Former ambassador appears before commission

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Kebba Touray, former Gambian ambassador to Morocco, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission.

He told the commission that he is coordinating a Dutch company called Amberwood for three months, adding he was a civil servant.

The lead counsel told him that the commission was interested in the period he served as an ambassador in Spain.

He was made to understand that he was summoned regarding payments for the purchase of two ferries under the directive of the Office of the former President.

It was put to him that he signed the account in connection to the joint venture between the former government and Galia Holdings Ltd.

Mr Touray stated that he was informed about the joint venture when he travelled with some delegates to Greece, and that payment should be made to a Greek account.

He said he and Momodou Sabally were responsible for the disbursement of the funds.

At this juncture, he was shown a joint venture agreement to confirm whether he endorsed his signature, and he responded in the positive.

He further testified that he was part of the team that went to the place where the ferries were to be purchased, adding that Pa Harry Jammeh and other officials from GPA were part of the delegation.

Mr Touray adduced that the account was opened in Greece with 45% domiciled and payments were to be made to the sellers.

He posited that after this was done, the ferries were delivered, and that the account was closed, adding further that it was a project account.

He said forms were filled and signed for the operation of the account.

He disclosed that there was an agreement that the ferries should go under maintenance, and that they would be sent to The Gambia, adding that advice would come from the Greek bank to made payments.

Mr Touray stated that records could be found at GPA, SSHFC and the Ministry of Finance concerning the ferries.

He said he was made to understand that the ferries were not operational, further noting that inspection of the ferries was made but could not tell the suitability of the ferries to operate in Gambian waters.

Momodou Sabally, who was recalled, also testified.

He was told that he was recalled regarding the acquisition of the two ferries from Greece.

Mr Sabally then said that there was a letter from the Office of the former President instructing SSHFC to pay for the purchase of the ferries.

At this juncture, the letter was shown to him to confirm whether he signed it, and he said he signed it.

Mr Sabally posited that in 2011, he was instructed by his boss to travel to Greece to identify the ferries.

He said he came back, and that he was asked to be a signatory in the acquisition of the ferries.

He testified that the account was meant for the purchase of the ferries, further noting that they were working on the instruction from the Office of the former President, and that they sought clearance from the Office of the former President whether they could sign for payment.

He adduced that he could not remember opening the account, and could not either remember whether the account was opened.

He stated that Galia Holdings Ltd had a percentage to take care and the former government also had its percentage.

The managing director at GPA, Abdoulie Tambedou, was also recalled in relation to Galia Holdings Ltd joint venture with the former government.

He disclosed that his involvement started when he was the director of finance at the GPA.

Mr Tambedou adduced that he was invited by a taskforce, and was shown a directive that GPA and other companies should involve in the acquisition of the ferries.

He testified that GPA paid €1,170,000 as their first contribution, adding that the team that went to Greece informed him that they identified the ferries and required them to pay the balance, further stating that they sought from the Office of the former President before they made any payment.

Mr Tambedou narrated that the account details were contained in a memo brought by Kebba Touray and Momodou Sabally, adding that he did not see any statement as to how the account was operated.

He stated that he felt that Kebba Touray and Momodou Sabally would have managed the account.

He said he never saw receipts from the sellers for the purchase of the ferries.

Mr Tambedou testified further that he wrote to the Office of the former President that the purchase of the ferries should be substantiated.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Kebba Touray