Ex-President Jammeh’s practice was entrenched, Kalilu Bayo tells the commission

Thursday, November 09, 2017

With revelations from the former secretary general, Kalilu Bayo, the Janneh Commission was yesterday made to understand that former President Yahya Jammeh’s practice was entrenched as he reappeared before the commission.

Mr. Bayo was shown a document to go through, which he did.

He was then reminded that the document was in relation to a payment of €65,000 to BPI Tourism and Services from GNPC account at Skye Bank.

At this juncture, the said document was tendered and admitted.

He was again shown documents showing the purchase of gold coins on behalf of the former president, but he said he could not remember them.

Mr. Bayo stated that payment for the gold coins was made from the GNPC dollar account at GTBank.

The counsel revealed that the gold coins were meant for the 22nd July celebration, but he said he did not know why the gold coins were ordered, and he could not tell the commission whether the gold coins had arrived.

He adduced that if travel allowances were made for the former president, it should come from the national budget.

He was asked whether it was normal for the former president to be a signatory to a corporate account, and he said that the former president should not be a signatory to any account.

Mr. Bayo narrated that it was difficult to advice the former president to do the right thing, adding that one could fell the former president’s temper.

He testified that threats came from culture of command and control.

It was put to him that since this was the case, he never walked away but stayed.

In response, he said he was removed.

The next witness was the Managing Director at GTBank, Mr. Ayodele Bolaji.

He was told that he was recalled in relation to Gamveg Oil Company.

He then told the commission that Amadou Samba, Muhammed Bazzi and Fadi Mazegi are the current signatories to the account of the company, adding that Mr. Bazzi was the managing director.

At this juncture, an account opening information, dalasi, dollar and euro accounts, and bank statements of the company were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

It was put to him that in 2011, the former president attempted to purchase Gamveg Oil Company to the tune of $700,000 from Central Bank account.

In reply, he posited that Gamveg Oil Company was owing $3,000,000 to GTBank and this was why the bank was not involved in the sale of the company.

Mr. Bolaji stated that KGI asked for a loan of $2,000,000 and there was a letter to this effect, and signed by Ousman Bojang.

He further testified that another loan of $2,000,000 was given to SSHFC from the bank.

Cherno Marena, the solicitor general, also testified in relation to Galia  Holding Ltd. and The Gambia Food and Feed Industry.

He said it was the subject of arbitration between Gonaco and the Gambia government.

He adduced that the former government was supposed to supply heavy oil to Gonaco but failed.

He said Gonaco then sued the former government and claimed $32,000,000.

He stated that the former government went for a settlement with Gonaco, and the former government decided to compensate Gonaco the sum of $4,600,000.

Mr. Marena disclosed that there were negotiations for the settlement on 6 May 2011, adding further that when settlement was reached, the secretary general was informed.

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

He said that the agreement was that the former government would be the sole owner of GFFI, adding that the settlement sum should be from the central government fund.

He also stated that there was another arbitration between Galia Holdings and the former government, adding that the subject of the arbitration was about two ferries which were purchased but were not operational.

Mr. Marena posited that Galia Holdings Ltd. claimed the sum they had invested and also claimed losses, adding that the arbitration was challenged by the former government and it is still on.

He said that hearing has not started and the current cabinet has been informed.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Former SG Kalilu Bayo