Account General recalled by the Janneh Commission

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Momodou Lamin Bah, the account general, was recalled yesterday by the Janneh Commission in relation to the Multilateral Debt Relief Account.

He testified that the account was for poverty reduction, and that the account was opened by his department in 2007, further stating that funds were paid into the account for social services like education, health and agriculture.

Mr. Bah adduced that the expenditures were not for the social sector.  He stated that on the 18th January, 2011, $20,000 was paid to GFA, and that there was another payment of D3,000,000 made by Njogu Bah on the 9th of June, 2010, in a form of a cheque and was approved by the Ministry of Finance.  He said that this was an impress which was not retired, noting further that once an impress was retired, it would be captured in their system.

He posited that another impress of D7,920,000 was approved by the Ministry of Finance, noting further that D3,000,000 was paid to Njogu Bah as impress for celebrations at Kanilai, which they said was a national day.

Documents relating to payments of impress were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Mr. Bah testified that there was a Mobilisation account into which four payments were made, adding that D5,776,511 was paid out and was approved by the Ministry of Finance to the office of the former president.  He said that it was for the inauguration of the former president.

He adduced that Fatou Mass Jobe was paid an impress of D8,139,222 for the visit of the Taiwanese president, and that the money was deposited into the account. 

He further said that D3,084,360 was paid for the visit of Nigerian president, noting further that D22,200,000 was transferred from the security account to the mobilisation account.

He was asked whether it was normal to take monies from public funds to pay for celebrations and national events. In response, he said that this was happening, and that he did not know how the monies were spent.

Next to testify was GTBank managing director, Ayodele Bolaji. He spoke on the transaction documents of Gamveg Oil Company. He was told that he was requested to produce the board resolution for Gamveg, but he said that they do not issue board resolutions.

Mr. Bolaji further disclosed that facility memos would go to the board chairman to sign.

At this juncture, transaction documents for the dalasi and dollar accounts were tendered and admitted

Ebrima Sallah, Trust Bank’s managing director also gave evidence on the National Security Account.  He stated that there were dollar and dalasi accounts, and the signatories were the former president and a former secretary general.

He disclosed that the dalasi account was opened on the 19 April, 2012, and the last transaction was made on the 5 April, 2017.  He stated that there was a deposit of D10,000,000, and that the dollar account was opened on the 17 May, 2012, and there was a deposit of $2,100,000 from the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Mr.  Sallah said that there was a balance of $31,764.14, further adding that the account was not frozen, and that the last transaction was made on the 20 September, 2012, with a withdrawal of $357,143 which was a request from the office of the former president.  He testified that on the 4 September, 2012, there was a withdrawal of $44,900.80 for the purchase of a generator. 

He posited that on the 20 April, 2012, D3,5000,000 was withdrawn and given to one Momodou Sowe.

Documents relating to the account were tendered and admitted as exhibits

Mr. Sallah  told the commission that there was a deposit of $2,921,317 and a credit of $2,100,000, and a cash payment of D24,159,166 to Momodou Sowe, a cadet officer, and signed by Njogu Bah.  He revealed that the head of Foreign Operation, Dam Touray, authorised for the payment.


Author: Dawda Faye