(JollofNews) – Officials of Trust Bank and The Gambia National Petroleum Corporation -GNPC- Thursday digged deeper into the country’s former President Yahya Jammeh’s financial dealings with several startling revealations.
Officials of both institutions revealed to the three-member Commission of Inquiry on the furnishing of 52 AU Summit villas during Thursday’s at sitting at Djembe Hotel in Kololi.
Trust Bank’s Managing Director Ebahim Sallah said an account was opened in the name of GNPC with number: 12010747401. He said the US dollar account was opened on 10th January, 2006 and closed on 16th September, 2009.
Mr. Sallah told the commission that signatories to the account were Siaka S.A Camara, Mamburay Njie and Tenengba Jaiteh, who were maintained until the closure of the account.
He said 400, 000 dollars was withdrawn from the account on 13th July, 2006, on authority signed by Siaka Camara and Mamburay Njie for the purpose of furnishing 52 presidential villa for the African Union Summit in the Gambia paid to TAF holding account.
Mr. Sallah said on 29th September, 2006, 1.7 million US dollars was transferred from the GNPC account and credited to Jammeh Foundation and Kanilai Family Farms as an instruction and on 26th October, 2006, a cash withdrawal of 1 million and 10, 000 dollars was made from the GNPC account to the management of PEGEP as loan.
Also Testifying in relation to the GNPC account, a one-time secretary to cabinet in Mr. Jammeh’s givernment, Nuha Touray said 650, 000 USD was withdrawn from the GNPC account on 25th August, 2013, which Mr. Jammeh himself and Sabally were the signatories.
He said Mr. Jammeh issued an instruction for the money to be withdrawn from Skye Bank but said at the time of issuing the directive, Skye Bank said it does not have that amount.
Mr. Touray said Jammeh threatened to close the account if they cannot produce the amount.
According to him, Mr. Jammeh was persuaded and the bank was given two days to mobilize the money which was done on a later date.
Mr. Touray said the money was counted in his presence alongside Momodou Sabally before handing it to the orderlies.
He denied having any idea what the 2 million dollar withdrawal was meant for.
Also testifying with regards to GNPC funds spent on the 52 AU presidential Villas furnishing, Momodou O.S Badjie said that happened when he was not the GNPC managing director.
He said there was a contract between TAF and GNPC in the sum of 5 million dalasi, saying after the summit, 30 villas were sold-off, 4 were allocated to GNPC and 18 were given to the Government.
Mr. Badjie also said per villa cost 110, 000 dalasi but they only recovered D3.3M from the D5M.
He added that with regards to the 18 villas given to the Government, there was no document showing the arrangement.
According to Mr. Badjie, from the 4 villas allocated to GNPC, one was rented, one was given to the Taiwanese technician working for them and when he left, all three were occupied by Government officials.
He said when he took over, he made a list of the payments that were made when he was not the MD and those were all written off.
Mr. Badjie said said before he took over, the Director of Finance wrote letters requesting for payment of these monies but there was no response. He said he could not pursue them further.
He further tells the commission that when he took over as MD, there was a space of non-interference from the office of the president until when he wrote a letter requesting for the fund they are generating to be treated as grants to the Office of the president. He said that letter triggered the interference of the office of the president.
When asked if there will be consequences of pursuing the money, he said he is not sure of any consequences. He said the chairman of the board was the SG and they are aware of the debt and that it has been outstanding for a long time. He said when he took over he wanted to start afresh so he made a list and send it to the board for it to be written off since they may not be recovered and the board approved it.
Madun Sanyang, the Interdicted Financial Director of GNPC who was also the Financial Director during the period said he signed the letter of instruction to make Jammeh and Sabally signatories to the Dollar account. He said this is one of the letters sent to the Banks for change of the signatory.
Mr. Sanyang said he never had any transaction since the change of signatories but said on 7th August, 2013, USD150, 000 was withdrawn and it was the same instruction as USD 243, 000 which was converted to Dalasi.
He added that he received the instruction from the MD through the office of the president and when the cash was withdrawn, he and the MD went together to deliver the money to Momodu Sabally in the presence of Nuha Touray.