Former President’s office was operating 22 accounts, says Central Bank official

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Karamo Jawara, principal banking officer at the Central Bank, yesterday made some startling revelations before the commission of inquiry looking into the assets and financial transactions of former president Yahya Jammeh.

He informed the commission that the office of the former president operated 22 bank accounts which include the following: International Gateway, Special Project Vision 2016, National Youth Development Fund, State Aircraft Special Account, Green Industries and Development, Fish Handling Account, Office of the First Lady (dalasi and dollar accounts), Mop Petroleum, Sabc Engagement, and Special Security accounts.

Mr Jawara said that while the office of the former president operated 22 accounts, they had presented before the commission the most active of all the accounts.

He stated that the International Gateway account was operated by the office of the former president at the Central Bank and its number 1103001840, adding that it was opened on 26 September 2013, upon the request of the office of the former president.

He posited that the first transaction was on 8 October 2013 with a withdrawal of $310,000, adding that Nuha Touray, Momodou Sabally, Kalilu Bayo, Abdoulie Sallah, Isatou Auba and Sulayman Samba served as signatories to the account.

Documents showing opening of the account and signatories were tendered and admitted.

He said the last transaction was made on 4 July 2014, adding that proceeds were connected to the International Gateway.

Mr Jawara adduced that the total deposits into the account was $5,421,732.98, adding that $5,421,410.61 was withdrawn and there was a balance of $292.

He posited that $310,000 was the first withdrawal and signed by Momodou Sabally, adding that it was received by Mumammedu Batata Juwara and no purpose was stated.

He said $300,109.73 was withdrawn on 30 September 2013, and was received by Batata Juwara, adding that $305,621.80 was paid to a governor on 21 March 2014, and signed by the former president and Momodou Sabally.

Mr Jawara stated that $54,671.45 was withdrawn on 16 April 2014, and signed by the former president and Momodou Sabally, adding that $1,000,000 was paid by Momodou Sabally and received by Sanna Jarju.

He adduced that $85,880.08 was paid to Competent Company on 13 May 2014, and signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray, adding that $35,332.61 was paid to FIB Bank in 14 March 2014, and Sindola Safari Lodge was the beneficiary, and no purpose was stated.

A sum of $95,000 was paid to African Union Broadcasting in Senegal on 14 May 2014, and was signed by Abdoulie Sallah, adding that $750,000 was paid on 21 May 2014, and was signed by Momodou Sabally and received by Buba I. Demba on behalf of Momodou Sabally.

Mr Jawara said that on 21 May 2014, $100,000 was withdrawn and received by Makamba S. K. Bah on behalf of Momodou Sabally and signed by Nuha Touray and Momodou Sabally, adding that $70,000 was paid to Makamba S.K. Bah on 21 April 2014 on behalf of Momodou Sabally and instruction to be furnished later.

He posited that on 29 May 2014, $248,942 was withdrawn and signed by Nuha Touray and Momodou Sabally, and paid to TK Motors Ltd.

Mr Jawara adduced that $250,000 was also withdrawn and signed by Momodou Sabally and was received by Sanna Jarju on behalf of Momodou Sabally,

He added that $44,633.40 was a reversal and $97,209 was withdrawn and sent to the Gambian Embassy in America for tuition fees and maintenance on 10 June 2014, and was signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray.

He posited that $9,943 was paid for tuition fee for Ya Conteh on 10 June 2014 and was signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray, adding that $873,362.45 was received on behalf of Momodou Sabally by Makamba S.K. Bah on 17 June 2014, and signed by Momodou Sabally.

Mr Jawara was asked why an apex bank like the Central Bank gave out the money to Momodou Sabally, who said he would send an authority for the withdrawal.

In response, he said it was approved by the governor of the bank.

Mr Jawara further testified that on 24 June 2014, $44,633.40 was withdrawn and signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray, and no purpose was stated, and that the money was sent to America.

He stated that $100,000 was received by Nuha Touray and paid to Momodou Sabally on 26 June 2014, and was signed by Nuha Touray and Momodou Sabally, adding that $43,117.98 was paid to the UTG on 2 July 2014, for tuition fees and was signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray.

He said that $132,669.24 was paid for copies of the New Magazine featuring report on The Gambia on 3 July 2014, and was signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray, adding that on 4 July 2014, $120,000 was paid to Arts Contemporary in Morocco for VIP carpet for the office of the former president, and was signed by Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray.

Mr Jawara further testified that out of a total deposit of $5,421,732.98, $292 was the balance.

Author: Dawda Faye