. “I am not promising to avail the Commission with the letter but I will endeavor to find out,” said the witness.

“We want a copy or original of that letter,” Commissioner Saine insisted and further asked: “Was there any possibility that Kanilai Family Farm (KFF) was not state owned?” The witness said everything that was vouchered was in the name of KFF; that they are tax exempted by the Ministry of Finance and the Gambia Revenue Authority because the company is of international standard. He said it is correct that they were awarded numerous contracts without tender but this he said was due to relationship Mr. Muhammed Bazi had with the former President.

At that juncture, one of the Commissioners requested for Mr. Mazagi to furnish them with Global Trading Certificate of Registration.

Commissioner Saine told the witness that there was no distrust between their company and the former government and the cordial relation was so smooth that they kept on getting contracts upon contracts but the witness revealed that it was an agreement Mr. Bazi had with Yahya Jammeh.

Counsel Bensouda at that point told the witness that it has been discovered that all invoices were addressed to KFF and there were importations of vegetables and oil which the then government has no interest. “We were made to understand that this was to be distributed to the public and we were made to understand that KFF is a branch of the government,” said Mazagi.

Mr. Abdoulie Jallow, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance testified that he is not aware of an Appropriation Account which was closed and replaced by a Mobilisation Account; that he has no knowledge of the opening of a State Aircraft Account as he was not the PS at the time. However, he told Commissioners that the Special Security Account was opened purposely for operations at the office of the then president especially when it comes to his travel expenses.

He said the source of funding from this account is derived from the consolidated revenue fund and as PS he does not know any law or statue authorising the then President to become signatory to an account or accounts.

On the International Gateway Account, Mr. Jallow disclosed that the said account was opened based on request from the office of the former President for proceeds from GAMTEL International Gateway to be deposited into. He however confirmed that GAMTEL is the rightful institution to manage such funds.

“If instructions are from office of the former President, they are automatically carried out and we cannot open an account if we are not authorized by the Minister,” he revealed.

When asked by Counsel whether he had anything to justify that, he responded that usually there are no minutes from the minister but he is always aware of the opening of accounts. Ministers he said, are not supposed to be signatories to government accounts but instead it should be the accounting officers among others.

Mr. Momodou Lamin Bah, Accountant General reappeared to explain the accounts opened by his office. He said at the time of opening the International Gateway Account he wasn’t at the said position and the opening of accounts was approved by the then Ministry of Finance. He said upon approval by the said ministry, the Accountant General’s office would communicate to CBG.

At that juncture Mr. Bah told the Commission that he needed to confirm in their records to see whether there was any communication between his office and Central Bank; that the then president cannot be a signatory to a consolidated revenue account but can become signatory to special account upon approval by the National Assembly. According to him the way funds were disbursed from the special security account to the office of the former president, is not in line with best practice and they do not encourage that to happen. He said there is a rule that allows impress but if the amount involved is huge, one can be allowed to open an account which must be retired; but the special security account was not treated as an impress. He finally disclosed that recently, they held a meeting Chaired by Mr. Amadou Sanneh, the new Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, for such issues to be regularized and to keep them tight.

Sessions continues today at a local hotel in Kololi.


A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2017 :  11:16:03  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
CBG Disburse Over $3M to Former President’s Chief of Protocol
By Mamadou Dem
Foroyaa: September 29, 2017

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/18100

Alagie Ousman Ceesay, the former Chief Protocol of Yahya Jammeh and currently serving President Adama Barrow’s administration in the same portfolio, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission of enquiry to shed light on the withdrawal he made at the central bank while he was serving as the Chief of Protocol at the office of the former President Yahya Jammeh. Mr Ceesay began his testimony by informing the member of the commission that he is currently the Chief of Protocol at the Office of the new President.

According to him, he has been in the Public Service since 1995 until 2001, when he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Protocol and finally became Chief of Protocol in June 2002 at the Office of the then President. Mr Ceesay said while serving under the office of the former First Lady, he did not know how that office was funded and has never been a signatory to any of the accounts. He recalled that he used to travel with the First Lady to the USA and during their travel, he used to stay in a hotel while the First Lady would stay in their compound in Maryland; but that he did not know whether there were any Gambian staff at the resident of the First Lady.

The former Chief Protocol of the former president also remembered travelling with the former First Lady to Morocco and Guinea Conakry on several occasions. He said during their travel to Morocco, he would also stay in a hotel and has never visited any home of the First Lady except the family compound in Rabat.

According to him while in Conakry he would stay in Government quarters and has no idea regarding the properties owned by the former First Lady, in Conakry. Regarding the withdrawal of $1,000,000.00, $500,000.00, $700,000.00, $700,000.00, $300,000.00 and $500,000.00 respectively, which was the main subject matter of his summon, he said he was instructed by the former president to collect the said monies from the Central Bank which he did and after the transaction he handed over the cash to the former president.

He however explained that in his capacity as the then Chief of Protocol, he had no idea as to what was the purpose of the monies. Commission Counsel Bensouda who was assisted by Olimatou Danso and Anna Njie, appealed to Mr Ceesay to help the Commission on how the former president spent such amount of monies since he has served under the president in his capacity as Chief of Protocol. Mr Ceesay in a rhetorical reply said, throughout his travels with Jammeh, it would be difficult for him to substantiate how the former president spent all these monies. Responding to a question from Commission members, he said normally he would hand over the money in boxes and would not know how Jammeh counts all these monies neither does he know whether his former boss had a vault at State House. At that point counsel Bensouda further challenged him to provide his job description during his period as Chief of Protocol under former president.

Next to appear before the commission was the Belgian Lebanese national, Muhammad Bazzi whose name become the household name in the Janneh Commission. Bazzi explained his side of the story with regard to the issues he was summoned. Mr. Bazzi who is also the proprietor of Global Trading Group, informed the Commission that he is a Belgian Lebanese and has a Gambian diplomatic passport which was issued to him by former President Yahya Jammeh. He said in The Gambia, initially he was involved in the electrification project with NAWEC with the importation of fuel as well as the milling of flour. Among the companies he operated, he said were GEG, GAMICO but later GEG was closed and Gamico had some problems but was not closed; that he also has a share of 73-75% in Premier Investment Group but initially they were not involved in mining until when Carnegie Minerals Company had a problem and GAMICO was offered to involve in mining activities. According to Mr. Bazzi, his first meeting with the former president was in 2001 when he came for the electrification project and that was the time he had the opportunity to meet Jammeh. He claimed that Tony Ghattas was the one involved in the mining activities and Mr Ghattas was later given certain percentages since his company was not directly involved in the mining at the time.

Mr. Bazzi further lamented that he was not involved in the termination of Carnegie Minerals license; that he was the one who identified a law firm for the Gambia Government and paid the legal fees during his capacity as the Consular General for The Gambia. He recalled that they were stopped from mining on several occasions and some of their documents were taken from them by the then NIA and appealed for the documents to be handed over to them. Mr.Bazzi said concerning payments made by his company on behalf of the former regime to the law firm, one Daniel came to him and explained that he would want Mr. Bazzi to introduce him (Daniel) to the authority as well as the Solicitor General which he did. Commission Counsel Bensouda at that juncture told Mr. Bazzi that they were granted mining license without exploration license but the witness responded that nobody told them that they were required to get exploration license. “The Problem we had with the former regime was that every two months they used to stop us from mining and the NIA took all our documents and arrested our accountant. We brought experts outside and we paid them lot of money for providing us with analysis. I will confirm the exportation of the stockpile left by Carnegie Mineral and the money realized,” said Mr. Bazzi.

At that juncture, counsel intimated to him that GAMICO took all the equipment provided by Carnegie and asked him to tell the arrangement they made prior to taking the said equipment. Mr. Bazzi in response said they never took equipment of the said company but instead from Government through the Geology Department. “The Geology Department allowed us to use the equipment,” he disclosed. Counsel further told the witness that the arbitrators are claiming the sum of $1,140,000 as value for the scrap equipment but the witness testified that they spent money to buy spares for the scrap equipment; that when they took over the materials, they were already scrapped and that was why they maintained them.

At that juncture Commission Chairman Surahata Janneh intervened and asked the witness: “Do you have an inventory since you said you took over from Government?” He answered, “I will look into that and Yahya Jammeh was not a shareholder of GAMICO neither did he had any interest in GAMICO.” With regard to transferring his share from GAMICO to APAM, the witness disclosed that it was the former President who instructed him to do so despite his company was privately owned; that he told the former President unless they came with a new name to replace GAMICO or new people then he won’t be able to transfer his shares but Counsel informed him that she heard a different story on the transfers of shares. Responding to Counsel, the witness countered that he had no choice but to transfer his share as instructed by the former president. He finally testified that GAMICO never mined white sand along the coast.

Meanwhile a letter authored by Dr. Njogu L Bah to the Directorate of the National Treasury for Central Bank of the Gambia to disburse the sum of $500,000.00 from Carnegie Mining Account was tendered and admitted as exhibits. However, Mr. Bah testified that the said sum was withdrawn based on instructions he received from the former president and he was told that the money was needed because there was an urgent state matter. According to him, an orderly to the exiled president attached to his house by the name Yusupha, received the amount from the banking officer. “I do not remember who delivered the money to state house but I do know that it was delivered. It is very difficult to explain where and what President Jammeh was doing with that money; that sometimes there are issues pertaining to University and some events, some on people, equipment, his family and himself,” said the former SG. He further told Commissioners that during his tenure as Secretary General, some of the assets Jammeh acquired included Dunes Resort and the ranch in Farato village where he kept animals which in some instances, you will hear that he bought them. Dr. Bah also gave testimony on the Mahindra as well as other tractors which were acquired by the former President; that out of the five hundred tractors which were received by the former president, some were distributed to Farmers while others were put on sale by Kanilai Family Farms; that the former president took some for his personal use. Mr. Bazzi should reappear today in order to furnish the Commission with certain documents and information with regards to his company.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2017 :  21:05:05  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yahya Jammeh sold Kairaba Hotel to MA Kharafi, coordinator tells commission
By Dawda Faye

The Point: Tuesday, October 03, 2017


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/yahya-jammeh-sold-kairaba-hotel-to-ma-karafi-coordinator-tells-commission

Momodou Lamin Sonko, a coordinator at MA Kharafi Company, yesterday told the commission that looks into the assets and financial transactions of the former President Yahya Jammeh that the former president has sold Kairaba Beach Hotel to MA Kharafi to the tune of $10, 000,000.

In his testimony before the commission, Sonko said he has since 2002 been the coordinator of the company, further stating that they came to The Gambia to build some projects.

Mr Sonko adduced that they had built different roads, including Kairaba Beach Hotel road, the Kafuta Farm road, Mandinaba-Soma road and Sankandi-Karantaba road, as well as the airport.

He posited that the Karantaba-Sankandi road was built at the tune of D24, 054,000, adding that he had withdrawn $10, 000,000 from the Standard Chartered Bank to effect the purchase of Kairaba Beach Hotel from the former president, on behalf of M.A Kharafi.

Mr Sonko stated that the transaction of the sale of the hotel was legally effected, and that Lawyer Mary Samba represented the company, Kharafi, at the time of its purchase.

He adduced that the hotel is handled by one Iyad Kharafi, further noting that he does not know where the former president had acquired the ownership of the hotel, prior to its sale.

At this juncture, documents relating to the construction of roads and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Another person to face the commission was Captain Sulayman Jammeh, who testified and told the commission that he is still serving the Gambia Armed Forces in Banjul.

According to him, he was at some point stationed at Basse and has served for 18 years in the army. But Jammeh said he was during the past 15 years stationed at State House.

Mr Jammeh adduced that he was a captain when he left the State House, further stating that he was an office assistant under General Saul Badjie.

Jammeh said he used to help in the transactions assigned to Saul Badjie by the former president.

He testified that in April 2016, while the former president was with Saul Badjie on “Meet the People’s Tour,” Saul Badjie had called him and asked him to go to the office of the former governor of the Central Bank to receive some money, on behalf of the former president at a tune of $500, 000, which he was made to understand that he was going to receive only $200, 000.

He adduced that the money was handed over to the household aide, Sergeant Bojang, known as Obama, for onward delivery to the former president.

At this juncture, he was shown a document on which his signature was appended, to which he confirmed that the signature and the copy of the ID card on the document were his.

Mr Jammeh further stated that he received directives from Saul Badjie while he (Badjie) was on “Meet the People’s Tour” with the former president.

He told the commission that the purpose of the withdrawal of the money was for the development of Vision 2016 farms, adding that he had never worked on the farms, neither did he visit Sapu and Janjanbureh farms, nor did he benefit from the farms.

Jammeh said he does not know the person who had given ‘Babili Mansa’ title to the former president.

Ebrima Sallah, the managing director of Trust Bank, who earlier testified, stated that there was a cheque for $2, 000,000 issued by the Embassy of China on Taiwan. He added that there was a document from the office of the former president to receive the cheque and pay the sum of money on 18 January 2012.

He added that the Embassy of China on Taiwan had issued another cheque on 11 January 2013, to be transferred to the JFP, which also amounted to $2, 000,000.

He posited that there was an instruction from the office of the former president for the transfer to be effected, adding that on 27 January 2012, $500, 000 was withdrawn and its purpose was not stated therein.

Mr Sallah further testified that he could not explain whether it was normal for an NGO to withdraw such sums of money, neither did he know whether the withdrawal were reported.

He told the commission that on 30 July 2013, there was a deposit of D6, 200,011.80, further noting that the purpose was to purchase some items by the office of the former president.

He posited that one Sering Nyang also deposited D8, 150,000 into Jammeh Foundation for Peace (JFP) account.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2017 :  16:35:18  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
SSHFC Finance Director faces commission

The point: Wednesday, October 04, 2017


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/sshfc-finance-director-faces-commission

Abdoulie Cham, Director of Finance at Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), yesterday testified before the Commission of Inquiry that looks into the assets and financial transactions of former President Yahya Jammeh.


He testified that he has been working at the corporation for over 35 years, adding that he was senior finance manager before his elevation to the position.

He adduced that they had received a directive from the Office of the former President, addressed to the Managing Director of the corporation, and signed by Njogu Bah for the corporation to lend $1,000,000 to the Office of the former President.

According to him, the directive has stated that the loan would be refunded. But he noted that Tumbul Danso, the former managing director, and the board had agreed for the disbursement of the loan.

He posited that a sum of $500,000 was also withdrawn from the Trust Bank to be given as a loan to the Office of the former President.

Mr Cham further explained that Trust Bank could not give them the $500,000 on the very day, but the following day he was given a sum of $420,000.

He adduced that he had taken the money to the Office of the former President, where he handed it over to Njogu Bah. He then noted that the following day, he received $80,000 from the bank, which he delivered to Njogu Bah.

Mr Cham revealed that the remaining $500,000 was meant for the government of Japan, and it was paid into a particular account.

Cham said he did not know the purpose of the payment, stating further that ‘no part of the loan was paid’.

He posited that the amount was paid from the National Provident Fund account and they were not supposed to give loans to the Office of the former President.

Mr Cham adduced that efforts were made to recover the $1,000,000, and that the former Managing Director, Grayham, had directed them to write to the Office of the former President for the payment of the loan, but to no avail.

He testified that there was another directive from the Office of the former President, requesting for a loan of D6, 432,700 from the corporation. But he said they did not know the purpose of the loan, adding that the amount was paid to Amadou Samba for the purchase of a water tank.

He said they had instructed Trust Bank to provide Amadou Samba with the amount, adding that it was not forwarded to their board. Cham said they took an action, because the directive came from the Office of the former President.

He testified that the loan was also taken from the National Provident Fund account, adding that it wasn’t paid.

Mr Cham said that when they discussed with Njogu Bah for the payment, the Office of the former President promised to pay the loan, adding that Amadou Samba was then the chairman of their board.

He adduced that it was the responsibility of the management of the corporation for any failure by the Office of the former President to effect the payment of the loan.

He revealed that there was another loan of D10, 000,000 to KGI for the purchase of Tobaski rams, adding that it was the former Managing Director, Mr Gibba, who had instructed Trust Bank to transfer the sum of money to KGI accounts.

He testified that the matter was not taken to the courts, neither was there any instruction from the Office of the former President regarding the loan.

Mr Cham agreed that it is only the board that could approve loans to be given out, further positing that people who were serving the Office of the former President did so out of fear.

He said the loan was not paid, and ‘it was an internal breach.’

He adduced that other Tobaski rams were purchased under the instruction of the Office of the former President, and that a sum of D15, 000,000 was withdrawn for the purchase of the Tobaski rams from the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

He said the loan was taken from Trust Bank, adding that the directive was signed by Njogu Bah,

According to him, the money was withdrawn from the Injuries Compensation Fund account at the Trust Bank. “There was another instruction from the Office of the former President for a loan of $4,500,000 for the purchase of another aircraft, which was signed by Njogu Bah.”

He revealed that a loan of D148, 500,000 was also given to the Office of the former President for the purchase of an aircraft, signed by Njogu Bah.

According to him, the money was transferred from the National Provident Fund account at the Trust Bank. He stated that the beneficiary was Insured Aircraft Company, but he didn’t have any idea as to whether the aircraft was purchased.

Mr Cham adduced that another loan of $85,704 was given to the Office of the former President for the purchase of an aircraft. He said the matter was not taken to the courts, but he did not even know whether the aircraft arrived in The Gambia.

He testified that the loan was not paid to the corporation, as earlier promised.

He posited that “if you do not follow directives, something would happen to you,” adding that these are the things “you cannot question”.

Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2017 :  22:19:21  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Building The New Gambia

By Madi Jobarteh
All Testimonies Must be Public at the Janneh Commission


The Gambian people have been severely betrayed and harmed by a president who had all the legal, political and moral obligations to safeguard the supreme interest of the nation. This is what is contained in the oath of office of the president and all public servants. But not only had Yaya Jammeh betrayed the public trust and confidence that goes with the Office of the President, but he was consciously and knowingly aided and abetted by fellow Gambians and other human beings who equally know that they had sacred obligations to protect the public good. Now that the Janneh Commission has set itself to unearth the how and why Yaya Jammeh and his accomplices betrayed the people of the Gambia, some of them have now asked that their testimonies be made in camera expressing security fears. It must not happen!

The idea of having testimonies in camera conforms to what is called witness protection in justice delivery system. Witness protection was first conceived in the United States in the 1960s in criminal investigations and prosecutions involving organized crimes in the drugs trade in particular among others. It is intended to allow a criminal to willingly testify against fellow criminals in order to save oneself from either prosecution or having a lighter sentence among others. Indeed witness protection has been effectively utilized by the justice delivery system in both criminal and civil cases. Thus on the surface of it, the request by Njogu Bah and Muhammed Bazzi appears to be sensible and necessary to grant them such protection.

However I strongly oppose this request in the sense that it does not serve both the case of justice and the greater public good that this commission is providing right now. Njogu Bah and Bazzi like all others invited to the commission are required by law to provide the truth and nothing but the truth. Hence these folks must tell the commission the truth otherwise they will be in contempt of the commission that carries severe penalties on its own. Therefore Bah and Bazzi cannot deny this commission any information. For that matter, what this commission could do is to ensure that they are provided the necessary security based on an assessment to determine if in fact they faced a security threat in the first place.

Bah and Bazzi like the rest knew that what they were doing was wrong yet they reneged on their legal and moral obligations to stand tall and refuse Yaya Jammeh to use them as tools against the supreme interests of the people of the Gambia. The harm they committed against the Gambian people is far greater than the harm they fear could reach them if they continue to testify in public.

By allowing Yaya Jammeh to plunder public wealth means Njogu and Co have denied our hospital, schools and workers the necessary resources that would have saved lives, provided meaningful opportunities and ensure decent and highest standard of living to the masses. Thus by their actions, Bah and Bazzi like the rest have directly and practically killed Gambian lives in our hospitals and denied Gambian children durable opportunities and a promising future. How therefore could Bazzi and Bah only consider their selfish interests today when they had damaged the sacred interests of a whole nation yesterday?

It is necessary that all testimonies be made in public because this commission is not only a fact-finding mission, but it is also a lesson from which all Gambians must learn. By hearing from the horse’s mouth, Gambians should now see how dictatorship is made. By now Gambians must realize that leadership is not about Allah, rather it is Gambians who make or break leaders. When Yaya Jammeh was shouting ‘Allah’s Bank’ and proclaiming Allah’s name every minute it is now clear that there was nothing godly about this man but who embodies only evil and criminality! He was merely using the name of Allah and Islam to loot, rape and kill!

From this commission we can now see that everything that Yaya Jammeh did were done by himself and supported by fellow Gambians. In their evil minds they connived with each other to loot the Gambia by misusing and abusing the laws and institutions that we entrust to them to perform their functions in serving the country. These men and women were public officers who derive their legitimacy from the people. The people placed their trust and confidence in them that so they will serve and protect the public good. Yet they did not only fail in their duties but went further to subvert the law and transform our institutions into weapons of mass destruction against our people.

For that matter, the commission is a learning exercise to make Gambians understand that unless we realize that the people are the owners of the Gambia, then any president could come around only to plunder and pillage as he or she wishes. The commission should teach us that power resides only in the people but only if those people are aware of it and take charge of their own destiny. We need to hear these testimonies to realize that a president is good or bad depending on how the people relate to him or her. We need to hear these testimonies so we see what stuff we are made of as Gambians. Do we truly belief in God and the good cultural values we proclaim or do we merely pay lip service to God and our good cultural values? These are the fundamental lessons of this commission for which the testimonies must be made public.

The safety and security of Njogu Bah or Muhammed Bazzi must not overshadow the legitimate interest of the people of the Gambia. If this request is granted there is a high risk that the commission itself might be compromised. Gambians will not eventually get the full and undiluted truth hence the lessons to learn will not materialize. Instead we might end up not having justice delivered while criminals and plunderers of public wealth continue to walk scot-free and even serve in the Gambia Government again! In that case this commission could become another painful betrayal of the people.

I therefore call on Justice Janneh not to grant any request that seeks to hear some testimonies in camera. We need all testimonies in the public so that the lessons we will learn will serve as building blocks for a new democratic, transparent and accountable Gambia. These lessons will teach all public servants to realize that their allegiance must always be to the Gambia and not to a president. It will also teach our president that he must serve only the public interest and not to circumvent our laws and subvert our institutions for his or her selfish interest.

God Bless The Gambia

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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Posted - 05 Oct 2017 :  12:56:08  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sidi Sanneh:
Thursday, October 5, 2017
The plundering of Social Security Funds and suggested mitigating measures needed in response


The extent of the damage done to the social security scheme at the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation may not be known for sometime to come.

And perhaps not until the Commission of Inquiry into the illicit wealth of Yaya Jammeh has completed its work and a thorough assessment of the financial damage inflicted on the corporation by the former Gambian dictator who is currently in involuntary exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Based on what the Commission has revealed thus far, it is safe to say that the Barrow government needs to take immediate defensive measures to protect what's felt of a once financially viable corporation that was established to secure the financial well being of private sector employees during their retirement years.

The social safety net that took years to build as insurance for older workers during retirement has been destroyed by a handful of Gambians, led by Jammeh and his business partners who used the financial contributions of private sector workers into the Pension Fund, Provident Fund and the Industrial Injuries Compensation Fund.

The extent of the damage done to the Housing Finance Fund, the third Fund of the SSHFC is still unclear as the Commission continues its probe. Pay special attention to the Kanilai Housing Scheme.......................

Read more at: http://sidisanneh.blogspot.de/2017/10/the-plundering-of-social-security-funds_5.html

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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Posted - 06 Oct 2017 :  12:47:28  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Euro Africa Group Proprietor, Wants To Be Heard In Camera
Foroyaa: October 5, 2017
By Mamadou Dem

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/18165

Mr. Muhammed Bazzi, the largest shareholder of EURO Africa Group, yesterday through his attorney, Loubna Farage, applied to be heard in Camera, based on his personal safety and security including staff working under him. This according to his lawyer, will also give him the opportunity to tender documents showing payments from Euro Africa Group, to the personal account of former President Yahya Jammeh.

Earlier, Barrister Farage disclosed that Bazzi has provided correspondence between him and the former President and is concerned about his personal safety not only for himself but the people working for him as well; that his client was not in the Gambia in 2013-2015.

The application arose when Bazzi was asked whether he had all the documents regarding the payments his company made to the personal account of the former president’s Trust Bank Account which he confirmed.

According to him, he knows certain people currently under the civil service who could collaborate against him including supporters of the former regime, based on what he says or disclosed before the Commission. “He asked me to apply on his behalf for you to exercise your discretion in his favour for certain evidences to be held in camera,” said his attorney, Farage.

“Where does your client perceive this fear from?” asked Commission Chairman Janneh.

“If he makes disclosure on certain transfers to the former president, the supporters of the former regime might put him at risk. The content of some of the documents will support his fear,” she added.

Commission Chairman Janneh further asked the relevance of Bazzi being out of the jurisdiction from 2013-2015. Reacting to the application, Commission Counsel, Bensouda said: “Without seeing the document the witness or applicant is relying on, it would be difficult for me to reply to the substance of the applicant. The documents should be admitted to enable me peruse them and then reply.”

The Commission Chairman and Doyen of the Gambian Bar further intimated that copies intended to be relied on by the witness be made available to the Commission through the Secretary. However, Mr. Bazzi was asked to provide documents of all fuel importations made by EURO AFRICA GROUP as well as tax records; that all payments made to Directors of other entities should also be provided.

Mr. Bazzi attempted to disclosed the debt owed to his company by NAWEC but Counsel interjected and told him that Mr. Mazagi already gave evidence and touched on some of those issues. However, Counsel told him that he should make available, the documents requested before he can dwell on that and also informed him that his Attorney has made an application for certain documents to be dealt with off record and off the cameras.

“Barajali Ferry was a sinking ferry and not a useful ferry,” said Bazzi. He alleged that Mr. Gibba was against his Companies and their operations in the country including the development of Gam Petroleum now called Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). “I hope I will get you all the evidence including pictures of the ferry,” said the business mogul.

At that juncture, Counsel put it to him that GPA is a public corporation and has policies in place and cannot allow them to use such ferries just like that and as a business man, he should know that the ferry borrowed to his Company, had value and GPA only discovered that the ferry was scrap after Bazzi failed to returned it.

With regards to land belonging to the Gambia Ports Authority, Bazzi testified that they had an agreement with the Ministry of Lands. He said they followed proper procedures prior to acquiring that land from ports. He promised to furnish the commission with documents regarding the leasing of the Ports land among others.

The Coordinator of MA Karafi, Momodou Lamin Sowe, was also summoned to shed light on the payment of the sum of D24, 054,000,00 paid to them from the account of Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Mr. Sowe began his testimony by highlighting the projects initiated by the Company since its inception in 2002 and among them is the construction of roads and Gardening, among other projects. He said the said D24,054,000.00 was a payment made to the company regarding the construction of Sankandi-Karantaba road which was built by their Company; that out of the said sum, 20% was paid as advance payment.

On the issue of Kairaba Beach Hotel, Mr. Sowe revealed that the hotel was sold to their Company by the former President in the sum of $10,000,000.00.; that when Mr. Karafi came to the Gambia for a friendly visit, former President Jammeh opted to sell the hotel to him and the negotiation was done by Amadou Samba, who in turn appointed his sister, Mary Samba, to represent the Company and prepared documents on behalf of the Company; that the overseer of the hotel was one Mr Iyae.

Mr. Sowe was however asked by the Commission to provide the transaction documents in respect of the purchase of the hotel

Documents relating to contracts between MA Kharafi and the Ministry of Works for the construction of Sankandi–Karantaba road were admitted as exhibits.

Next to reappear was the former Governor of the Central Bank whose evidence was centred on the withdrawals by staff and military personnel from the Office of the former President.

Mr. Amadou Colley, said throughout his appointment as Governor, he did not have the opportunity to meet the former president regarding withdrawal of cash in his name by General Saul Badjie, and therefore committed officials including service men to sign Memos after receiving cash at the Central Bank, which he claimed has been going on prior to his appointment as Governor.

At that juncture, Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda intimated to him to give a case or provide the Commission with documentation showing such actions by former Governors, to substantiate his claim. Mr Colley however said that it was rather unfortunate that he could not make documentary evidence to the members of the Commission since he is no more working with the bank.

The former head of the Banker’s Bank further testified that he would only make calls if they had delay from General Badjie as to who was to collect money from the bank so that the money can be collected to enable his staff to close from work and go home.

He confirmed that it is correct as asserted by Captain Jammeh of the 3rd Infantry Battalion that even on a non-working day, monies were withdrawn from the Central Bank as members from the Banking Department will assemble together with some Commercial Banks for Foreign Exchange Transactions. He also confirmed that any inflow of cash from outside, the account holders will be sent a credit advice informing them that money has been credited into their account including all Government Departments. Mr. Colley reiterated that it was difficult to deal with Jammeh as they were helpless and he tried to meet the former President through Secretary Generals and Protocol Officers but it never materialised and at some point, he even received insults from staff working at the office of the former president.

According to the witness, General Saul Badjie was the messenger of Jammeh who claimed that request for cash to be disbursed were directives from Jammeh. Responding to Commissioner Saine, Colley said if Jammeh knew as President the monies withdrawn from public coffers should have been done in a right procedure then there would be no need to establish this Commission.

He said he has earlier indicated that even if monies withdrawn were actually delivered to Jammeh, he has no documentary evidence to back this. When he was further pressed by Commissioner Saine, it was put to Mr. Colley that from a banking perspective, Jammeh who was the sole signatory of certain accounts and funds, withdrew amounts in his name without his signature or approval, was fraudulent.

“I believed that the monies were delivered but I cannot provide any document to prove that,” Colley concluded.

Earlier documents showing transactions and credit payments into Jammeh Foundation amounting to $4,000,000.00, was admitted as exhibit and the Managing Director of the Bank, Ebrima Sallah, confirmed that these monies were from the Republic of China and Taiwan.

Mr. Sallah also testified that there was no narrative as to what this money was meant for and after reading out numerous transactions and withdrawals, Counsel put it to him that the sum of $1,000,000.00, was withdrawn cash and asked him whether that was normal. In response, the Banker said the law today provides that the threshold for cash withdrawal is D450, 000. It was further observed that there were numerous deposits into Yahya A. J .J Jammeh’s Trust Bank salary account.

Captain Sulayman Jammeh of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) in Basse, testified that he served GAF for 18 years and was stationed at state house from 2003 to December 2016, and while at state house, he served as Office Assistant to General Saul Badjie; that he assists in official transactions and assignments given to General Badjie by the former president.

On the issues of financial transactions, he informed Commissioners that he does involve in financial transactions; that in February 2016, when the former President was on his vision 2016 tour, he received a call from General Badjie, instructing him to go and receive money from the Central Bank.

According to the witness, upon his arrival at the Central Bank, he was escorted to the Governor’s office and a request of $500,000.00 was raised but he couldn’t get the sum requested but rather $200,000.00 due to the border closure between Gambia and Senegal; that at the same time, the day he went to receive the money was not a working day then (Friday).

He finally testified that he was ordered by Gen. Badjie to take the $200,000.00 to the house of the former President and deliver it to the household’s aids of the former President, Sergeant Bojang; that he did not know what the purpose of the money was for but was of the belief that it has to do with vision 2016 projects as the money he received was from the Vision 2016 Account.

Hearings continue today at Djembe Hotel.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2017 :  13:18:19  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finger on the pulse on everything Gambian ,as always Momodou.

It is about MONEY,There is a saying in UK, "Money is the root of all evil" this is incorrect as the following can testify:
================================================================================================================================

The love of money is the root of all evil
Meaning

Literal meaning.
Origin

Left quote icon
Not money, but the love of money, that's the problem.
right quoteOften misquoted as 'money is the root of all evil'. Originates in the Bible, Timothy 6:10 (King James Version):

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Source: https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/238725.html

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



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Posted - 07 Oct 2017 :  09:34:06  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now we know where his Allah’s Bank was

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  09:18:58  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Former MDs of SSHFC Appear at Janneh Commission
Foroyaa: October 9, 2017

By Mamadou Dem

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/18220#more-18220

Edward Graham and Muhammed Lamin Gibba, both former Managing Director of the Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission of Enquiry to explain the loans that were given to the office of the former President and KGI respectively.

Mr. Graham said he was appointed as Managing Director from October 2010 and his services were terminated in December 2010. He said he was reappointed on the 22nd of August 2012 until the 7th of March 2017; that he cannot remember receiving instructions from the office of the former President between October-December, 2010.

On the D15,000,000.00 loan given by the SSHFC to the office of the former president for the purchase of rams from the Islamic Republic of Mauritania from the National Provident Fund [NPF], he said the request was brought to his office shortly after he assumed office and was busy with balancing the books to enable him know what exactly transpired during his two year absence; that he asked the finance director and deputy director of the corporation to go ahead as usual and comply with the directives emanating from the then Secretary General, Njogu Bah.

According to him, it was explained to them that the rams were to be provided for workers because the price of rams were exorbitant. Responding further, he said: “I was concentrating on issues that transpired in my absence but I always forward directives to the board and I always obtain regulations and it was after I started operations, I discovered that the D15,000,000.00 was not taken to the board of directors for approval,” he said.

On whether the office of the President can be given loan by SSHFC, he responded in the affirmative; that OP is entitled to loans under the investment policy of the Corporation. He said the same policy mandates them to give loans to Government and related institutions as a form of investment; that in this process, you have both the usual and unusual procedures and the said D15,000,000.00 was an unusual procedure because it was a directive from the office of the President.

Mr. Graham further explained that if the usual procedure is applied, then it goes down to the ladder up to the board of directors, which is the governing body and copied to the Ministry of Finance before the final approval is granted, whereas when the unusual procedure is applied, they only write internal memos for approval.

When asked by Commission Counsel Bensouda whether the usual procedure was followed in the disbursement of $4,500,000.00 as loan to the office of the former President for the purchase of an aircraft, he responded in the affirmative and said there was a loan agreement between the two parties. Mr. Graham reiterated that he allowed his deputy and the finance director to go ahead with this loan as he was just a freshman in the system and did not know the previous procedures they applied in his absence.

According to him, the investment policy did not distinguish institutions entitled to loans but they usually enter into an agreement on every loan taken by institutions or parastatals. “The financial situation of the Corporation is clearly stated in the Audit Report and I am not quite sure whether the $4,500,000.00 went through the board of directors but Mr. Amadou Samba was the Chairman of the Board then,” he disclosed.

On the outstanding loan of €200,000.00 to the National Broadcaster (GRTS), he said he was the MD at the time of this transaction but he might be away and the transaction was authorized by the Deputy Managing Director and Director of Finance. However, he said he cannot recall whether it was also channelled through the board of directors; that notwithstanding, he informed the board about these loans.

The former Managing Director of the Corporation said by the time he took over as MD, the debt of the Corporation was D1 billion and notwithstanding, the Corporation continued to invest by giving out loans under the investment policy of the Corporation; that the entities were advised to pay the loan, otherwise it will affect the operations of the Corporation.

Mr. Graham said based on Section 5 of the Corporation Act, the Corporation is partly public and partly private and based on that, the state is the ultimate custodian of the Corporation which has the mandate to protect the interest of the citizens.

He finally opined that he did not see any wrong with regards to the loan given to the office of the then President for the purchase of the Tobaski rams which was in the interest of the workers and that it depended on the office of the then President on how to utilise the funds as intended; that professionally, there is nothing wrong with giving out loan for national interest.

Mr. Graham is expected to reappear next week Monday for continuation.

Mr. Muhammed Lamin Gibba who reappeared in his capacity as the former Managing Director of SSHFC, explained that he was appointed as MD of the Corporation from 3rd May, 2011to August 2012; that he received directives from the office of the former President to pay the sum of D6.4 million dalasi to Amadou Samba for the purchase of a water Tank, after receiving a telephone call from the former President.

When asked by Counsel Bensouda to explain why such payments should be made from the fund which does not belong to Government but to the citizens, Mr. Gibba replied that the payment was made out of fear and he had no choice but to comply with the directives since it was indicated from the OP that it was an urgent need.

He said he was of the view that the water tank belongs to the former President and the fact of the matter was that the request was urgent and the loan will be refunded which was not done. “I did not follow up for the payment of the loan and I did not know who the auditors were at the time the loan was given,” he said

Regarding the loan of D10, 000,000.00 to Kanilai Group International for the purchase of Tobaski rams, Mr. Gibba said it was a verbal directive from the former President who called him on telephone for the disbursement of the said sum.

According to him, when he was the Managing Director of GPA, he used to critically advise the President regarding loans but at some point, the then President was not heeding to his advice and based on this, he was redeployed to SSHFC claiming that he had wished to resign because he was not comfortable with those instructions.

He added that until he left as MD for SSHFC, the loans were not settled and he did not make a follow up arguing that he did not know the reason or reasons he was redeployed to SSHFC and did not ask the former President why he was redeployed.

On the issue of loans granted to NAWEC, he said in June 2011, the sums of $7,900,000.00, $5,000,000.00 and $6,000,000.00 were purposely granted as loans for the provision of heavy fuel which were from the National Provident Fund (NPF).

According to him, this was also a directive from the office of the former President to disburse the said sums to NAWEC, acknowledging that he has no audacity to give loans without referring to the board for approval, since he did not have the courage to discuss with the board for the disbursements of these funds to NAWEC.

The witness recalled that he had summoned meetings with the Director of Finance regarding the impact of the loan on the Corporation but that they had no choice than to comply with the order and make payments. He further told the Commission that he knew that the OP has no say on funds provided to SSHFC neither does he (President) has any say on the management of the Corporation since the funds belong to the Gambian people.

He also acknowledged that he did not tell the office of the former President that loans cannot be given to KGI since the funds belong to the citizens. On issues regarding GPA Barajali ferry, the witness said he could remember that in 2007, they called him to hand over the ferry to the Management of Gam Petroleum (now call GNPC) as soon as possible as it was a directive from the former president; but that his reply was he could not do so unless he hears from the former President himself; that the said ferry was finally handed over to Gam Petroleum but prior to this, he insisted that it had to be in writing and there was a letter to that effect written by one Ebrima Kujabi.

He said subsequently, when Muhammed Bazzi completed his assignment with the ferry, the GPA discovered that the services of the ferry were not rendered and they wrote to Mr. Bazzi asking back the ferry but there was no response from them; that after 3 years, former president Jammeh asked him (Gibba) whether he heard from Bazzi concerning the ferry but he responded to him in the negative. Mr. Jammeh then asked him to value the ferry which he said amounted to D16, 000,000.00 and Jammeh told him that he will engage Bazzi.

Regarding a land given to Gambia Milling Corporation, Counsel Bensouda put it to the witness that after several correspondences between the GPA Management and the Milling Corporation, the office of the former president wrote to say that the land should be given to Milling Corporation and they will be paying royalties to GPA in the sum of D18, 000,000.00, the witness said he was not aware of this; that he had no discussion with Mr. Bazzi except in writing, regarding compensation in respect of the ferry. “I am not aware that the said land was leased to the corporation neither was I consulted on the leasing of the land,” said Gibba.

Sitting resumes on Monday 9th October 2017.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  16:47:52  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Commission of Inquiry to sit for extra 6 months

The Point: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/commission-of-inquiry-to-sit-for-extra-6-months

The mandate of the Commission of Inquiry, which was originally planned for three months, has now been extended by six months, Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said.

The three months original mandate of the Commission, which started sitting on 10 August 2017, is to end on 10 November, this year. But the Establishment Order gives the power to the Commission to continue beyond the three-month period, “if it is necessary to do so”.

“The Commission now deems it necessary to extend its mandate to an additional six months from the date of expiry of the first three months,” the minister said at a press conference at his office in Banjul yesterday.

The extension of the mandate, he said, is due to the emergence of new evidences, which made it mandatory to call for more witnesses to testify before the Commission, coupled with the nature and complexity of the evidence adduced by witnesses before the Commission also necessitated the procurement of the services of forensic accountants and auditors which will take time.

The extension is also due to the numerous public enterprises, bodies and offices that are the subject of the inquiry, and are yet to be heard; and the nature, time and complexity of the investigations, covering a period of over 22 years from 22 July 1994 to 21 January 2017.

With the extension of the mandate, the Commission of Inquiry will now continue until May 2018.

Minister Tambadou said based on the extension, the Justice Ministry sought and obtained from the National Assembly, approval for the increment of remuneration to an additional amount of D500,000 for each of the three commissioners.

Also known as the Janneh Commission, which is named after the chairperson of the Commission – the Commission of Inquiry is established by President Adama Barrow to look into the financial activities of public enterprises, bodies and offices as regards their dealings with the former President Yahya Jammeh and his associates.

Constitutional review

Besides, the minister said, the Ministry of Justice is now drafting a bill on the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission, in consultation with the office of the Chief Justice.

“The bill shall be presented before the National Assembly at the earliest opportunity,” Tambadou said, adding that the proposed new constitution of The Gambia shall be one that will reflect faithfully and accurately the views of the generality of Gambians, both at home and abroad.

NIA 9 case


The Justice Minister said the case of the nine former state intelligence officers would resume on Monday, 16 October 2017.

“I have been informed by the Prosecutor, Mr Antouman Gaye, that he intends to file a motion to amend the indictment in order to increase the number of Counts to 26 from the initial number of 12 Counts,” he said.

TRC

The minister said they are now in the final review stage of the draft Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) bill.

“We have spent a considerable amount of time on the bill working with experts in the area of transitional justice and truth commissions, in particular,” he said.

The draft bill has been reviewed by the United Nations’ consultant on transitional justice, International Center for Transitional Justice, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Africa Group for Accountability and Justice, and the United Nations.

In addition, Tambadou said, based on the nationwide consultations and interactions with experts in the area of truth commissions around the world, some of the key features of the Gambia TRRC would include all members of the Commission, who shall be Gambian nationals of the highest standards of integrity; all regions in the country shall be represented in the Commission; the Commission shall reflect the national character of The Gambia and shall be as representative of the different communities as possible, including women, religious and youth groups; and the Commission shall be established for an initial period of two years.



Author: Lamin Jahateh

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  16:51:03  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Edward Graham reappears at Janneh Commission

The point: Tuesday, October 10, 2017


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/edward-graham-reappears-at-janneh-commission

Edward Graham, the former managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), yesterday went through a vigorous questioning before the Commission of Inquiry that looks into the assets and financial transactions of former President Yahya Jammeh.


Graham, who was reminded that he earlier talked to the commission about their Act, clarified that he was referring to 2015 Act, but was told that the Act he told the Counsel that they applied was the 2010 Act.

He confirmed that the 2015 Act was applied, adding that at the time he was at the corporation, the 2010 Act was not enacted.

It was at this moment put to him that their Act was an extension of the government and then asked to confirm whether the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance was a member of their board.

In response, he referred to the Act and replied in the affirmative, saying the former president had appointed all the members of the board of the corporation.

At this juncture, a document was shown indicating the purchase of tents for the Office of the former President.

He testified that on 27 November 2014, they had received directives from the Office of the former President to open a letter of credit, adding that they went ahead and opened the letter of credit at Trust Bank.

Mr Graham posited that he was subsequently notified and informed that their account had been debited.

When asked to produce the directive he received from the Office of the former President to initiate the transaction of the purchase of the tents, Mr Graham told the commission that 27th September, 2014, was the date written on the directive from the Office of the former President, indicating that he should open a letter of credit, but could not find the directive in his file at the time.

He adduced that he did not know whether their board approved the letter of credit to purchase the tents, further stating that as per their Act, they did not need the approval of their board to open a letter of credit for the purchase of the tents. But Graham said he was referring to their 2015 Act.

It was put to him that there were loans which were approved before 2015, and he confirmed that it was the 2010 Act.

Mr Graham testified that the Ministry of Finance could give general directives to their board for investment policy, adding that he could not remember whether the Minister of Finance had given directives for investment policy.

When put to him that loans to NAWEC and other loans were given out when he was the Managing Director of the corporation in 2012, he replied in the positive.

It was also put to him that the loans were outstanding, and that NAWEC had substantial loans.

But Graham said he discussed it with the then Secretary-General for the loan given to NAWEC to be settled.

He posited further that he was told that these were directives from the Office of the former President, but he told them to put it in writing.

Commenting on the loans given to NAWEC, he said some of them were paid, further noting that in 2016, NAWEC had made some payments, which were also documented.

He revealed that there was an agreement between the corporation and NAWEC for the loans to be paid.

He said he could not remember whether their board had approved the agreement.

At this juncture, the said agreement was tendered and admitted, as evidences.

Mr Graham stated that during Njogu Bah’s time, on 29 September 2012, he was called and told that the level of the Airport was not attractive, adding that they wanted the corporation to finance the leveling of the Airport, and that he told them to put it in writing.

It was put to him that a document, dated 9 January 2014, which was a copy of a ‘work-about resolution’ was in his possession for NAWEC’s $5.6millin and $3.6million loans, and also a loan of D15, 000,000 for Tobaski rams.

When asked whether he took it to their board, he replied in the negative, adding that they had written to the Office of the former President to pay the loans.

Mr Graham adduced that because of the difficulties in recovering the loans, they decided to directly engage NAWEC to settle them.

“When it comes to directives, professionalism is out,” he told the commission.

He confirmed that the Act they applied to give out loans to the Office of the former President could be influenced by the Managing Director.

Muhammed Bazzi was the next witness to reappear. He was told that his counsel, Loubna Farage, had made an application to testify in camera, but it was withdrawn. He confirmed the withdrawal of the application.

He was referred to a payment made by Euro Africa Group to the former president’s salary account, to which he confirmed but noted that it was in his earlier testimony.

He stated that he brought Mr Sarara and other investors to The Gambia, adding that Mr Sarara was the proprietor of Spectrum International, and that he introduced him to Gamcel because Gamcel was not doing well.

He said that Mr Sarara contributed a lot to the upgrading of Gamcel, and also to the management of the International Gateway.

Mr Bazzi posited that the former president had threatened to deal with Mr Sarara, if he requests the loan owed to him in dollars, adding that he assisted Mr Sarara with $1,000,000 to pay to the former president.

He testified further that the former president again asked Mr Sarara to pay another $5,000,000 to his salary account, adding that the former president had threatened him that, if he (Bazzi) did not produce the password for the switchboard of the International Gateway, he would jail him.



Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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Posted - 11 Oct 2017 :  14:40:29  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Muhammed Bazzi made ‘false’ claim at Janneh Commission – Ministry

The Point: Wednesday, October 11, 2017


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/muhammed-bazzi-made-false-claim-at-janneh-commission-ministry

The claim of Muhammed Bazzi at the Commission of Inquiry that he is the honorary consul general of The Gambia to Lebanon is rather not correct, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.


“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that the President of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E Adama Barrow, on April 10, 2017 rescinded the appointment of Mr Muhammed Bazzi,” the ministry said in a statement issued yesterday.

Effective 10 April, Bazzi’s appointment was rescinded and one Khalid A. Hammoud has been appointed by the Gambian leader as the honorary consul general of The Gambia to Lebanon.

At the Commission of Inquiry’s sitting of 27 September, multimillionaire businessman Bazzi told the commission that, he at the time, has a Gambian diplomatic passport as he was The Gambia’s honorary consul to his country of origin, Lebanon.

Bazzi is said to be the known main foreign business partner and financier of former President Yahya Jammeh. His chain of companies in The Gambia includes Global Trading, Euro Africa Group, GAMICO, GamPetroleum and Gambia Electrical Group. His businesses in the country are mainly involved in importation of fuel, sand mining and flour milling, among others.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



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8490 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2017 :  14:46:17  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Njogu Bah recalled at commission

The point: Wednesday, October 11, 2017


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/njogu-bah-recalled-at-commission-1

Njogu Bah, the former secretary general, was yesterday recalled at the Commission of Inquiry that looks into the assets and financial transactions of the former President Yahya Jammeh.


He was reminded that there was a document indicating that he requested for the rehabilitation of the prisons to the tune of D10, 000,000.

Mr Bah said he told the commission earlier that he was not aware of the rehabilitation of the prisons.

Mr Bah, who was shown a cheque from the GNPC, confirmed that he had signed it, noting that the D10, 000,000 was meant for the rehabilitation of the prisons.

He stated that there was a directive from the Office of the former President, adding that he could not remember what had happened with the cheque.

The said cheque was tendered and admitted as evidence.

It was put to him that various funds were taken when he was the secretary general, and was shown a document he signed, requesting $1,000,000 and $500,000, which were given to him. He said there was another $500,000 given to the Office of the former President.

Mr Bah posited that he received the $500,000, meant for the Ghanaian government, further noting that he was not too sure about its purpose but he could remember that some Ghanaians died in the country.

He said that one Basila Niase, who was the guest of the former President, had received the money.

He adduced that he did not know what had happened, but said it was the former President who authorised for the payment to be effected to the lady for the families of some Ghanaians, who lost their lives in the country.

A letter indicating the directives for the Ghanaian lady to receive the money was also tendered and admitted as evidence.

When asked whether the second payment of $500,000 to Japan was cancelled, he replied in the affirmative, adding that he did not have any other dealing with Basila Niase. He, however, noted that she was dealing with the former President.

Mr Bah testified that the loan from SSHFC was intended to be paid and could remember that SSHFC was under the purview of the Office of the former President.

When shown a document for SSHFC to finance Tobaski rams to be purchased, he confirmed writing it, adding that there was a directive from the Office of the former President. He further stated that the former President told him that the loan would be paid to SSHFC.

Mr Bah testified that it did not sound proper at the time the money was borrowed, adding that they helped civil servants to purchase rams during the Tobaski.

While noting that he received verbal instructions from the former President, Mr. Bah said, he was not sure whether the loan was eventually paid to SSHFC.

At this point, it was put to him that the funds were meant for the pensioners, and the loan was not paid.

On why he was involved in a transaction he said wasn’t proper, he replied that the former President told him that he was helping people to buy rams.

He was again asked whether he made a follow-up for the payment of the loan, but Bah just said ‘he felt sorry for SSHFC.’

He testified further that the former President was made to understand that SSHFC had money, and that they could lend out money which would be later paid.

Mr Bah revealed that he could not say why the former President had the perception that monies from the National Provident Fund could be spent like that.

A letter, dated 28 August 2012, written to SSHFC for the purchase of an aircraft to the tune of D148, 500,000 was shown to him.

Mr Bah, who confirmed that he wrote the letter, said that there was a Russian type aircraft to be purchased by the Office of the former President.

He said it was the former President who needed the money, and had the impression that he could go back to SSHFC to get a loan.

It was put to him that there was an agreement between the government and SSHFC, but the minister was not involved in the transaction.

Mr Bah stated that he knew that there was an instruction from the Office of the former President to purchase the aircraft.

He confirmed that the loan was not paid to SSHFC.

He was reminded that he requested for a loan of €200,000, on behalf of GRTS, but he said he could not remember the GRTS delegates. But he said the director general of GRTS was present at the time, as well as the former President.

Mr Bah further testified that he could not remember whether the loan was paid, nor could he recall whether he made a follow-up for the loan to be paid by GRTS.

He said GRTS was under the Office of the former President.

He adduced that it was news to him that GRTS said they did not ask for the loan.

He said GRTS asked for the loan and signed for it.

He was reminded that 15% of $3.6 million was a loan for the purchase of vehicles.

He stated that the loan was meant for ambulances for Banjul International Airport and fire attendants, which he said were purchased as well.

Mr Bah posited that the former President promised to pay the loan.

A document was shown to him for the purchase of tractors, and was signed by the then secretary general.

He confirmed that he was the secretary general when the tractors were acquired.

He stated that funds were supposed to come for Vision 2016 project to be used on agricultural equipment, adding that he was present when the farming equipment arrived in the country.

He said some of them were assembled and taken to the Office of the former President.

Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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