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Momodou



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Posted - 21 Dec 2017 :  11:15:12  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
‘Muhammed Jammeh has 21% Share at Sindola Safari Lodge’

The Point: Wednesday, December 20, 2017


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/muhammed-jammeh-has-21-share-at-sindola-safari-lodge

Mrs. Lily Diab, the former managing director of Unique Transport Services Company, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that Muhammed Jammeh, the son of the former president, has 21% share at Sindola Safari Lodge.


She was testifying in connection to the Mahindra tractors and Sindola Safari Lodge.

The business tycoon explained that Sindola Safari Lodge was registered in 2010, noting that she recommended to the former president to put Sindola in compliance and the former president asked her to hire the service of a lawyer which she did. She said Kanilai Woni Farms owned 79% share while Muhammed Jammeh owned 21% share.

Mr. Karamba Jawara, principal banking officer, Central Bank of The Gambia, deputising the governor of the bank, yesterday reappeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to several accounts that were operated by the office of the former president.

According to him, the first account was a Dollar account operated by the Ministry of Finance, namely Second Divestiture account which was opened on the 8 August, 2008 and was controlled by the Ministry of Finance, and the opening balance was $2,737,117.50.

He further stated that the purpose of the account was not stated but the funds were from the proceeds of GAMTEL/GAMCEL shares and the total deposit into the account was $32,437,008 while the total withdrawal was $32, 364, 933.83 and the last transaction was on the 27 March, 2009, with a debit of $25,000. He said as at now, there is a balance of $72,024.17 and the signatories were Musa Balla Gaye, former Finance Minister, Sering Cham and Mod A.K. Secka, former permanent secretaries, Ministry of Finance.

Jawara further explained that payments were made to the Gambian Embassy in USA for the purchase of buses, further stating that the sum of $1,440,357.35 was payment for the balance of 50% for school buses and the purchase of computers respectively.

He testified that $5,845,072.85 went to the embassy for the purchase of the ambassador’s residence by the Gambian government, adding that $875,000 was a payment made to the Gambian Embassy. He stated that a sum of $455,590 was also sent to the embassy through bank transfer but no purpose was stated for the transfer.

The banker disclosed that $19, 316,000 was transferred to CRA. On the Citizenship Investor account, he testified that they could not trace the account opening information but it has to do with the office of the former president; adding that there was 99% credit while there were four withdrawals totalling over D2,000,000. There were debits authorized by the secretary general as well as over D2, 000,000 overdrafts and the source of funds were from the sale of citizenship.

Mr. Jawara revealed that the last transaction on this account was on the 21st December 2016 in the sum of D604, 980, leaving a balance of D39, 838,107.59.

Buttressing on Construction of Kanilai Recording Studio and Conference Centre account, he disclosed that it was opened on the 18 April, 2008, upon request from the accountant general and authority from the office of the former president, and the signatories to the account were the former president and Teneng Ba Jaiteh, former Energy Minister. He added that the total deposit was D30, 109,475 while the total withdrawal was D30, 015,775 leaving a balance of D93, 700.

He said there was an initial deposit of $1,000,000 which was equivalent to D19, 000,000, and while responding to commission’s counsel, he confirmed that this account did not have any link to the former government. However, he said there would be no opening of accounts without clearly stating the purpose, as some accounts are subjected to international scrutiny.

On the Divestiture Fund account, the witness testified that it was opened on the 29 December, 2005, with the deposit of D117, 382,177.77 while the same amount was withdrawn and there was nothing left on the account. He said major payments into this account were from Senegambia Beach Hotel and withdrawals were made under the instruction of the Ministry of Finance, signed by Permanent Secretary Abdoulie Jallow and D24, 000,000 was transferred to the Treasury Department.

Another account he dealt with was the Special Account opened on the 11 July, 2012, by the office of the former president, and there was a deposit of D2, 330, 553.05 and there was no withdrawal from the account, and the office of the former president was in control of the account. He added that there were payments into this account by Pan African Gambia Ltd. amounting to D1, 000,000 and another D1, 000,000 was deposited by Guaranty Trust Bank.

Testifying on the recovery monies owed to public enterprises, he stated that it was opened on the 6 August, 2012, upon request by the accountant general and it was a Dalasi account, and the office of the former president was the controlling authority, further stating that there was no transaction on the account.

At this juncture, statements and summary of the accounts, transaction documents signed by the witness together with other relevant documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

The former managing director of Unique Transport Services Company (UTSCO), Lily Diab, shed more light on the acquisition of Mahindra tractors by Kanilai Group International.

She testified that they received the said tractors as part of the inventory and they were instructed by the former president to handover the tractors to KGI and on the 19th of January, 2009, she received the tractors and delivered them on the 21st January, 2009, to the chief of protocol at State House.

Mrs. Diab, who was also onetime the overseer of Sindola Safari Lodge, explained that as per the summary inventory letter, they received five hundred tractors and it was agreed that UTSCO would oversee the assembling of the tractors and would get delivery notes from KGI. She added that there were correspondences between their company, Pa Ousman Bojang and one Sarja Camara.

“I would not have a complete report of the inventory, as I was not allowed to remove the files but I do have a handing over of tractors for a period of one year,” said the business mogul.

According to her, from 2008 to 2012, and to the best of her knowledge, she had handed over the tractors to one Commander Sanneh, except one which was used for the clearing of the site. “On the 26 July, 2012, I was ordered to stop operations and the handing over process took two weeks,” she told the commission.

She said KGI would issue them with standard format for the handing over, further stating that she was not sure whether KGI was selling the tractors, as she never interacted with KGI in any operation but rather limited herself to UTSCO; adding that they were dealing with KGI purely by correspondence.

She disclosed that she was ordered to stop operation at UTSCO but did not receive any instruction on Sindola Safari Lodge and Sindola was registered as a private company.

Next to testify, was the proprietor of TAF Holding Ltd., Mustapha Njie alias Taf in connection to AU Villas he constructed at Brufut Gardens during the African Union Summit in The Gambia.

Mr. Mousa Mousa, managing director of T.K. Motors, testified that he had some of the documents he was asked to produce. He added that when his brother died, they wrote to lawyer Haddy Dandeh Njie for the transfer of shares which is in progress. He said the company has board of directors including himself and Aisha Balla Gaye; adding that he is enjoying a 25% share, and they do audit the company.

Further responding to counsel, he said the company is registered with GPPA and they kept records from 2009 to 2016, further stating that T.K. Motors only deals in cars and does some repairs, and they did not tender for the supply of vehicles to the office of the former president but directives came from the office of the former president for the supply.

Mrs. Bensouda then asked Mr. Mousa to avail the commission with financial statements showing government monies received by T.K Motors in connection to vehicles and other equipment supplied by the company, ranging from July 1994. However, Mr. Mousa intimated that he would find it difficult to produce documents from that period, except from 1999.

However, he denied allegations made by Mr. Abdoulie Cham, former financial controller, CBG, for a loan facility amounting to $140,000,000; adding that he had never met Mr. Cham, and even if Cham was to sit down in the hall, he would not be able to spot him out.

Documents relating to the company, such as memorandum and article of association, annual returns and correspondences were admitted as exhibits.

Responding to questions from Chairman Sourahata Janneh, he said he could not remember where he was as at November, 2001, and it was correct that he is a British national, which prompted the chairman to order him to produce his passport to the commission, to which he responded in the positive and added that he would check for it.

Sittings continue today.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



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Posted - 22 Dec 2017 :  10:04:26  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LALY DIAB REAPPEARS AT ‘JANNEH COMMISSION

Foroyaa: December 21, 2017


By Mamadou Dem

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/19929

Ms. Laly Diab, former Managing Director of Unique Transport Services Company (UTSCO) and Sindola Safari Lodge, reappeared at the ‘Janneh’ Commission to answer questions on the issues relating to the transport Company and Safari Lodge. Ms. Diab who operates her family business, revealed that if the Barrow administration offers her the opportunity to render services, she would not hesitate to do so. Responding to questions from Commissioners Bai Mass Saine and Abiosseh George, Ms. Diab testified that Kanilai Farms owned a share of 79% of Sindola Safari Lodge, while Zainab Jammeh owned 21% on behalf of her children. According to Diab, she did not communicate directly with the former president, but used to prepare reports and minutes for him; that she did not meet the former president for a period of five years; that she has high regards for the former president and she practised within the parameters of her mandate and did her job and focused on her duties.

Ms. Diab further stated that even if the current Head of State requests for her services, she would endeavour to serve during her leisure time; that it could be due to the confidence the former president had in her, that she was appointed to run those businesses respectively. She however said she did not take any remuneration for the services, as she did not want to commit herself. She explained that she was not a member of any board neither was she involved in any executive; that the other reason for not taking salary or occupying any of the places she was supervising, was to protect her business interest.

“As an intelligent business person, you select where to make profits and if I had asked for money from the former president for my services, he would have obliged,” she said.

At this juncture, Commission Counsel, Mrs. Bensouda, asked her whether she furnished the former president’s residence at Kanilai. She responded in the positive and added that the former president used to buy furniture from them; that they also provided curtains for Cabinet and renovated the bathrooms; but that these supplies were never tendered.

On private matters, she said the former president used to send someone to her. Responding further on how she came to know the former president, she said she knew him when he visited the Emporium Complex.

She finally testified that she was not much friendly with the former First Family. She said she has donated to the first babies born in the year through Operation Save the Baby Foundation.

Prior to Ms. Diab’s testimony, the Managing Director of Trust Bank, Ebrima Sallah, reappeared in connection with various accounts opened by the former president. He gave a rundown of the accounts operated by Kanilai Group International (KGI) and Kanilai Family Farms (KFF) respectively; that KGI’s accounts were three in number and the first two were linked; that the account was opened in September 2010, and the signatories were the former president, Ahmed Hodrog and Pa Ousman Bojang; that the first transaction on this account was done on the 1st of September 2010, amounting to $114,280.96 and the amount was a transfer from one of the KGI accounts.

He told the Commission that the last transaction was done on the 10th of April 2013, with a sum of $39,500; that there was a balance of $230.10 in the account. The source of funding and payment were cash payments and the accounts were not frozen, he disclosed. He further noted that the account may be dormant by now. On KGI International (Main Account), he testified that it was a Euro account and the signatories were the same; that there was a letter of credit transfer of over $100,000 signed by the former Secretary General, Njogu Bah; that Pa Ousman Bojang was re-appointed Managing Director of KGI.

Dwelling on the KGI International Account (CRR), he said there was a dollar denomination account which was opened in August 2007 and Huja Gass Jaiteh Njie, was the sole signatory to the account; that the first transaction on this account was done on the 2nd August 2007, to the tune of $10,500 with the last transaction on the 15th September 2010, in the sum of $102,443.25; that the funds were deposited by Henny Mousa and Muhammed Mubarak but the purpose was not stated and no documents were attached to state the purpose of opening the account.

Still testifying on Kanilai Family Farms accounts, Sallah revealed that it was opened in September 2010, and the signatories were the former president and Pa Ousman Bojang; that there was a letter dated 3rd June 2009, signed by Pa Bojang, indicating that he should have access to all accounts belonging to KGI; that the first transaction was on the 4th of September 2009, from one of the accounts of KGI amounting to D50, 000; that the last transaction on this account, was done on the 11th April 2011, in the sum of D3,056.34; that the total deposit that went into the account was D50, 000. On KFF Butchery account, Sallah said it was opened in September 2010, and the former president, Pa Ousman Bojang and Ahmed Hodrog were the signatories.

He testified that the first transaction on this account was done on the 1st September 2010, amounting to D50,000 with the last transaction done on the 11th April 2011, in the sum of D47,927.17; that the total deposit into the account was D82,122, leaving zero dalasi as balance. On KFF Logistics account, Sallah said the sole signatory was the former president; that this was opened in September 2010, and the first transaction was done on the 8th of September 2010, in the sum of D100, 000 while the last transaction was done on the 11th April 2011, in the sum of D30, 241.69; that the total deposit was D138, 000. Further testifying, the banker disclosed that another account in the name of KFF Workshop was opened in 2009; that the signatories were Ensa E.K. Badjie, Sidat Gibba and Yankuba Jatta; that the total deposit into the account was D1, 313,296 and the first transaction was done on the 14th April 2009, with a sum of over D1, 000,000; that the last transaction amounted to D21, 350.

Another account Sallah revealed to Commissioners was the KFF Farato/Kanilai account opened in August 2010. The signatories to this account were Yankuba Jatta and Pierre Tamba; that the total deposit into the account was D485, 024 and the first transaction was done on the 30th of August 2010, in the sum of D359, 425 with the last transaction on the 28th of February 2014, in the sum of D10, 375 leaving a balance of D9, 550. 30.

On the KFF Abattoir account, Sallah stated that it was opened in March, 2010, and there was no transaction on the account and it was closed by the bank. Bundles of documents relating to these accounts were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Hearing continues today.

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



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9000 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2017 :  12:26:23  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Janneh Commission summons KMC CEO

The Point: Friday, December 22, 2017

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/janneh-commission-summons-kmc-ceo

Mr. Pa Kalifa Sanyang, chief executive officer (CEO), Kanifing Municipal Council, yesterday testified before the Janneh Commission in connection to the acquisition of Mahindra tractors supplied by Kanilai Group International to the council.

Mr. Sanyang informed the commission that he served as CEO for three years but prior to that, he was the Public Relation Officer from 6 of May, 2002, until March 24th, 2009, and had served the council for 16 years.

He said he was aware that tractors were supplied to them based on purchase order, further stating that he had a copy of the order for the purchase of the tractors. He, however, testified that the supply of tractors by KGI was subjected to bids and KGI happened to be the winners.

Mr. Sanyang disclosed that there was a letter dated 12 January, 2008, instructing Guaranty Trust Bank to debit the sum of over D9, 000,000; adding that he had a statement from the bank showing the debit from KMC account which he said did not reflect anything order than the purchase of dollars from the bank.

When asked by Counsel Bensouda, he responded that he did not have documents to show that they had paid KGI for the purchase of the tractors and he did not either have documents as to what KGI did with the money. However, he said he had formally requested from the bank to avail him with some financial transactions between KGI and KMC, but the bank had asked for some time to furnish him with the documents required.

The former mouthpiece of the council indicated that he was not aware of any other transaction between KGI and KMC other than the sale of the tractors and the tractors were used for house to house refuse collection, but at the moment, they are obsolete.

At this juncture, the bank statement and documents relating to the sale of the tractors were admitted as exhibits.

Next to testify was Malick Njock -Jagne, Aviation Safety inspector, who deputised the director general of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) whom he said has travelled to France.

Giving a brief background at his work place, he said he served the institution for 21 years and the reason for his appearance on behalf of the DG was because of the subject matter before the commission.

He was reminded about the state aircrafts and he said that the Challenger 601 was under maintenance in Germany and by the time they started the process, there was a change of government.

He testified that they waited for the new government to take a decision and the aircraft was parked at the commercial area of the German Airport. He highlighted that cost was to be paid for the station of the aircraft and when the government assumed office, GCAA were invited and they made some recommendations to the government for the disposal of the aircrafts.

Mr. Jagne further stated that a taskforce committee was set up and they had a meeting with the Ministry of Works, noting that the aircrafts had not been valued and there was no evaluation report either, because it had to be paid, and according to him, evaluating them would add more cost and would not give assurance that once you value, you would get the particular price yearned for.

He disclosed that for the evaluation to be done online, they needed to pay $5000 for each aircraft, however, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that it was exorbitant to pay $5,000 for the assessment of the aircrafts.

He told the commission that the state of the aircrafts was that you may get one or two offers, and you choose one. He admitted that the loss had already been done.

On whether they requested or allocated a budget from Cabinet in order to enable them do the evaluation for the disbursement of the aircrafts, he replied that it was not to his knowledge that Cabinet was advised to provide them with money for the assessment of the aircrafts.

Counsel Bensouda further put to him that the right procedure and the right personnel were supposed to be involved, as required by law for the evaluation and disbursement of public assets. Commissioner Saine also added that it was paramount for evaluation to be done on the aircrafts, as this would safeguard the integrity and credibility of GCAA.

Documents such as Draft Non-Exclusive Aircrafts Agreement and related documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Ms. Loubna Farage, company secretary for Petroleum Storage Facility, testified that she was the solicitor of the company prior to her appointment as secretary in 2009. She said it was correct that she was summoned to produce minutes of meetings of the company, as well as board and sub-committee meetings which were admitted in a bundle as exhibits, ranging from 2008-2017.

The commission will resume on the 8 January, 2018.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



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Posted - 09 Jan 2018 :  12:58:39  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As Janneh Commission resumes, Trust Bank MD testifies

The Point: Tuesday, January 09, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/as-janneh-commission-resumes-trust-bank-md-testifies

Mr. Ebrima Sallah, managing director, Trust Bank Gambia Ltd., yesterday reappeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to numerous accounts, namely MYJ Family Trust, United States Dollar Account, President Empowerment for Girls Education (PEGEP) Current and Saving Dalasi accounts, as well as dollar denomination accounts, Higher Education Support account and Operation Save the Children account among others.


According to him, the MYJ account was opened on the 11 August, 2010, and the signatory was Ahmed Hodrog and the last transaction was on the 16 September, 2010, with a total deposit of $4,104,000 while the balance was $386.19. He said all funds were transferred to Paragon Title and SECON COMPANY.

At that juncture, Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda, told Mr. Sallah to assist the commission with the source of these funds. However, he responded that all payments were cash and one of them was made by Ahmed Hodrog on the 19 August, 2010, to the tune of $1,000,000.

He disclosed that the first credits into this account were on the 13th of August, 2010, in the sum of $800,000, $125,000 and $75,000 respectively but there was no indication as to who made the deposits. He added that on the 17th of August 2010, there was a Telex transfer of $1,000,000.

On 20 August, 2010, he said there was a deposit of $1,000,000 by Mr. Hodrog while on the 23 August, Hodrog deposited the sum of $500,000, and further adding that on the 25 August, 2010, there was a transfer of $1,500,000 to the same company authorised by Mr. Hodrog.

The Trust Bank DM further testified that on the 2 September, 2010, there was a deposit of $1,000,000 and a transfer of another $1,000,000 on the 7 September, 2010, to the same company. He added that there was a deposit of $300,000 on the 8th of September, the same year. There was a foreign transfer of $200,000 to the same person (Hodrog), he said. He further stated that there was another transfer of $62, 610 on the same day.

He disclosed that on 13th September 2010, there was a deposit of $ 270,000 and another deposit of $30,000 by Ahmed Hodrog and the beneficiary was Ali Muhammmed Hijasy. He further adduced that the sum of $4,000 was the final credit and there was a final debit of $100.

Relevant documents relating to the accounts were tendered and admitted as exhibits


On the President’s Empowerment for Girls Education Project (PEGEP), he stated that there was a Dalasi current account and a Dollar denominated saving accounts. He explained that both accounts have the same signatories and the account was opened on the 16 October 2002.

He revealed that the signatories to the Dalasi account were the former president and Mambury Njie, then permanent secretary, office of the former president, and that there were various signatories over the period.

Mr. Sallah told the commission that in July 2005, there was a deposit of D 102,771.44 and the last transaction was on 15th January, 2016, with the sum of D19, 801.16, further testifying that it was a corporate account and the purpose was for educational project.

According to him, there was a total debit of D5, 355,166.01 into the account and the last transaction to the account was on 5th April, 2017, to the tune of D10, 538.93 while there was another transfer of D3, 785,000, leaving a balance of D95.92.

According to Mr. Sallah, the Dollar account was opened on the 16 April, 2003, and the signatories were the same as that of the Dalasi account. He said that the first transaction was $4,784,478.30 and the last transaction was to the tune of $50,000, leaving a balance of $15,008.85.

On the Higher Education Support account, Sallah said it was opened with Dalasi account on the 16 June, 2009, and that there was a credit of D10, 000 while there was a debit of D9, 475 and the signatories were Abdoulie Sallah and Njogu Bah; adding that there were only two transactions on this account.

He further revealed to the commission that on the Higher Education Support Account, the first Dollar account was opened on the 16 of June, 2009, with a total credit of $3,914,653.82 and the last transaction was $1020, and the source of funding was from the Republic of China on Taiwan.

On the second Dollar account, he alluded that it was opened on the 11 August, 2011, with a credit of $71,093.30 and the last transaction was $10,483.13 and there was a balance of $4,438.02.

The last account he dwelled on was Operation Save the Children Account which he said was a Dalasi current account and there was a total credit of D18, 288,137.60 while the last transaction was on the 5 April, 2017, subject to frozen order.

He said the former vice president and former first lady were the signatories to the account and the sum of D48, 128.69 was the balance before the frozen order and the signatories did not change.

At that juncture, transaction documents as well as statement of accounts and account opening package were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Next to testify was Dominic Gomez, head of Finance, Zenith Bank Gambia Ltd., who informed the commission that the MD of the Bank was out of the jurisdiction; adding that he has served the bank for 7 years.

According to him, the bank started operating on the 18 January, 2010, and it was correct as alluded by counsel that he was summoned in relation to JFP Dalasi account, MALIGAM International Accounts among others.

On Jammeh Foundation for Peace account, he said it was opened on the 20 December, 2012, and the signatories were Nancy Seedy-Njie and Ardy Sarge and the total credit into the account was D2, 849,906.50 and a debit of D2, 848,190.78 and there was a balance of D3, 234.28, and then on the 22th of March, 2016, the account was dormant.

On the MALIGAM International account, he revealed that Ansoumana Jammeh and Amadou Barry were partners and Mr. Jammeh, according to him, was the chairman and MD of the company but when he was appointed as ambassador to Qatar, he handed over to Sanna Bah as MD.

At that juncture, the witness disclosed numerous MALIGAM accounts namely MALIGAM International Operation account, MALIGAM International Project account and MALIGAM International IPS account but was quick to add that all these accounts are dormant and frozen.

Documents relating to these accounts were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Abdoulie Cham, finance director, Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, while testifying again, confirmed the purchase of 20 villas from TAF Holding Ltd. out of which he said 17 were sold to the former government at a loss, while they sold 3 to AGIB, ACCESS and GTBank respectively to the tune of over D4, 000,000 per villa.

According to him, he did not see any correspondences from the office of the former president given directives for the purchase of the villas. However, he said this was a decision from the then management and it was meant for investment purposes.

Correspondences between SSHFC, TAF Holding Ltd. and the Ministry of Finance with regard to the purchase of the 20 villas were admitted as exhibits. On the loan facility of KGI amounting to $2,000,000, the witness said there was an outstanding interest of over D7,740,000 due to be paid by Guaranty Trust Bank.

Mustapha Njie, the proprietor and managing director of TAF Holding was summoned in relation to the sale agreement of the villas between SSHFC and his company. He disclosed to the commission that out of the 44 AU villas, 20 were sold to SSHFC.

Documents relating to the sale agreement were also admitted in evidence as exhibits.

Sittings continue today.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



Denmark
9000 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2018 :  15:18:47  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don’t know why Mariam Yahya Jammeh Account was openedSays former Trust Bank MD

The Point: Wednesday, January 10, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/i-dont-know-why-mariam-yahya-jammeh-account-was-openedsays-former-trust-bank-md

The former Managing Director (MD),Trust Bank Gambia Ltd, Pa Makumba Njie, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that he did not know why Mariam Yahya Jammeh Account was opened.


Mr. Njie said he served as MD of the bank for 15 years, from 2001 to 2016 but prior to that, he was also executive director from 1997 to 2007.

He was summoned in relation to MYJ Family Trust Account. He added that he dealt with Mr. Hodrog when he was the MD of Euro Africa Group, and that the said Mr. Hodrog was working for Kanilai International Group (KGI). He disclosed that the bank accepted the opening of the account at the time.

According to him, he approved the opening of the account, further stating that there was a sum of $800,000 and he assumed that the money was deposited by Mr. Hodrog.

He revealed that there was no explanation as to why monies amounting to $200,000 were being transferred to Ahmed Hodrog, further stating that he did not know why payments of $300,000 was authorised by Mr. Hodrog.

Mr. Njie further testified that he assumed that all deposits into this account were made by Hodrog and that he was onetime the manager of the accounts of the former president. However, he could not explain the reason why EURO AFRICA GROUP deposited into the salary account of the former president but said when he confronted Mr. Bazzi, he told him that it was an arrangement they had with the former president.

The former banker also explained that there were no explanations as to why substantial amounts were being transferred to the United States. He added that the former president would send him an authority and would send someone to pick up the cash on his behalf.

When it was put to him by counsel that there was a payment of D42,000,000 to one Alagie Ceesay and there was no authority, he responded in the positive and added that in most of the time, the former president would send an authority for the withdrawal of monies and would only call on few occasions.

Mr. Njie disclosed that the salary account of the former president was his personal account and that was why some monies were paid into the account but could not tell the reasons. When further asked by counsel whether it was in line with banking standards to pay huge sums into the former president’s account without knowing the source of the funds, he said it was permitted based on the authority of the former president.

He acknowledged that he had never seen a memorandum of Article of Association of JFP showing that it was a legally registered organisation. When asked by counsel whether they could not ask JFP to regularise their organisation, he responded that he believed the bank was taking risk in dealing with an unregistered organisation, because they could not hold them liable should in case they took a loan from the bank.

Earlier, Mr. Nuha Touray, former secretary to Cabinet, also reappeared before the commission in connection to a PAC/PEC account operated at the office of the former president.

According to him, when a PAC/PEC report was submitted to the office of the former president, he recommended for a taskforce to be set up and the chairman was the former attorney general and minister of Justice, Lamin A.M.S. Jobarteh, while he (Turay) served as secretary.

Mr. Touray testified that he served as secretary to the taskforce for a brief period due to another function and was replaced by one Mariama Njie. He said the opening of the account at Trust Bank was directives from the former president; adding that it was correct that he wrote a letter requesting for the opening of the account. However, he said the bank could not have opened the account without the authority from the Ministry of Finance.

He testified that the reason of opening the account was to enable them deposit monies recovered from public enterprises; adding that his actions towards the opening of the account were based on directives from the former president and he acted on behalf of the then Secretary General Njogu Bah.

On the signatories of the account, he informed the commission that he and Kalilou Bayo were the signatories to the account. He added that AMRC requested to be paid the sum of D3.8 million which he said was the reason of creating signatories to the account, as the funds recovered were blocked into a fixed deposit account.

With regard to a contract he signed for the building of a guard house at State House, he said he could not remember the amount involved for the said contract unless if he perused the contract documents.

He further testified that people who owed AMRC money were summoned by the taskforce to pay.

Next to testify was Mr. Ndambu Touray, a retired banker with Trust Bank, who revealed that he was the head of Foreign Operations for Meridian Bank but had never met the former president but dealt with an account which belonged to the former president.

He said he also dealt with Mr. Hodrog by way of transfers to overseas, further stating that Mr. Hodrog was working for Euro Africa Group which was their customer. Responding to counsel, he said it was common to deposit huge foreign currencies for transfers without questioning.

According to him, Mr. Hodrog never told him why he was transferring huge sums from the bank and would not ask him, as he knew where it would end. It was put to him that on the 13 August, 2010, there was a transfer of $1,000,000 by Mr. Hodrog but he never told him that the money was meant for the purchase of properties in the U.S.

The retired banker revealed that the sum of $4,000 was deposited by Euro Africa Group into MYJ account to be transferred overseas.

Mr. Karkish Sharma, Managing Director of Safari Motors who was summoned in connection to John Deere Tractors, testified that they are authorised dealers of TATA Motors and it is a registered company with five shareholders.

He said in 2012 there was a delegation from John Deere and they had a two- year agency with them and their role was to assemble tractors to be handed over to John Deere which were finally handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture. He said MOU was signed between Safari Motors and John Deere. Documents produced by the witness relating to their company including bank statements were admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Mousa Mousa, Managing Director of TK Motors, reappeared with the Sales and Marketing manager, Degain Nyang, to testify in connection to vehicles supplied to the office of the former president.

Prior to dwelling on the documents they submitted to the commission, he was reminded by commission chairman about the passport he used to enter The Gambia but he said he could not find it and only possessed the recent one.

Commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, intimated to him that the documents he provided to the commission were too dark and therefore asked him to furnish the commission with the originals. Further responding to counsel, he revealed that T.K. Motors documents prior to 2009 were all destroyed.

At that juncture, business registration certificates, annual returns as well as certificates registered with Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) were all admitted and marked accordingly.

According to Mr. Mousa, his company had no connection with Air Waves Service; adding that a number of vehicles and amount received were contained in the files they submitted to the commission but added that there were no summary of transactions regarding vehicles supplied to the former government.

The commission had therefore given the company some time to produce the summary ranging from 2009-2016. He said there was no agreement between T.K. Motors and the then government and would only supply vehicles based on request.

The Sales and Marketing manager testified that she dealt with the files before the commission and among her responsibilities was to sell cars, update statements and also to follow up payments for the company. She was therefore expected to furnish the commission with a summary of yearly payments received from the then government in respect to the supply of cars.

Sitting continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Posted - 12 Jan 2018 :  11:18:49  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Funds were not used for their intended purposes - Accountant General

The Point: Thursday, January 11, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/funds-were-not-used-for-their-intended-purposes-accountant-general

Momodou Lamin Bah, the accountant general, yesterday reappeared before the Janneh Commission to give evidence on Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Account, during which he disclosed that funds were not used for their intended purposes.


Dwelling on the said account, he said it was correct that the account was opened by the Department of National Treasury in 2007 and the purpose was to improve poverty reduction.

According to him, when donor agencies disburse funds, they would send a team to assess and know the level of progress. He added that the former government was qualified to receive debt relief, as it relieved the debt burden on the government. Mr. Bah testified that the former government should have met the trigger points to be qualified for the debt relief.

He said some of the monies received from donors were meant to support the budget which was a direct expenditure and that the transaction was not consistent; adding that all expenditures were made as a result of directives from the Ministry of Finance.

At that juncture, Commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, asked him whether the Ministry of Finance was receiving directives from another end, he responded that this was not communicated to him.

According to him, the monies from the donors are usually deposited into a standalone account at the Central Bank and there would be direct expenditure from the account. Documents relating to the account were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

It was put to him by Commissioner Abiosseh George that the funds were not used for their intended purposes and he responded that they were meant to be used for debt reduction but instead they were not. He informed the commissioners that specific expenditures do not feature in the budget.

He further testified that all government funds should form part of the consolidated revenue fund. He confirmed that items spent from the funds were not executed from the budget.

Mr. Bah finally acknowledged that the donor funds were supposed to be managed by his office but rather it was managed by the office of the former president.

Modou Mousa, managing director, First International Bank (FIB), appeared for the second time in relation to Kanilai Family Farm Account and KGI respectively. He said KFF account was opened at the Kanilai branch in 2008 by the former president.

According to him, the total deposit was D100, 000 and the rest were interest accrued; adding that there was a withdrawal of D125, 000.

At that juncture, documents relating to the account were tendered and admitted as evidences before the commission.

Next to testify was the executive director of Skye Bank, Mr. OlaboleIfabiyi, who said that he was the chief operating officer. Mr. Ifabiyi was summoned in relation to Dr.Yahya Jammeh Foundation Account and that it was a dalasi account, that there was a sub- account as well.

He explained that it was opened on the 11th of September, 2013, and the signatories to the account were one Nancy Njie and Ardy Sarge.

Mr. Ifabiyi told the commission that the account was closed last year, and that the last transaction was D234, 059.50 and this amount was transferred to Trust Bank. He said there was an instruction from the board resolution to close the account, further stating that the total credit was D32, 647, 675.94.

He said that there was a deposit of D80, 000 and D48, 000 respectively; adding that on the 24th of April, 2014, there was another deposit of D2.4 million.

Account opening information and correspondences relating to the account were admitted as exhibits.

Mrs. Fatou Lamin Faye, former minister of Basic and Secondary Education, reappeared in connection to cash withdrawals from the Mobilisation Account. The last time she appeared before the commission, Counsel Bensouda asked her to account for the outstanding sum of D3, 000,000 from this account.

However, she testified that she did not have documents in relations to the sum of D37, 200 because Mr. Ismaila Sanyang, former deputy permanent secretary, office of the former president, told her that he could not get the receipt.

According to her, Mr. Yankuba Colley, mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, was supposed to retire the sum D384, 000, further noting that the sum of D230, 000 was to cover some mobilisation activities.

Documents produced by the witness were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mousa Mousa, the managing director of T.K. Motors, along with his Sales and Marketing manager, Degain Nyang, reappeared for the admission of numerous documents relating to the supply of vehicles to the former government. Folders from 2009 to 2016 were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Gamtel lost revenue as a result of traffic termination by Office of former President, Says Gamtel MD

The Point: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/gamtel-lost-revenue-as-a-result-of-traffic-termination-by-office-of-former-president-says-gamtel-md

The managing director of GAMTEL, Sulayman Suso, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that Gamtel lost revenue as a result of traffic termination by the Office of the former President.


He was testifying in relation to GAMTEL/GAMCEL and other matters .Mr Suso gave brief synopsis of his career at GAMTEL and the various positions he held until his appointment as the managing director. He said Gamtel owns Gamcel and Gamcel is subsidiary to Gamtel. He testified that Gamtel was incorporated in 1984 and at the time of his testimony, he did not have memorandum of article when asked by the commission’s counsel. Mr Suso informed the commission that Gamcel is a fixed mobile operator.

He testified that international gateway means all telephone traffic goes through the gateway, further stating that there is a voice gateway and data gateway. He said that the voice gateway has not been liberalised, adding that the office of the former president was supervising Gamrtel.

He said Gamcel was set up in 2001 and Gamtel was managing the international gateway starting from analog to digital.

He said the international gateway used to be managed by Gamtel until 2006 when international gateway managers were invited, further stating that in terms of technology, Gamtel evolved from analog to digital switching . He said at some point there was suspicion that the Office of the former President was terminating traffic and Gamtel lost some revenue, adding that he did not discuss this with his staff.

He said in 1998 Gamcel was the only gateway manager, noting that Spectrum came to acquire 50% share of Gamtel/Gamcel. He told the commission that Global Voice came as a result of challenges in technology.

Mr. Susso revealed that Gamtel engaged Global Voice and the former government sold the shares. He said Spectrum took over the management of Gamtel for a year and a half. He added that Spectrum engaged Oratus during the management of Gamtel by Spectrum.

He stated that Spectrum had been given an ultimatum to leave the country, and that the international gateway was given to System 1, whose services were later terminated by the Office of the former President.

Mr. Suso told the commission that Gamtel took over MGI, and Global Voice contract was signed in 2001 by Omar E. Ndow who was then the managing director. In 2006 there was termination charges which was 20 cents/minute and in 2007 it was 21 cents/minute, he stated .He noted that a memorandum of understanding was signed by one Michael Tenn.

Mr. Suso narrated that the Oratus parties to the agreement were Gamtel and Oratus was incorporated on 7 December, 2007, adding that Oratus was terminated and System 1 made an agreement with Gamtel on 7 December, 2008, and they were based in Mexico.

Mr. Suso revealed that TELL International came next for an agreement with Gamtel on 8 April, 2011, and Gamtel also signed an agreement with MGI, i.e. service and management agreement.

Documents relating to the MOU were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Futher testifying, Mr. Suso said that an agreement for payment from Global to MGI was to be paid into Gamtel’s Foreign account in The Gambia but did not know the payment arrangement for Spectrum. He further stated that he did not know how much Oratus paid to Gamtel.

He told the commission that System 1 made a payment of $24,625,440.11 and that Global paid $10,812,595.19. He stated that TELL payment from April, 2011, to September, 2013, was $18,642,287.60, further noting that there was a diversion of payment from the office of the former president to the Central Bank of The Gambia.

Mr. Suso told the commission that the former government wanted to terminate TELL contract but failed, and he did not know why it failed. He said they were at the mercy of TELL, further stating that TELL should not pay less but he could not verify it. He said the diverted revenue never came back.

Next to testify was the managing director of Access Bank, Mr. David Aluko, in connection to the Office of the former President‘s account which was opened on 8 September, 2014, and Kalilu Bayo was the signatory.

He stated that the purpose of the account was for the purchase of a tent from Netherlands to the tune of D5,000,000 and there was a transfer of D4,000,000.

Mr. Aluko told the commission that there was suppose to be a Euro account and there was a loan which was not disbursed, further disclosing that on 8 May, 2014, there was a transfer of D2,000,000 and also on 14 April, 2014, there was another transfer of D1,610,177.50 to EXCELL Construction.

Mr. Aluko stated that D2, 154,335 was transferred and there was another transfer to GTTI to the tune of D235, 455.

Documents relating to the account were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Posted - 17 Jan 2018 :  16:07:47  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The fraud at State House was outrageous - EX Gamtel EC Tells Janneh Commission

The Point: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/the-fraud-at-state-house-was-outrageous-ex-gamtel-ec-tells-janneh-commission

Mr. Omar .P. Ndow, former executive chairman of GAMTEl, who was summon in connection to GAMTEL (Memorandum of Global Voice Group), yesterday told the Janneh Commission that the fraud at State House was outrageous.
While testifying, he said he worked in various capacities at GAMTEL and served as the executive chairman responsible for technical operation of the company and was also the board chairman.
He testified that he started working at GAMTEL in 1984, further stating that he was detained at the NIA for three months and was charged with Economic Crime at the high court and the case was transferred to the magistrates’ court for one year, and was acquitted and discharged. He said he left GAMTEL on 17th September, 2009. He confirmed that he signed the memorandum of Global Voice Group.
He was told that the commission was looking into the interference of the former president with GAMTEL, and testified that through the billing machine, they could see what was going out but could not see what was coming in.
Mr. Ndow stated that they could not recover over $600,000 through their service. He added that through the billing system, the revenue came to $1.5 million per month. However, he said the fraud was outrageous as there was termination of traffic at State House which he said affected their bilateral relations.
The witness further disclosed that there were operational problems and he decided to come up with the idea to link with the international market because in terms of revenue, what was going out of the company was known while what was coming in was not.
According to him, equipment were installed at State House including a satellite at the backyard of State House and there was blockage of traffic and they could not detect all the fraud coming into the country; adding that the purpose of partnering with Senegal was to serve as a backup should in case there was a problem with the system in The Gambia. He said they could not detect all the flow coming into the country and that nobody could go to State House to install a satellite to block the traffic without the knowledge of the former president.
He further stated that one Mr. Hakim was involved in the international traffic of Global Voice instead of the local calls he applied for, and the amount of loss incurred by State House was quantifiable; adding that it would have been an option to ask Global Voice to manage their system.
Responding to commissioners, he said among the advantages from Global Voice was that there was increase in revenue and quality services at GAMTEL because the company was able to discover numerous fraud caused by mobile operators and IPS installers; adding that the system they had could not detect some of their problems but Global Voice was able to do so.
Mr. Ndow explained that there was a better relationship to involve Global Voice with the management because they gave GAMTEL $3,000,000 for the investment.
The former executive chairman informed the commission that he did not know the contract duration of the said company but was quick to confirm that their staff were trained by the company so that they could take over the management of the company.
He revealed that the sum of $5,000,000 loan from Trust Bank was endorsed to pay Spectrum their 50% share in Gamtel/Gamcel. However, he said he was not aware of the 50% share owned by Spectrum as he was not in the system at the time of the contract agreement. He added that the management of the gateway had always been the responsibility of GAMTEL and not other stakeholders.
He said he would not know where the funds were directed and that the director of Finance should explain as to where the funds had gone to. He said the management of GAMTEL decided for the company to be privatised because the environment was getting more and more hostile.
At this juncture, documents produced by the witness were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Next to testify was the former Foreign Affairs Minister Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, who was summoned in connection to the sale of shares at Gamtel and confirmed the sale of 50% share at Gamtel for Spectrum.
According to Mrs. Gaye, she did not know much about Spectrum but Mr. Muhammed Bazzi was with them; further stating that she found Spectrum representative at the Ministry of Finance when she was directed by the former president to sign documents with Spectrum investors.
She said she signed in good faith and respect for authority even though it did not go through due process; adding that the documents were signed in the presence of the then Finance Minister Musa Balla Gaye.
She informed the commission that with the signing of documents, there was no consultation and there was a directive from the former president; adding that there should have been due process in the sale of Gamtel shares. However, she said had it been that she was consulted, she would have raised her thought.
Mrs. Gaye testified that despite she was not consulted, she decided to involve the then attorney general and minister of Justice, Marie Saine-Firdaus, as it was a major venture and should have been tendered but the former president opted for it to go that way without following the due process.
Counsel Bensouda put it to her that given that she was the minister responsible for communication, she could have advised the former president concerning the deal. However, she said she could not, and that refusing to sign, something would come out of it.
She said she was not sure whether the former president had experience in selling company shares neither did she know whether he solicited advice from people with expert knowledge in the sale of shares of companies.
At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked her whether beside the president, was any Gambian involved or represented Gambian interest, she responded that she did not believe the former president consulted anyone.
Documents produced by the witness were admitted in evidence.
Mrs. Gaye confirmed that she signed the documents to hand over the management of Gamtel to Spectrum. However, Mrs. Bensouda explained to her that when Spectrum was in charge of the management of Gamtel, they signed an agreement with Oratus Company but she said she was not aufait with Oratus Company.
Counsel Benouda further asked her to inform the commission the representative of the former government as shareholder; she responded that it was the Ministry of Finance. She added that the gateway was taken care of by Gamtel prior to Spectrum coming in.  
When asked by counsel whether she was aware that  Spectrum was terminating calls, she responded in the affirmative and as minister, it was correct that she never investigated this issue. She added that she was aware of Global Voice but was not a minister when their contract was terminated.
Asked by Commissioner Saine as to who drafted the contract between Gamtel/Spectrum, she said she believed it was drafted by Spectrum. However, Saine intimated to her that when it came to the disposal of government assets, the Ministry of Finance was seen as the leading role but the witness said she would not know.     
Mr. Lamin Karba Bajo, former ambassador to Morocco and China respectively, who was summoned in connection to the Republic of China on Taiwan loans and grants, testified that he became member of the AFPRC on the 31st January, 1995, after the failed attempt by Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara.
However, Mr. Bajo said he was not involved in the restoration of relationship between The Gambia and Taiwan but could recall that the restoration was in 1995 and was announced.
On whether he was aware of the $30,000,000 loan granted by Taiwan to The Gambia, he responded in the affirmative, noting that Captain Ebou Jallow came with a briefcase containing the sum of $5,000,000 and later an account was opened.
According to the former AFPRC military Junta, he was a signatory to a Special Development Account which was opened at the Central Bank for the purpose of development projects. He said he became signatory to the account after Ebou Jallow absconded with $3,000,000 which he lodged in a bank in Switzerland. He said he was part of the 3 -man delegation that travelled to Switzerland to recover the money stolen by Ebou Jallow.
The president of the Gambia Football Federation further testified that the court in Switzerland ruled in favour of The Gambia government which enabled the state to recover some of the money. 
Mr. Bajo disclosed that the Special Development Account was meant for infrastructural development, such as the building of Farafenni General Hospital, airport and some schools. He added that he would not know whether properties were purchased from this loan.
The former diplomat revealed that he did not know formally that the former president owned a property in Morocco but was informed that the former president used to own a property in Morocco.
On the relationship between the late Baba Jobe and Jammeh, he said he believed that everybody knows that Mr. Jobe was a right-hand of the former president before they fell out. He said he did not know anything about the grant from Libya.
When asked by the commission whether he specifically raised concern to the then president about extraordinary expenditures over the expensive buildings in his (Jammeh) home village, he replied that he knew Jammeh was constructing houses at Kanilai but did not know his source of fund as he was not privy to the construction.
However, he said he only came to know his source of funds during the testimony made by witnesses before the commission and had on several occasions raised concern to the former president regarding the construction in his home village.
Next to testify was YankubaTouray, another member of the then AFPRC, who said he is currently a farmer and a trader in his home village (Nlawnaru) in the Central Badibu.
He also gave evidence on the grants and loan from the Republic of China on Taiwan and 3M Account as well.
According to him, he was a member of the council from 1994-1996 and when they took power, the council had discussions in order to restore bilateral relation with Taiwan which was discussed among all the members including the co-opted members as well as civilians.
The former military Junta disclosed that led the delegation to Taiwan to restore the relationship, noting that he was not involved in the loan agreement but the amount involved was $35,000,000. He added that he was not aware of the $3, 000, 00 stolen by Ebou Jallow but he heard it over the radio as he was not in town.
Mr. Touray said he did not know the amount of money disbursed because he was not managing the funds, neither was he aware of the $5,000,000 brought by Ebou Jallow in a briefcase to the Council. He said they could not challenge some of the decisions taken by the chairman (Jammeh) as civilian and military set-up was different.
When asked about the relationship between Baba Jobe and the Council, he replied that they did not have any direct relationship except Baba Jobe. 
Author: Dawda Faye

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Posted - 18 Jan 2018 :  12:06:19  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Former Government Ministers Appear At ‘Janneh’ Commission

Foroyaa: January 17, 2018
By Mamadou Dem

http://foroyaa.gm/former-government-ministers-appear-at-janneh-commission/

Former senior officials and diplomats of the former government, namely Neneh Macdouall Gaye, Lamin Kaba Bajo and Yankuba Touray, yesterday appeared at the ‘Janneh’ Commission in connection with wide range of issues concerning the former regime.

The former Foreign Affairs Minister Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, was summoned in connection with the sale of shares at Gamtel, which she confirmed; that 50% of the shares at Gamtel was sold to Spectrum.

According to Mrs. Gaye, she did not know much about Spectrum but Mr. Muhammed Bazzi was with them; that she found Spectrum representatives at the Ministry of Finance when she was directed by the former president to sign documents with Spectrum investors; that she signed in good faith and respect for authority, even though it did not go through due process; that the documents were signed in the presence of the then Finance Minister, Musa Balla Gaye.

She informed the Commission that with the signing of documents, there was no consultation but a directive from the former president; that there should have been due process in the sale of Gamtel shares. She however said had it been she was consulted, she would have given her thought.

Mrs. Gaye testified that despite not being consulted, she decided to involve the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marie Saine-Firdaus, as it was a major venture and it should have been tendered; but that the former president opted for it to go his way without following due process.

Counsel Bensouda put it to her that given that she was the Minister responsible for communication, she could have advised the former president concerning the deal. She however said she could not; that refusing to sign, would have resulted to something.

She said she was not sure whether the former president had experience in selling Company shares neither did she know whether he sought advice from people with expert knowledge in the sale of shares of Companies.

At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked her whether beside the president, any Gambian was involved or represented Gambian interest. She responded that she did not believe the former president consulted anyone. Documents produced by the witness were admitted in evidence.

Mrs. Gaye confirmed that she signed the documents to hand over the management of Gamtel to Spectrum. However, Mrs. Bensouda explained to her that when Spectrum was in charge of the management of Gamtel, they signed an agreement with Oratus Company, but she said she was not au fait with Oratus Company.

Counsel Benouda further asked her to inform the Commission the representative of the former government as shareholder and she responded that it was the Ministry of Finance; that the gateway was taken care of by Gamtel prior to Spectrum coming in.

When asked by Counsel whether she was aware that Spectrum was terminating calls, she responded in the affirmative; that as Minister, it was correct that she never investigated the issue; that she was aware of Global Voice but was not a Minister when their contract was terminated.

Asked by Commissioner Saine as to who drafted the contract between Gamtel and Spectrum, she said she believed it was drafted by Spectrum. However, Saine intimated to her that when it came to the disposal of government assets, the Ministry of Finance was seen to play the leading role. The witness said she would not know.

Mr. Lamin Kaba Bajo, former ambassador to Morocco and China respectively, was summoned in connection with the Republic of China on Taiwan loans and grants. Bajo testified that he became member of the AFPRC on the 31st January 1995, after the failed attempt by Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara; that he was not involved in the restoration of relationship between The Gambia and Taiwan but could recall that the restoration was in 1995 and it was also announced.

On whether he was aware of the $30,000,000 loan granted by Taiwan to The Gambia, he responded in the affirmative, noting that Captain Ebou Jallow came with a briefcase containing the sum of $5,000,000 and later an account was opened.

According to the former AFPRC military Junta member, he was a signatory to a Special Development Account which was opened at the Central Bank for the purpose of development projects; that he became signatory to the account after Ebou Jallow absconded with $3,000,000 which he lodged in a bank in Switzerland; that he was part of the 3-man delegation who travelled to Switzerland to recover the money stolen by Ebou Jallow.

Bajo further testified that the court in Switzerland ruled in favour of the Gambia Government which enabled the state to recover some of the money.

He disclosed that the Special Development Account was meant for infrastructural development, such as the building of the Farafenni General Hospital, Airport and some schools; that he would not know whether properties were purchased from this loan.

The former diplomat turned farmer revealed that he did not know formally that the former president owned a property in Morocco but was informed that the former president used to own a property in Morocco. On the relationship between the late Baba Jobe and former President Jammeh, he said he believed everybody knew that Mr. Jobe was a man of the former president before they fell out; that he did not know anything about the grant from Libya.

When asked by the Commission whether he specifically raised concern to the then president about extraordinary expenditures over the expensive buildings in his (Jammeh) home village, he replied that he knew Jammeh was constructing houses at Kanilai but did not know his source of funds as he was not privy to the construction.

He however said he only came to know his source of funds during the testimony made by witnesses before the Commission and had on several occasions, raised concern to the former president regarding the construction in his home village.

Next to testify was Yankuba Touray, another member of the then AFPRC, who said he is currently a farmer and trader in his home village of Nawleru, in Central Badibu.

Mr. Touray gave evidence on the grants and loan from the Republic of China on Taiwan and the 3M Account as well.

According to him, he was a member of the Council from 1994-1996; that when they took over, the AFPRC had discussions in order to restore bilateral relation with Taiwan which was discussed among all the members including the co-opted members as well as civilians; thatEbou Jallow led the delegation to Taiwan to restore the relationship; that he was not involved in the loan agreement but the amount involved was $35,000,000; that he was not aware of the $3, 000,00 stolen by Ebou Jallow but heard this on radio as he was not in town.

Mr. Touray said he did not know the amount of money disbursed because he was not managing the funds neither was he aware of the $5,000,000 brought by Ebou Jallow in a briefcase to the Council; that they could not challenge some of the decisions taken by the Chairman (Jammeh) as civilian and military set-up was different.

When asked about the relationship between Baba Jobe and the Council, he replied that they did not have any direct relationship.

Earlier, Mr. Omar P. Ndow, former Executive Chairperson of GAMTEl, was summoned in connection with GAMTEL Memorandum of Understanding with Global Voice Group. He told the ‘Janneh’ Commission that the fraud at State House was outrageous.

Further testifying, he disclosed that he worked in various capacities at GAMTEL and served as the Executive Chairperson responsible for technical operations of the Company and was also the board chairperson.

He testified that he started working at GAMTEL in 1984; that he was detained at the NIA for three months and was charged with Economic Crimes at the high court; that the case was transferred to the magistrates’ court for one year when he was eventually acquitted and discharged; that he left GAMTEL on 17th September, 2009; that he signed the memorandum of Understanding produced by Global Voice Group.

He was told that the Commission was looking into the interference of the former president with GAMTEL; that through the billing machine, they could see what was going out but not see what was coming in.

Mr. Ndow stated that they could not recover over $600,000 through their service; that through the billing system, the revenue came to $1.5 million per month. He however said the fraud was outrageous as there was termination of traffic at State House which he said affected their bilateral relations.

The witness further disclosed that there were operational problems and he decided to come up with the idea to link with the international market because in terms of revenue, what was going out of the Company was known while what was coming in was not.

According to him, equipment were installed at State House including a satellite at the backyard of State House and there was blockage of traffic; that they could not detect all the fraud coming into the country; that the purpose of partnering with Senegal was to serve as a backup should in case there was a problem with the system in The Gambia; that they could not detect all the flow coming into the country; that nobody could go to State House to install a satellite to block the traffic without the knowledge of the former president.

He further stated that one Mr. Hakim was involved in the international traffic of Global Voice instead of the local calls he applied for; that the amount of loss incurred by State House was unquantifiable; that it would have been an option to ask Global Voice to manage their system.

Responding to Commissioners, he said among the advantages from Global Voice was that there was increase in revenue and quality services at GAMTEL because the Company was able to discover numerous fraud caused by mobile operators and IPS installers; that the system they had could not detect some of their problems but Global Voice was able to do so.

Mr. Ndow explained that there was a better relationship to involve Global Voice with the management because they gave GAMTEL $3,000,000 for the investment.

The former Executive Chairman informed the Commission that he did not know the contract duration of the said Company but was quick to confirm that Gamtel staff were trained by them so that they could take over the management of the Company.

He revealed that the sum of $5,000,000 loan from Trust Bank was endorsed to pay Spectrum their 50% share in Gamtel / Gamcel. He however said he was not aware of the 50% share owned by Spectrum as he was not in the system at the time of the contract agreement; that the management of the gateway had always been the responsibility of GAMTEL and not the stakeholders.

He said he would not know where the funds were directed to; that the Director of Finance should be able to explain where the funds have gone to. He said the management of GAMTEL decided for the Company to be privatised because the environment was getting more and more hostile.

At this juncture, documents produced by the witness were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

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



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No transparency in the handling of funds Says Yankuba Touray

The Point: Thursday, January 18, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/no-transparency-in-the-handling-of-funds-says-yankuba-touray

The former member of the military junta of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC), Yankuba Touray, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that there was no transparency in the handling of funds.


Mr. Touray reappeared to shed more light on loans and grants from the Republic of China on Taiwan and the 3M Account.

Continuing with his testimony, he informed the commission that he was not privy to the delegation that negotiated the loan in Taiwan. However, he said the same delegation negotiated for the loan as well as restoration of diplomatic relation.

When shown a Power of Attorney dated 5 August, 1995, signed by the former president whom he said had the executive power to give Power of Attorney; adding that he could not remember whether the issuance of Power of Attorney to Captain Ebou Jallow was disclosed to AFPRC members.

Mr. Touray told the commission that he was not aware that the minister of Finance went to China for the negotiation of the loan but he was aware that Captain Ebou Jallow led the delegation. He said Council members were not told as to how much they would be given but it was said to be a package.

According to him, he did not know whether the money was a loan or grant neither did he know the exact amount but he got to know about it when it was ratified by the National Assembly.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked him as to how much was spent on the projects he was supervising; he responded that he could not remember the figure because his responsibility was to go round at projects sites. He added that he could not remember seeing the loan agreement coming to Cabinet.

Mrs. Bensouda further put it to him that the council allegations was that Captain Jallow stole more than $3,000,000 but he responded that he was not aware of that neither did he find out as council member. He said a panel was constituted for the recovery of the said sum.

Mr. Touray revealed that the management of funds was not a direct responsibility of the council; adding that some of their transactions were secret and was not privy to all council members. He however explained that he was more of a field operational officer but there were members of council that were involved in the managing of funds which included the former president and Captain Ebou Jallow.

However, he said he was not sure whether Edward Singhatey was part of the financial controllers. He said he was not aware whether additional complaint of $20,000,000 was made against Ebou Jallow.

The commission’s counsel at this juncture put it to him that he seemed not to be aware of many things other than public information despite the fact that he was council member.

“I was not directly involved in the management of funds because it was transacted at the level of the chairman,” he emphasised.

When further asked about project documents under his purview, he responded that they should be in the office of the former president; adding that he was also not in possession of contract documents but most of the reports were sent to Cabinet and he was directed to check them.

According to Mr. Touray, during physical inspection, he used to give verbal instruction. It was put to him by Bensouda that he did not know the outstanding balance of the $35,000,000 loan from Taiwan.

“I have never asked the chairman of the council as to how monies were managed and there was no financial report from the chairman of the council neither did I see any detailed report concerning the funds,” said Touray.

Counsel put it to him that the AFPRC arrested and charged so many people with economic crime yet the sum of $35,000,000 was not accounted for by the junta. He responded that there were institutions that were responsible to recover the missing funds. He added that their role as a junta was to ensure that they made a difference in terms of managing public resources.

Further responding, he said he believed that they were accountable for loans they took on behalf of the Gambian people as well as the way and manner the country was governed. He said to some extent, they had a collective responsibility and were accountable but some of them were different in character.

Commission chairman, Sourahata Janneh, put it to him that the AFPRC claimed to be transparent and accountable, and asked him why funds were secretly spent but he said he thought everything was alright, and he even got to know some of the things through the commission.

He testified that he never knew that there was an account opened in Switzerland. At this juncture, commissioner Saine asked him whether he was aware that he had a legal responsibility when he gave and followed orders, he responded in the positive.

Further responding from the chairman, he said the objectives of the revolution was to ensure that the constitution was reviewed and to serve for 2 years. When put to him by the commission’s chairman that after removing the previous government, why their salaries were low and seeing how the former president enriched himself, would he conclude that they were clean from abject corruption.

In response, he said he thought so; further stating that he served The Gambia without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. He said he was fired and there was no reason given out, and he thought that his firing was political.

He was further told that if the AFPRC called for transparency, accountability and probity, why people were fired without any reasons. He responded that the former president was using his presidential powers to sack people.

“Do you understand the legal responsibility of a successful coup?,” Commissioner Saine asked. He responded in the affirmative.

Next to testify was Mr. Alieu Ngum, a retired public servant and was executive director of African Development Bank (ADB), further stating that he retired as secretary general in 2005 and was once appointed as minister of Finance.

Mr. Ngum was informed that he was summoned in connection to a loan of $35,000,000 but he told the commission that the minister of Finance then was Balla Garba Jahumpa.

According to Ngum, the testimony he was giving the commission would serve as secondary information because there was a minister of Finance at the time while he served as permanent secretary at the ministry and he (Jahumpa) signed the loan agreement.

He said the ministry was not involved in the implementation or programming of any project from this loan, because it was not captured in their accounting books. He said their development partners heard about the loans but they did not see it in the debt stock of the government.

Mr. Ngum further testified that he did not know how the loan was disbursed neither was he informed by the governor of CBG at the time but assumed that the minister might have been informed by the governor.

According to him, at some point, CBG was not audited due to unexplained loan expenditure which included the $28,000,000 loan which the former governor was very tight-lip on. He added that the Ministry of Finance was aware that the account was overdrawn to the tune of $28,000,000.

He said he was not in the office as secretary general when the late Baba Jobe withdrew money on behalf of the former president and he was not aware of the authority issued by the governor of CBG concerning the said overdraft. He said auditors revealed that the money was wrongly used and should be reimbursed to IMF.

Mr. Ngum told the commission that he was not privy to the arrangement of the overdraft, and he could tell very little about the withdrawal of monies by Baba Jobe. He confirmed that loans and grants were given by the Republic of China on Taiwan.

He revealed that there was a grant of $250,000 from the Taiwanese Embassy which was given to the former president. He finally testified that to the best of his knowledge, the Ministry of Finance was not involved in the administration of the $35,000,000 loan neither did they play any role in the recovery of the $3,000,000 stolen by Captain Ebou Jallow.

The chief finance officer of Gamtel, Banding Sillah, was summoned in connection to the financing of Gamtel and various contracts entered by Gamtel on the International Gateway.

He testified that he had been a public servant for almost 30 years and had a summary of a report and supporting documents, further stating that the Department of International Operation was responsible for the management of the funds of Gamtel. He stated that Global Voice came in 2006 and that revenues were paid by the government; adding that the company started as a gateway manager in 2007.

Given a rundown of income generated from the gateway which was paid to Gamtel by Global Voice in 2007, he said the tune of $10, 812,595.92 was paid while in 2008; Oratus paid to Gamtel the sum of $7,875,358. He said Oratus contract was later terminated and there was an interim management from Gamtel comprising himself, acting chief technical operator among others, but they operated with the help of Global Voice.

He said in 2009, System 1 paid $8,653,204.53 to Gamtel while in 2010, they paid $12,770,574.05 and in 2011 they paid to Gamtel the sum of $3,021,662.

Dwelling on Tell payments to Gamtel, he said the sum of $6,216, 200.62 was paid in 2011 while in 2012, the sum of $ 7,449,284 was paid and in 2013 they paid $4,976,803.

At this juncture, documents relating to payments including summary of statements and supporting documents from Gamtel were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

He said there was mobilisation of funds locally to make investment, and they had a meeting with Tell but it did not go down well and it was reported to the former president that Gamtel staff were not cooperating.

According to him, he was not aware that MGI made an investment of $26,000,000 in Gamtel, further stating that there was an evaluation report which was made but he did not know what Gamtel was valued for.

Sittings continue today.

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



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Counsel Bensouda objects to witness’s evidence


The Point: Friday, January 19, 2018


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/counsel-bensouda-objects-to-witnesss-evidence-1

Counsel Amie Bensouda yesterday objected to the evidence given by Mr. Bazzi’z witness, Muhammed Muctar as he testified before the Janneh Commission.

Muhammed Mactar is lawyer for both Spectrum and Tell companies.

Mr. Mactar informed the commission that he is based in Lebanon and has degrees in law; adding that he has been practising for 42 years.

However, before he began his testimony, Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda, objected on the grounds that her understanding was that the witness was to testify on behalf of Bazzi but not Tell. The witness responded that he is the legal officer for both Tell and Spectrum and therefore he represents them.

According to Mr. Mactar, he was contacted by Mr. Ali Yusuf Sarari to establish payments made on behalf of Tell and Spectrum to Mr. Bazzi’s account in Lebanon. He added that in 2007, he drafted the contract for Spectrum.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda interjected and told the commission that the foundation of the witness was hearsay and such evidence do not apply before the commission, further stating that what the witness said was what Mr. Sarari had told him and that the proper witness to appear was Mr. Sarari. She then objected to the witness given evidence, considering the gravity of the issue at hand, the witness should not be allowed to continue.

She further submitted that Mr. Bazzi, being a close associate of the former president, is already at the Court of Appeal challenging the interim order of the commission and her objection was also at liberty to be challenged. However, Bazzi’s attorney, Victoria Andrews, said it was the witness who should raise privilege but not counsel of the commission.

Chairman of the commission, Sourahata Janneh, asked the witness why he was before the commission, and the witness responded that he was representing Tell and that he was giving evidence on what Mr. Sarari told him in relation to Tell Company.

According to Mr. Mactar, his evidence was relevant, and the story of Tell and Spectrum should be heard and due process must be followed, as the commission is on fact finding and not a tribunal. He said he came to assist the commission.

At this juncture, the chairman of the commission asked him whether he was given any Power of Attorney by Tell. The witness said he was not in possession of any Power of Attorney from Tell at the time. He added that he is not a board member neither the management of Tell. He further told the commission that he is not qualified as a barrister at law.

The chairman further explained to him that in The Gambia there is a common law practice and that if he does not have a Power of Attorney, as well as if he is not a member of the board of Tell or the management, he could not be heard as a witness. He also made it clear to him that if he is not qualified as a barrister in any common law country, he could not practise as a lawyer in The Gambia.

Counsel Bensouda said they would like Mr. Sararito appear before the commission.

Delivering the ruling, the chairman ruled that Mr. Mactar was a competent witness as all those who were named as close associates of the former president should call witnesses. However, such witnesses would not be allowed without showing Power of Attorney. If the witness was giving evidence on hearsay evidence, that would not be allowed and will automatically be rejected, said the chairman.

Continuing, Mr. Mactar told the commission that the chairman of Tell is one Francisco Rusio, further stating that Mr. Bazzi was not a shareholder of Tell, neither was he the director, and that he has never been the director before.

He said he knows that Mr. Bazzi was the Consul General of The Gambia in Lebanon, further stating that the relation between Mr. Bazzi and Sarari was strained; adding that during the discussion between The Gambia government and Tell, he came to The Gambia but on a very short notice, but could not remember anything like loan in the discussions and had it been such was brought to his attention, he would have advised otherwise.

According to him, he was instructed by Spectrum to sign an agreement between The Gambia government and the company which he said was signed in The Gambia with the secretary of State but could not remember when this contract was terminated.

At this juncture, the legal adviser of the said companies was shown some agreements and asked to confirm whether the one he signed was among them. However, after looking at them, he confirmed that the one he signed was not among them; adding that he used a flash drive to make some amendments on the agreement he drafted for Tell.

He finally testified that upon signing the agreement, it was agreed that there should be exchange of correspondences.

Earlier, business tycoon, Mr. Muhammed Bazzi, reappeared before the commission to give evidence in relation to Spectrum International Investment Holding and Tell Management of the Gamtel gateway.

During his testimony, he informed the commission that he knows the said company as well as Ali Sarari; adding that he did not represent Spectrum in The Gambia in the acquisition of the 50% share in Gamtel neither did he have interest in the company. He acknowledged that he only brought investors to invest in the country as he has his own company.

Further testifying, the Lebanese-Belgian said he introduced the company to the former president and the negotiation for the contract but could not remember meeting the former Finance minister, Musa Balla Gaye, or Neneh Macdouall-Gaye regarding matters relating to the company.

According to Bazzi, Spectrum and a Dutch company also started investing in Gamtel but five months later, they were kicked out and their contract was terminated and he did not know the reason.

On the evaluation of Gamtel, he said it was valued at $70,000,000 which he said came from the side of the government and the agreement was between Mr. Sarari, the former president and some ministers.

However, he said out of this amount, Spectrum only paid the sum of $32,000,000 and the company was locally looking for money to start the business with Gamtel.

The businessman said Mr. Sarari paid $35,000,000 to CBG but counsel put it to him that records showed that Mr. Sarari paid $32, 400,000 to CBG as part of the evaluation agreement to Gamtel. On the termination of Spectrum after looking at a letter, he said he had not seen the termination letter because there were breaches and fraudulent activities by the company.

Mr. Bazzi intimated that he did not play any role in Tell but he only negotiated the agreement with the former president and he knew nothing about the termination of Spectrum contract, neither did he have any idea about Oratus Company.

According to him, two years later, he facilitated for Spectrum to come back but he did not have any shares in the company; adding that he knows the head of Oratus whom he said may be a relative of Mr. Sarari.

At this juncture, Mrs. Bensouda put it to him that he gave the former president an equivalent sum of money which was given to him by Tell, which was paid into the personal account of the former president. Bazzi, in response, revealed that he was paying $500,000 per month into the said account.

He denied ever serving as an agent or broker for the company but was doing a favour for the country and met Mr. Sarari for the first time in The Gambia but did hear about him in Lebanon. When asked by counsel why Tell paid such a significant amount to the former president and that of Bazzi’s account in Lebanon, he said the former president requested for a loan from Mr. Sarari for the sum of $5,000,000 but Mr. Sarari refused on the grounds that he had earlier given a loan of $10,000,000 but he was not refunded.

Mr. Bazzi, however, responded that he did not see any document indicating that a loan was given to the former president by Ali Sarari, but he was told by Sarari himself but Sarari never gave any statements as to how much Oratus and Tell got from the traffic fees. He said Mr. Sarari was claiming for the recovery of $30,000,000.

Mr. Bazzi testified that it was not his choice to have direct contact with the former president in the smooth running of his business, as he responded to Commissioner Saine.

Mr. Bazzi revealed further that Spectrum officials were detained at NIA and later asked to leave the country on the same day they received the letter as ordered, because of allegations of fraudulent activities.

On the issue of a letter authored by Nuha Touray, former secretary to Cabinet, indicating that government appointed MGI to manage the gateway, Bazzi responded that the operators left the country and there was a belief that he was the only one who knew where they were.

He said he was threatened and had to fly to Lebanon and brought Mr. Sarari to produce the switches and when he got to their country, he told Mr. Sarari that his investment in The Gambia was at jeopardy because of the problem they had in the country, and even had to appeal to Sarari’s family to convince him.

At this juncture, Commissioner Saine asked him to explain the reasons why he was bringing investors into the country; hence he could have done his business without meeting the former president directly. Bazzi responded that it was not his choice to meet the former president and he did not want his company to come down.

Further responding to Commissioner Saine, he said it was necessary to bring in investors for the purpose of his business.

On whether it was a condition on him to do that without which he would encounter difficulties in his business, he responded that it was not for his business but rather it was for Tell.

He was asked whether the payments made to the former president by Tell were necessary. In response, he said that had nothing to do with his business.

Hearing continues on Monday 22 January, 2018.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



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Green Industries were operated from public funds says Ambassador Teneng Mba Jaiteh

The poiunt: Tuesday, January 23, 2018



TenengMba Jaiteh, former Energy minister and ambassador to Brussels, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that Green Industries were operated from public funds.


Mrs. Jaiteh was testifying in connection to Gamtel gateway contracts.

During her testimony, she informed the commission that she is Gambia’s ambassador to Brussels, Belgium, but prior to that, she served in various capacities in the former government, starting as assistant secretary, Ministry of Works and also acted as deputy permanent secretary, personnel management office (PMO), secretary to Cabinet as well as secretary general.

According to her, she was involved in the termination of contract awarded to Spectrum by the government under the directive of the former president. At this juncture, commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, showed her some letters which she said were signed by her in relation to the termination of Spectrum and the purchase of Gamtel/ Gamcel shares. The said letters were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Further testifying, she told the commission that on the 28th of October, 2008, the former president instructed the management of Gamtel/Gamcel, PURA, the director general of NIA, secretary of state, Ministry of Finance, Communication and the attorney general to review the management agreement with Spectrum. She added that the NIA was to come up with a report on the alleged fraud and breaches made by Spectrum because there were allegations that funds were diverted and they were also terminating traffic from Lebanon.

However, she said she did not see the National Intelligence Agency report; adding that the former president said that sales of Gamtel were coming down and senior Gamtel officials were being laid off.

She further testified that Spectrum did not comply with the terms and conditions of the contract, and therefore a criminal investigation was mounted as recommended by the attorney general because the international gateway was taken to Lebanon and an offshore account was opened without authority.

The diplomat disclosed that the former president gave Spectrum officials 72 hours to furnish them with information and Cabinet were briefed on the NIA report during which they cautioned the executive on the breaching of contracts, as it might end up being a court case.

According to her, at the time of signing a contract with Spectrum, Gamtel owned 90% of the company; adding that they were called by the former president to meet System 1 representatives on the 1st of November, 2008. She said the briefing was about the said company. She added that while on the briefing, they were told that System 1 gave technical support to Global Voice and that Spectrum was using switches of Global Voice.

Mrs. Jaiteh informed the commission that they asked System 1 to provide them with documents if they were interested in investing in The Gambia; adding that the former president told them that the draft contract they submitted to him was at variance.

According to Mrs. Jaiteh, she received directives from the former president to write a minute for the purchase of Gamtel/Gamcel shares by Spectrum.

However, she told the commission that she was not privy to that rather she was instructed to write letters in connection to the contract with Spectrum, noting that she was never involved in the negotiation of the contract with Spectrum neither did she deal with Mr. Bazzi .

She said the Gambian side of the contract with Spectrum was signed by the then minister of Justice, adding that the transaction was too much to be handled.

When quizzed by Commissioner Bai Mass Saine as to who represented the Gambia’s interest in the said company (Spectrum), she responded that it was the former Vice President and the former Justice minister.

Mrs. Jaiteh further testified that the representatives of Spectrum were not on the ground for the termination of the contract with Spectrum, further stating that she was never involved in the issue of buying shares.

“I did not see the report of the NIA neither did I follow up,” she told the commission.

At this juncture, instructions issued by the office of the former president to the Ministry of Finance for disbursement of funds from a Central Bank account were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

According to Mrs. Jaiteh, the former president was advised to appoint a minister of Communication and Technology because matters of communication were too technical to them, as they did not have the expertise. She said she confessed to the former president that it was too technical to handle.

She explained that despite being given 24 hours with System 1 contract, they wrote to say that the company would not serve Gambia’s interest; adding that she never spoke with Mr. Charara neither did she meet him.

On other request for payments signed by the witness, she responded that she could not remember exactly what the money was meant for but was of the belief that it had to do with the treatment of HIV/AIDS by the former president.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda told her that the sum of $46,325,000 was paid to AMS Corporation in connection to the acquisition of state aircraft while the sum of $1,000,000 was paid into a CBG account of one Dr. Buba Badjie, who was in Sweden which she said was an instruction from the chief of protocol, Alagie Ousman Ceesay.

She said Mr. Ceesay told her that the purpose of the money was for a poultry project and Mr. Badjie was to provide the equipment for the project but she did not know whether the equipment arrived in The Gambia, neither did she know where the poultry project was located.

On the payment of $250,000 as scholarship payments to medical students in the United States of America, she said instructions were given to transfer the said sum to the embassy of The Gambia in Washington DC and the instruction for the disbursement of the funds was signed by Dr. Njogu Bah.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to her that those who received the scholarship never sounded as Gambians but the witness responded that it was the first time she was seeing the document neither did the transaction pass through her.

When asked about the payment of $32,400,000 to the former president, she confirmed that it should have been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund; adding that this payment was out of the ordinary.

It was further put to her by the counsel that there was an instruction to transfer monies from the Central Bank to Trust Bank in the name of Green Industry to which she said was signed by her and Njogu Bah.

According to her, the said industry was setup by the former president and one Sheriff Nyang and they were partnering with some Chinese but it was an unorganised enterprise. The CEO of GIPZA went to her office and explained that Green industry owed them a lot of money, she narrated. She said that it was operated from public funds and the purpose was to create employment and for development and they were making uniforms, clothes, baby diapers, toilet papers among other things.

The witness alleged that when the former president was unable to handle the company, he dumped it on them but they persuaded him for a business plan to be made for the operation of the company.

However, counsel Bensouda put it to her that the office of the former president was not a business entity and there were institutions that were in charge of businesses, further stating that they tried very hard to discourage the former president from being involved into business, and that it was difficult to deal with him.

At this juncture, Commissioner Saine interjected and told the witness that public administration was different from business administration, and notwithstanding, the former president appointed himself as chief investment officer and was making numerous financial decisions.

In response, the witness acknowledged that the office of the former president is a government office and not a business entity but the former president was of the belief that anything that was not operated from his office was not efficient.

Mrs. Jaiteh, however, testified that not all that was operated at that level was indeed efficient, noting that they succeeded in some areas while they failed in others.

She finally told the commission that due to Gamtel issue, she was removed from the office of the former president.

Next to testify was Fatim Badjie, former minister of Communication and Health respectively, who was summoned in connection to Gamtel and Spectrum gateway contract.

She said it was correct that she was a public servant and had served as a minister of the said portfolios.

At this juncture, the counsel asked her to look at Spectrum/Gamtel gateway contract as well as some letters, and she confirmed signing one of them. However, the witness told the commission that she did not see some of the documents before which triggered the counsel to apply for her testimony to be adjourned, so as to give her the opportunity to photocopy and refresh her memory on the documents.

Next to testify was the managing director of Standard Charted Bank, Olukorede Adenowo, who reappeared in connection to the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel and Premier Agro Oil Company.

He told the commission that he had both letters of Kairaba Beach Hotel and the bank. He said following an agreement and the payment of $10,000,000, there was a subsequent payment of $2,600,000 paid into the hotel’s account. However, he said he could not find any document relating to the facility extended to the hotel.

According to him, the hotel instructed the bank to pay $7,000,000 to Trust Bank foreign account. At that point, the counsel tasked him to find out the original owners and the previous management as well as the current one. The witness revealed that Millennium Trading was managing the hotel before it was sold to M.A. Kharafi.

Documents relating to the purchase price of the hotel by M.A. Kharafi, instructions of payments by Kharafi and other related correspondences were admitted as exhibits.

Finally Mr. Adenowo disclosed to the commission that they never had anything like collateral security for Agro Oil Company other than the venture agreement which he had submitted to the commission.

Mr. Musa Balla Gaye, former minister of Finance, testified in connection to Gamtel gateway after he gave a synopsis of his services in government way back from 1970.

He said the former government had never discussed the sale of 50% share of Gamtel/Gamcel to Spectrum; adding that there was no due process in the sale of Gamtel/ Gamcel shares as people like the attorney general were never involved in the negotiation, as the president constituted his own negotiation team.

The former Finance minister informed the commission that he was not aware of the evaluation of Gamtel/Gamcel by the former government, as the Finance minister at the time. He added that he could not give evidence on the shareholders of Gamtel/Gamcel because they were only summoned and instructed to execute orders given by the former president.

He, however, testified that the normal practice in government was that government shares were held in the name of the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance but was not sure whether due process was followed. He said on one-on-one basis, he advised the former president and he heeded to his advice but not at Cabinet level.

While responding to Commissioner Saine, he said: “As minister of Finance, I was empowered to advise the president, but in the case of Spectrum, the former president already took his decision.”

“I don’t think it was prudent after the president took a decision. I told him to change his decision despite being empowered by the National Assembly. The former president was doing things in his own way,” said Gaye.

He further said that notwithstanding, it did not mean that whatever the former president did was okay with him, but after he came up with a decision, he would not come out plainly and challenge it. However, Counsel Bensouda told him that it was his responsibility to advise the president when he was wrong in some of his decisions.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



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Posted - 24 Jan 2018 :  14:38:54  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There were so many flaws in the agreement Fatim Badjie Tells Commission

The Point: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/there-were-so-many-flaws-in-the-agreementfatim-badjie-tells-commission

Fatim Badjie-Sinyang, former Information, Communication and Technology minister, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that there were so many flaws in the Spectrum Gamtel/Gamcel shares agreement.

Mrs. Sinyan, who reappeared in connection to Gamtel/Spectrum gateway contract, informed the commission that she went through the contract documents but the signatures on some of the documents were not hers; adding that she never met Mr. Charara regarding Gamtel/Gamcel gateway contract.

However, she said she was the minister of Information Communication and Technology but was not involved in the sales of Gamtel/Gamcel shares neither did she amend Spectrum contract but signed the termination of the contract.

She confirmed writing a letter to the former president for Spectrum to be investigated on breaches of the contract and a letter was written terminating their contract after investigation was launched by the management of Gamtel/Gamcel, NIA, PURA and the attorney general.

According to her, she did not play any role in the repurchase of Gamtel/Gamcel share neither was she aware of Bazzi’s intention to have 30% share in the national telecom and its subsidiary. She said she did not see the NIA investigation report in collaboration with PURA but the matter was also brought before the cabinet, indicating that Spectrum investment was not in the interest of the country.

Mrs. Sinyan further revealed to the commission that she was asked to sign an agreement for one Emirate Investment Group but she refused to do so without the presence of the solicitor general. She added that she did not see the amount of resources or fund lost in Gamtel/Gamcel as alleged.

She testified that she joined the company in 2008 and there were issues of hiring and firing, further stating that management of Gamtel was asked to take the responsibility whose manpower they possessed.

She testified that there were so many flaws in the Gamtel/Gamcel agreement and this was why she refused to sign, and she left the office because of many reasons. She said the Ministry of Finance represented government’s interest in the shares of Gamtel/Gamcel.

Continuing his testimony in connection to Gamtel gateway and 3M Account, the former Minister of Finance, Musa Balla Gaye, confirmed signing a letter which was shown to him by Counsel Amie Bensouda.

On the contract between Spectrum and Gamtel for the sale of shares, he said he could not remember whether he was involved in the negotiation of the contract, further stating that he left the ministry on the 9 June, 2009.

Mr. Gaye confirmed that they considered a waiver and liabilities on taxes for Mr. Charara because Mr. Charara was going to invest a substantial sum of money in the country. It was put to him that there were letters which were signed by him concerning the waiving on taxes for the said business tycoon which he confirmed to the commission.

According to the former finance minister, he made a recommendation to the former government for duty waiver and after he made the recommendation, it was sent to the Office of the Secretary General.

Another letter was shown to the witness regarding the negotiation of shares bought by Spectrum from Gamtel/Gamcel. In response, he disclosed that there was a directive from the office of the former president concerning the said shares. He added that Mr. Bazzi was a friend to the former president and that he was present during the negotiation for the purchase of sales by Spectrum.

However, he disclosed that Spectrum was operating from the Standard Chartered House where Bazziz’s office was located. He said he could recollect for the fact that the attorney for Spectrum intimated that he was going to review the contract prior to signing.

At this juncture, correspondences between the witness, Mr. Muhammed Bazzi and Ali Charara including waiver on taxes and liabilities for Gamtel/Gamcel were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Gaye further told the commission that an account was opened at the Central Bank for monies paid by Spectrum, noting that the Directorate of National Treasury wrote to CBG for the opening of the said account and instructed that the signatories to the account would come later.

However, Counsel Bensouda told him that he authorised payments from the account without having the signatories. Mr. Gaye responded that the said funds were governed by financial instructions, and that the budget vote controller was used in the national budget controller and there was nothing stopping the minister from acting in accordance with the act, and this was among the reasons why he became a signatory to the account.

It was put to him by the counsel that all revenues form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and he responded that the revenues accrued by Gamtel/Gamcel were windfall revenues and these were physical practices.

However, he acknowledged that there is no provision in the laws for windfall revenue but there is a provision in the law empowering the minister to open an account. He confirmed that the sum of $19,000,000 was paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund as a result of IMF intervention. He added that the sum of $2,700,000 was paid at the Central Bank but the bank could not trace out the authority.

At this juncture, the witness told the commission that as the former minister, he read so many budget speeches to the National Assembly during which he outlined the provisions in the 1997 Constitution restricting the minister with the management of the ministry and raised them extensively.

He said all the withdrawals he authorised were directives from the office of the former president including the transfer of $2.2 million to the Gambian Embassy in U.S.A. for the purchase of school buses and other vehicles.

According to him, being the minister at the time, he never asked the purpose of all the funds he was instructed by the office of the former president to withdraw, which he said was the order of the day, and there was no budget for the purchase of the said buses.

Mr. Gaye testified that if the Public Finance Act of 2014 was strictly followed, then all this economic mess would not have happened. He said during his tenure as minister, the economy was booming and was on the fast track.

Documents for the purchase of school buses were tendered and admitted.

He further disclosed that he did not receive any statement indicating how the sum of $9,000,000 was spent by the Gambian Embassy in Washington DC. He was then told by counsel that with his calibre, he accepted instructions without asking questions, and he responded in the positive.

Mr. Gaye pointed out to the commission that some of the funds transferred to certain people were serving the interest of the former president and not the country.

It was put to him that being the Minister of Finance, how could he act on instruction to disburse monies, and was asked whether this was in line with standard practice.

In response, he said that there were certain behaviours that became of him, further stating that what he read in the papers really baffled him.

When he was challenged by counsel, he said officials were serving the former president but not Gambians.

He was reminded of a sum of $28,500.000 by Central Bank for an overdraft loan incurred by the bank. He said he did not know the origin of the said money neither did he know how it was disbursed.

Mr. Gaye told the commission that the former government accepted the loan and IMF said that government should pay the said loan, noting that it was financed by excess treasury bills. He disclosed that IMF did not accept the report by the Central Bank and they delegated a South African Audit Firm to embark on a re-audit. He stated that he thought the money was not filtered.

Mr. Ebrima Sallah, managing director, Trust Bank Gambia Ltd., reappeared in connection to accounts submitted before the commission. He said he had twenty accounts with him out of which seven were for Kanilai Family Farms (KFF).

On GLMA account, he said the account was opened in 2010 and the last transaction was 6 October, 2011; adding that the total credit into the account was D12, 054, 386 while the balance was D3, 989 .57 and the signatories were Sulayman Jammeh and Ousman Y. Bojang.

Dwelling on the Kanilai Garage Account, he said it was opened on the 3 September, 2007, and the last transaction was 31 August, 2010, further stating that the total debit from this account was D3, 450 and the total credit was D3, 006,497.05 and the balance in the account was D3074.

Mr. Ousman Y. Bojang and YankubaJatta were signatories to the account, he told the commission.

The next account he revealed was the Kanilai Alternative Medical Clinic Account and was opened on the 1 of February, 2012, further stating that the last transaction on this account was on the 5th of April, 2017, subject to frozen order. The total balance in this account was D2, 750, he testified.

He added that the total credit that went into the account was D482, 550.64, and the signatories were Dr. Tamsir Mbowe one Nyima Badjie and Ansouuman Njie.

The next account, he said, was Kanilai Institute of Technology and the account was opened on the 29 July, 2010, and there were various signatories, namely Dr. Njogu Bah, Ebrima Camara, Nuha Touray, Momodou Sabally and Lamin Nyabally. According to him, this account was an investment account.

The Kanilai Woni Account, according to him, was opened on the 15th of December, 2003, and the former president was the sole signatory to the account, and the total credit was over D500, 000, while the total debit was D50, 000.

Testifying on Kanilai Bakery Account, he said the account was opened on the 30th of August, 2010, and the signatory to the account was the former president and Ahemed Hodrog. The last transaction from this account, he said, was on the 11 August, 2010, with a total credit of D10, 000, 000 while there was a debit of over D54, 000. There was zero balance in the account, he revealed.

He further disclosed that the Central Abattoir Account was opened on the 10th of March, 2010, and the signatories were Yankuba Jatta and Pierre Tamba, further stating that the beneficiaries to this account were Awa Jaiteh, Kebba T. Sanyang among others. He said that the last transaction was 24 May, 2017, with a total debit of D110, 000 while the total credit was over D10, 000,000.

At this juncture, bunch of documents relating to the said accounts were tendered and admitted as exhibits. He also dwelled on other Kanilai International Group accounts (KGI), and documents of these accounts were also admitted as exhibits.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



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Ex- President Jammeh feels nobody can do better than he can -Former SG Ousman Jammeh Testifies

The Point: Thursday, January 25, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/ex-president-jammeh-feels-nobody-can-do-better-than-he-can-former-sg-ousman-jammeh-testifies

Ousman Jammeh, former secretary general and head of the Civil Service, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that Ex-President Yahya Jammeh felt that nobody could do better than he could.


He reappeared in relation to Gamtel/Gamcel and Spectrum sale of shares. He said from March 2007, to May, 2008, he was the secretary general. He served in the said portfolio from May, 2011, to December, 2011, as well.

Mr. Jammeh, however, testified that he was present when the so-called investors made their presentation to the former president. He said Spectrum heard that Gamtel was among the best companies in Africa and this was the reason they came to invest.

He testified that the first time he met them was at the office of the former president and was told how to improve the performance of Gamtel; adding that at the time of their presentation to the former president, Mr. Bazzi was present but he (the witness) was just watching. He added that Spectrum officials told them that they would take over the management of Gamtel.

The former secretary general revealed that they signed a contract but there was no formal contract document presented before him as the secretary general neither did he see a copy of the contract prior to the signing ceremony. The presentation indicated their intention to invest in Gamtel, he stated. He said he advised the former president on the said contract with Spectrum and the former president must have told the investors to go ahead with the signing of the contract.

He alleged that the former president was not fair to him, further noting that the signing ceremony was held at the office of the finance minister and he made some efforts to ensure that the contract would go through the right channel and Spectrum was supposed to present financial performance and also to reflect on the contract document.

Mr. Jammeh confirmed to the commission that it was correct that neither the Ministry of Finance, nor Communication or the Attorney General Chambers were privy to the Spectrum contracts for managing the Gamtel gateway; adding that the normal channel was not followed and the management of Gamtel were not put in the picture as well.

Responding on when exactly investors started visiting the former president, he said it had always been the practice prior to him becoming secretary general but could not pinpoint the exact year it started. He said the office of the former president was very busy and there was transfer of portfolios to his office.

The president, he said, was somebody who felt that nobody could do better than he could; adding that he (witness) did not play any part in the termination of Spectrum neither did he have any idea of the outstanding money for the sale shares in Gamtel/Gamcel.

He finally testified that he was not aware that the outstanding sum was paid to the Central Bank of The Gambia.

Fadi Mazegi, managing director, Euro Africa Group, reappeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to Gam Petroleum and Mariam Yahya Jammeh Family Trust Account.

Prior to his testimony, the commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, told him that he submitted flash drive containing accounting software and accounting records for Gam Petroleum which was also submitted to Excel. However, he was required to produce all accounting information in respect of the said company and Euro Africa Group respectively.

At this juncture, the flash drive was tendered by counsel but the chairman of the commission, Sourahata Janneh, indicated that the content of the flash drive should be printed. However, the witness was also urged to produce the information showing payments from the accounting system.

According to Mr. Mazegi, contracts were awarded to Global Trading Group but there were subcontracts to Global Power System (GPS) and over $7,000,000 were put into a Trust Bank account opened by Global Trading. He added that the contractor was paid the sum of €1,840,600 which was to be paid into a foreign bank.

He said it was his choice to subcontract the works and he believed that the total amount was paid. At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that the company was liable to pay taxes and other liabilities for their staff.

In response, Mazegi promised to find out and confirm to the commission whether taxes were paid in relation to this contract as well as income tax returns.

With regard to the MYJ Account, he testified that Mr. Ahemed Hodrog is an in-law to business mogul, Muhammed Bazzi, and was appointed on six–month probation as general manager for Euro Africa Group because he (Mazegi) was busy in another project in Benin and did not have time for The Gambia. He said when he came back, he found that Mr. Hodrog was working for Kanilai International Group.

On whether Mr. Hodrog was receiving payments, he responded in the affirmative. He said there was an overdraft of $4,000 from MYJ account and over $4,000,000 was paid in cash into this account at Trust Bank. However, Mazegi responded that he was not aware of these payments but Hodrog was reporting to Mr. Bazzi and he was of the belief that Hodrog is in the United States.

Mr. Mazegi further responded that deposits into the MYJ account were not linked to Euro Africa Group. A letter authored by former secretary general, Dr. Njogu Bah, dated 12 January, 2012, to Global Trading in connection to the purchase of State Aircraft was tendered and admitted as exhibit.

He testified that it was not to his knowledge whether his company contributed to this account; adding that he could not recall whether they made a payment to the account and that they did not have any relation with Kanilai International Group (KGI). He said he believed Mr. Hodrog was brought into the country by Bazzi and he used to go to state house to meet the former president.

At this juncture, counsel reminded the witness that he was to produce contract documents for Global Trading in connection to constructions, engineering made by the company as well as hard copies of accounting information from the system he presented in a flash drive.

Sarjo Ceesay, director of Corporate Affairs and company secretary at Gamtel, was required to produce the statutory documents for Gamtel/Gamcel. He said Gamtel was incorporated in 1984 but was not in possession of the Certificate of Incorporation but was in possession of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

He further testified that the Memorandum of Article of Association was amended twice, further stating that the first amendment was in 2007 while the second one was in 2014 when Spectrum contract was terminated.

According to him, there was an instruction by the former president to regularise the status of Gamtel/ Gamcel, noting that he could not trace out the original copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association because the former company secretary died and did not know where to get the originals.

Documents relating to the Memorandum and Articles and Memorandum of Association, as well as a letter from the office of the former president to regularise the status of Gamtel/Gamcel were all tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Ceesay further revealed to the commission that the regularisation of Gamtel/Gamcelwas triggered by PAC/PEC of the National Assembly when they presented a report on Gamtel/Gamcel; adding that Gamcel was incorporated on the 17th of November, 2000, and the general manager owned 1% while 99% share was for the company.

The Corporate Affairs director further stated that there were amendments when Spectrum came in 2000 and 2014. Documents relating to Gamtel/Gamcel partnership with Spectrum, a letter and other certificates were admitted as exhibits.

He testified when they were asked to regularise Gamtel status, they were asked to look for partnership, and as a result, they engaged The Gambia Ports Authority.

Legal practitioner and current director general of Gambia Maritime Administration, Mustapha Marrong, who was also onetime attorney general at the Ministry of Justice from 1995-1996, testified in connection to a loan amounting to $35,000,000 taken by the AFPRC from the Republic of China on Taiwan.

According to Mr. Marrong, the spokesperson of the junta at the time, Ebou Jallow, brought out some documents to him to raise a loan and expressed urgency because he told him that he (Jallow) was travelling to Taiwan that evening in respect of the loan.

He said he told Jallow that he was going to discuss it with the solicitor general but Captain Jallow said to him that there was no time and the former president was anxious, and that there was a loan from ROC but Jallow did not tell him the amount. Therefore he did not have time to read the documents but signed, he said.

The legal luminary informed commissioners that he was not part of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that negotiated the loan but was told that Ebou Jallow stole some money, further stating that the loan was never an agenda for the council. He said no one can tell from the Ministry of Justice as to how this money was spent.

Hearing continues today at Djembe Hotel.

Author: Dawda Faye

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



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Posted - 25 Jan 2018 :  20:58:54  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
“Regularisation of Gamtel/Gamcel Was Triggered By PAC/PEC,” Gamtel Official
Foroyaa: January 25, 2018

By Mamadou Dem

Mr. Sarjo Ceesay, Director of Corporate Affairs and Company secretary of GAMTEL, has revealed that the regularisation of the Company was triggered by the PAC / PEC of the National Assembly.

Ceesay said this while appearing before the ‘Janneh’ Commission yesterday, 24th January 2018.

Ceesay was summoned to produce statutory documents for Gamtel / Gamcel. He said Gamtel was incorporated in 1984 but was not in possession of the Certificate of Incorporation, but was in possession of the Memorandum and Articles of Association; that the Memorandum and Article of Association was amended twice, further disclosing that the first amendment was done in 2007 while the second one was done in 2014, when the Spectrum contract was terminated.

According to him, there was an instruction by the former president to regularise the status of Gamtel/ Gamcel; that he could not trace the original copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association because the former Company secretary died and he did not know where to get the originals.

Documents relating to the Memorandum and Articles and Memorandum of Association, as well as a letter from the office of the former president to regularise the status of Gamtel / Gamcel were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Ceesay further revealed to the Commission that the regularisation of Gamtel / Gamcel was triggered by the PAC / PEC of the National Assembly when they presented a report on Gamtel/Gamcel; that Gamcel was incorporated on the 17th of November 2000, and the General Manager owned 1% while 99% shares was for the Company.

The Corporate Affairs Director further stated that there were amendments when Spectrum came in 2000 and 2014. Documents relating to Gamtel/Gamcel partnership with Spectrum, a letter and other certificates were admitted as exhibits.

Ceesay testified that when they were asked to regularise the status of Gamtel, they were asked to look for partnership and as a result, they engaged the Gambia Ports Authority.

Next to testify was Mr. Ousman Jammeh, former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service. Jammeh told the ‘Janneh’ Commission that Ex-President Yahya Jammeh felt that nobody could do better than him.

He was reappearing in relation to Gamtel/Gamcel and Spectrum sale of shares. Jammeh said from March 2007 to May, 2008, he was the Secretary General; that he served in the said portfolio from May 2011, to December 2011; that he was present when the so-called investors made their presentation to the former president; that Spectrum officials heard that Gamtel was among the best Companies in Africa and this was the reason they came to invest; that the first time he met them was at the office of the former president and was told how to improve the performance of Gamtel; that at the time of their presentation to the former president, Mr. Bazzi was present but he (the witness) was just watching; that Spectrum officials told them that they would take over the management of Gamtel.

The former Secretary General revealed that they signed a contract but there was no formal contract document presented before him as the Secretary General neither did he see a copy of the contract prior to the signing ceremony. He said the presentation indicated their intention to invest in Gamtel; that he advised the former president on the said contract with Spectrum and the former president must have told the investors to go ahead with the signing of the contract.

He alleged that the former president was not fair to him, further noting that the signing ceremony was held at the office of the finance minister; that he made some efforts to ensure that the contract would go through the right channel and Spectrum was supposed to present a financial performance of their Company to reflect on the contract document.

Mr. Jammeh confirmed to the Commission that it was correct that neither the Ministry of Finance, nor Communication or the Attorney General’s Chambers, were privy to the Spectrum contract for managing the Gamtel Gateway project; that the normal channel was not followed and the management of Gamtel were not put in the picture as well.

Responding on when exactly the investors started visiting the former president, he said that it had always been the practice prior to him becoming Secretary General but could not pinpoint the exact year it started; that the office of the former president was very busy and there was transfer of portfolio to his office.

The president, he said, was somebody who felt that nobody could do better than him; that he (witness) did not play any part in the termination of Spectrum contract neither did he has any idea of the outstanding money for the sale of Gamtel / Gamcel shares; that he was not aware that the outstanding sum was paid to the Central Bank of the Gambia.

Earlier, Mr. Fadi Mazegi, Managing Director of the Euro Africa Group, reappeared before the Commission in connection to Gam Petroleum and Mariam Yahya Jammeh Family Trust Account.

Prior to his testimony, Commission counsel Amie Bensouda, told him that he submitted a flash drive containing accounting software and accounting records for Gam Petroleum which was also submitted to Excel and was required to produce all accounting information in respect of the said Company and the Euro Africa Group respectively.

At this juncture, the flash drive was tendered by Counsel but the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Sourahata Janneh, indicated that the content of the flash drive should be printed. The witness was also urged to produce the information showing payments from the accounting system.

According to Mr. Mazegi, contracts were awarded to Global Trading Group but there were subcontracts to Global Power System (GPS) and over $7,000,000 were put into a Trust Bank account opened by Global Trading; that the contractor was paid the sum of €1,840,600 which was to be paid into a foreign bank.

He said it was his choice to subcontract the works and he believed that the total amount was paid. At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that the Company was liable to pay taxes and other liabilities for their staff.

In response, Mazegi promised to find out and confirm to the Commission whether taxes were paid in relation to this contract as well as income tax returns.

With regard to the MYJ Account, he testified that Mr. Ahmed Hodrog is an in-law to Muhammed Bazzi and was appointed on a six–month probation as General Manager for Euro Africa Group because he (Mazegi) was busy in another project in Benin and did not have time for The Gambia; that when he came back, he found that Mr. Hodrog was working for Kanilai International Group.

On whether Mr. Hodrog was receiving payments, he responded in the affirmative; that there was an overdraft of $4,000 from MYJ account and over $4,000,000 was paid in cash into this account at Trust Bank. However Mazegi responded that he was not aware of these payments but Hodrog was reporting to Mr. Bazzi and was of the belief that Hodrog is in the United States.

Mazegi further responded that deposits into the MYJ account were not linked to Euro Africa Group. A letter authored by former Secretary General Dr. Njogu Bah, dated 12 January 2012, to Global Trading in connection to the purchase of State Aircraft was tendered and admitted as exhibit.

He testified that it was not to his knowledge whether his Company contributed to this account; that he could not recall whether they made payments to the account and that they did not have any relation with Kanilai International Group (KGI). He said he believed Mr. Hodrog was brought into the country by Bazzi and he used to go to state house to meet the former president.

At this juncture, Counsel reminded the witness that he was to produce contract documents for Global Trading in connection to construction and engineering works made by the Company as well as hard copies of accounting information from the system he presented in a flash drive.

Legal Practitioner and current Director General of Gambia Maritime Administration, Mustapha Marong, who was also one time Attorney General at the Ministry of Justice from 1995-1996, testified in connection to a loan amounting to $35,000,000 taken by the AFPRC from the Republic of China on Taiwan. According to Mr. Marong, the spokesperson of the junta at the time Ebou Jallow, brought out some documents to him to raise a loan and expressed the urgency of the documents; that he told him he (Jallow) was travelling to Taiwan that evening in respect of the loan.

He said he told Jallow that he was going to discuss it with the Solicitor General but the Captain intimated to him that there was no time and the former president was anxious; that there was a loan from ROC but Jallow did not tell him the amount; that he therefore did not have time to read the documents but signed them.

Marong informed Commissioners that he was not part of the team from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that negotiated the loan but was told that Ebou Jallow stole some money; that the loan was never an agenda for the Council. He said no one can tell from the Ministry of Justice as to how this money was spent.

Hearing continues today at Djembe Hotel.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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