Augustus Prom, others reveal more at commission

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Augustus Prom, the executive director of his Augustus Prom Auditing firm, appeared before the commission of inquiry looking into the assets and financial transactions of former president Yahya Jammeh.

He said he was a receiver of companies like those from the office of the former president, which started in June.

He testified that he was not appointed as the receiver of Apam, adding that through the liquidation of Carnegie Minerals, they briefly dealt with Apam.

He stated that they almost completed the liquidation by an order of the court, adding that he had volume one report dated 6 August 2015.

He also stated that he had a report on Carnegie inventory and it was signed, adding that they did not value the assets.

Mr Prom adduced that their inventory covered some evaluations.

Louie Prom, who was assisting his father at the commission, said he is the head of tax and advisory.

He said they had documents relating to liquidation of Carnegie Minerals, letters, financial report in a single file.

His father stated that the first value of the asset was D22,013,000, adding that the stockpile they found was left by Gamico.

He said the stockpile left by Carnegie was taken by Gamico.

Documents relating to the liquidation of Carnegie Minerals were tendered and admitted.

Mr Prom Sr said most of the companies were cooperating and that their final report was in progress, adding that the Secretary General at the office of the former president appointed managing directors for the mining companies, like Carnegie Minerals.

Ousman Jobarteh, deputy Managing Director at the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), earlier testified.

He was reminded that he was recalled to produce some documents relating to Youth Development Enterprise (YDE) to show they not pay port charges.

He said they could not trace such documents, adding that YDE was operating from the office of the former president.

He adduced that the late Baba Jobe used to handle YDE matters at the port, adding that all legal documents were submitted for legal action involving the GPA.

Mr Jobarteh stated that a letter dated 8 May 2007, directed the GPA to pay $305,280 for Miss Black Pageant for the air tickets for visiting delegates, which came from the office of the former president and signed by Njogu Bah, adding that the number of people was 162 and that the former president would refund the GPA.

He said there was a bank transfer paid to International World Exchange Corporation.

Documents relating to the Miss Black Pageant were tendered and admitted.

Mr Jobarteh posited that there was another directive from the office of the former president dated 26 January 2011, urging the GPA to give their land to International Milling Corporation and was signed by Ebrima O. Camara, adding that they gave out the land to the said company which was supposed to pay a compensation of D18,464,850, which they failed to do.

He said the company was owned by Muhammed Basir.

He testified that in 2013 they wrote series of letters to the company to pay the compensation.

He said he did not know whether the GPA took legal action to recover the compensation of D18,464,850, adding that they received directive from the office of the former president to hand over the site to the company, and that they were working under pressure.

Mr Jobarteh adduced that the site was not an industrial area but a port area, adding that the company did not pay rent for the land and the GPA did not charge them for rent.

He stated further that there were amounts outstanding for services rendered to the Kanilai Family Farm, adding that in 2015 a ship load for a 50% waiver of the charges was accorded to the company and that the sum of D1,523,589.82 was to be paid by Kanilai Family Farm, which they failed to do.

He adduced that the matter was not reported to the Board of Directors of GPA, adding that it was at the level of their management.

He testified that the company applied for ship waiver to the tune of D5,296,454.64, adding that the managing director took the decision for the waiver to be given to Kanilai Family Farm, and that he was not consulted.

He also said the board of directors was not consulted either.

Documents relating to waiver sought by Kanilai Family Farm and granted by GPA were tendered and admitted.

Nuha Touray, who was the former secretary to cabinet, also testified at the commission.

He said he is presently working at the ECOWAS Commission Secretariat in Nigeria, and he is an assistant to the ECOWAS vice president.

He said he took the appointment in February 2017, adding that the former president accused him of missing a file at the Ministry of Petroleum, and he was charged for that and taken to court, but the case was dropped.

He said he spent 4 years at the office of the former president before he left, adding that the former president conducted business at KGI, which has subsidiaries like Kanilai Family Farm, Kanilai Garage, Green Industry, etc.

Mr Touray revealed that the former president acquired a hotel called Dunes Hotel behind Palma Rima, adding that the hotel was purchased from the funds of GNPC.

He adduced that military circles were responsible for the transactions of the former president, adding that he handled official transactions of the former president.

He said he was a signatory to some accounts, and it was the former president who would decide who should be a signatory to an account, adding that he had no choice.

He stated that proceeds from the International Gateway were paid to Gamcel but the former president was not happy about this.

He was reminded that he and Momodou Sabally signed for the payment of $610,000 to Muhammadu Batata Juwara, and he said they received instruction from the former president.

Author: Dawda Faye