Abdoulie Cham, retired Financial Controller at the Central Bank of The Gambia,
yesterday told the Janneh Commission that Captain Ebou Jallow transferred
$3,000,000 to a private bank.
The former banker testified that he worked at the Central Bank from March 1997 to November 2003 and among his responsibilities was to ensure that the books of the bank were kept adequately enough.
According to him the office of the former president had dealings with CBG, further stating that there was a coup d’état on 22nd July 1994 and the immediate reaction of the International Community was to impose sanction on the former government.
The governor of the bank was approached by the AFPRC Council and the Bank decided to accept a loan facility amounting to $35,000,000 which was coming from the Republic of China and Taiwan which was to be paid after a grace period of five years. He said two accounts were opened at City Bank in New York, and there were two signatories, namely Captain Edward Singhateh as he then was and Captain Ebou Jallow.
According to him, Captain Singhateh withdrew his signature while Captain Jallow maintained, however, he said the bank received $30,000,000 and in addition, Captain Ebou Jallow and Captain Singhateh deposited $2,000,000 and an additional sum of $220,000.
He added that the late Baba Jobe introduced to them a businessman who imported rice into the country in order for him to be paid and the bank disbursed his payments through a foreign account. He said bags of rice were distributed to the AFPRC militants who were supposed to deposit proceeds amounting to D200, 000,000 but this was never received.
Mr. Cham informed the commission that then governor of the Bank, Nfamara Jatta, himself and the attorney general travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to recover the $3,000,000 that was transferred by Captain Ebou Jallow.
He stated that it is from the proceeds of the loan ($35,000,000), the Daily Observer was purchased from Keneth Betts to the tune of $268,000; adding that Arch 22 was also built from the same funds to the tune of $1,000,000 and as well as the Airport. He said Baba Jobe went with invoices on instructions from the former president whom he said was used by the former president.
Mr. Cham further revealed that the governor of the bank allowed for an overdraft on the account by the office of the former president and there was a letter from the former president indicating that they were expecting $30,000,000 from Colonel Ghadafi necessitating, the former Finance Minister, Nfamara Jatta, Dodou Bambi Jagne, Alieu Ngom and Baba Jobe were sent to Libiya to finalised the receive of the $30,000,000 but it never came.
The witness disclosed that the overdraft on the account was $28,500,000 and the former governor owned up their liabilities. He said in early February, 2003, the government made an arrangement to settle their liabilities at the bank.
Mr. Cham revealed that CBG paid over $10,000,000 to Muhammed Bazzi for the refurbishment and expansion of transmission within the Greater Banjul area, while another payment of $1,500,000 was paid to Sight Gambia Investments signed by Baba Jobe.
On the 19th December, 2001, the sum of $75,000 was paid to Baba Jobe while on the 2nd November, 2001, there was a telegraphic $500,000 to Genus Import and Export Services and on the same date T.K. Motors was paid $600,000.
He stated that on 24th of August, 2001, the sum of $800,000 was paid to EAW Group on instructions of the former president, noting that $2,000,000 was paid to West Coast Property Holdings and signed by Baba Jobe on the instructions of the former President. Mr. Jobe received two personal cheques of the former president from the Republic of China amounting to $2,000,000.