Ex-president’s accountant submits documents to Janneh Commission

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mrs. Adama Njie, former accountant at the office of the former president, yesterday submitted relevant documents to the Janneh Commission in relation to payments she made for per diems and air tickets.

According to her the payments she made were from 2011-2016 respectively from the Special Security Account at the Central Bank. She said in 2013 she made a payment of D69,639,778, further stating that in 2014 she made a payment of D81,413, 827.39 and in 2015 she made a disbursement of D28,186,270.80.

She further revealed that in 2016 she made another payment of D63, 897,285.90; adding that permanent secretary No.1 dealt with travelings with her immediate boss. She said PS1 used to give her invoices from the travel agencies for her to effect payments.

Documents relating to payments from 2011 to 2016 were tendered and admitted as exhibits. Mrs. Njie further adduced that some of the payments were made to the former president as per diem, ex-first lady and former vice president. She said the per diem per day for the former president was £350.00 while the former vice president and first lady received £300,00 each per day.

Responding from commissioners, she said she was instructed to make payments from the Special Security Account, further noting that she was never audited from 2011 to 2016 but currently, auditing is being carried out.

Next person to testify was Sheriff Sawneh, the proprietor of Competence Company Ltd. who was asked to furnish the commission with certain documents that were outstanding such as list of contracts, tax clearance from Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and registrations with Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA).

Mr. Sawneh disclosed that he paid tax from 2012 to 2016 and there was a tax credit in favour of his company for over D3, 000,000. Documents provided by the witness relating to his company were also tendered and admitted as exhibits.

 Mr. Yusupha Dibba, former permanent secretary, Ministry of Defence who was summoned in connection with the building of boats contracted to one Alhaji Jass Sam testified that the former president created a fishing unit in the navy and never consulted him. He added that the acquisition of boards was the former president’s show and he could not tell the former president and they did not have the discretion to tell whom he should give the boats.

Earlier Mr. Dibba testified that he retired in 2011 and was on contract till 2016.

Mr. Ousman Jatta alias ‘Rambo’ reappeared and informed the commission that he received three boats from General Barjie and three from Commodore Madani Senghore. He said some of the boats were leaking and were not catching fish. However, Counsel Bensouda puts to him that under the laws of the Gambia, income generation enterprises are expected to pay taxes and also register as well but Jatta said he did not pay taxes neither did he registered with the fisheries department.

Mr. Jatta disclosed that he did not have an account of the fishing boats at the bank, however, he had accounts in different exercise books and on the 20th of January, 2017, his driver absconded with his double cabin pickup where he had some of the receipts and log book; adding that even under the former regime, he was expecting to account for the expenses of the boats.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: The Janneh Commission Members