Geology director given sufficient drill at commission

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Abdoulie M. Cham, director at the Geology Department, was yesterday thoroughly questioned at the commission looking into the assets and financial transactions of former President Yahya Jammeh.

In his testimony, he said he lives in Brikama.

He said there were outstanding royalties unpaid by Apam, adding that surface rental, training and institutional fees totaling D4, 341,235 for the period 2013 to 2017 was not paid by Apam.

Mr Cham posited that licence fee of D20, 000 and HMC mining licence which amounted to $200,000 was not also paid, adding that a surface rental fee of $37,700 and HMC shipment to the tune of $169,290 and D364, 650 surface rental was not paid by Apam.

He said the total to be paid was D8, 120,885 equivalent to $460,990.

He adduced that Gamico had paid royalties to the tune of D137, 407,338.48 from 2009 to 2014 and this was from their account at the Central Bank.

Mr Cham said that from 2009 to 2014 Gamico was selling sand, adding that his office could not get the full cooperation of Gamico, and that Gamico was using trucks but he did not know the owner of the trucks.

He adduced that they were able to capture, monitor and supervise the activities of Gamico, adding that he was later removed from his post and that he was present when the directive was issued to terminate the licence of Gamico.

He posited that he advised that due process should be followed, adding that he was later reinstated and dismissed in 2012.

He testified that he understood that there was instruction to terminate or stop Gamico from shipping minerals and Toni Ghattas was totally in charge of Gamico.

Mr Cham stated that they received directive from the office of the former president in August 2014, requesting a change of management of Gamico, and on 15 September 2014, another directive came stating that Gamico management had been changed.

He adduced that they were asked to implement the directive, adding that General Saul Badjie was with them on the mining site, and they were asked to surrender documents relating to Gamico activities.

He posited that they were told that 50% of Muhammed Basir’s share should go to Apam, adding that the business registration certificate of Gamico was already revoked.

Mr Cham stated that they assumed that the remaining 50% share must have gone to the government, adding that he also assumed that part of Gamico was owned by the government, although there was no document to that effect.

He testified that they maintained the staff of Gamico because Apam thought that maintaining Gamico staff was a waste, adding that Apam brought in their own staff.

Mr Cham said that Sambuya Access Group expected to plough back to the community as their corporate social responsibility, adding that his department gave the company a contract, which was tendered.

At this juncture, documents showing outstanding fees by Gamico, royalty payment by Apam and other relating documents were admitted.

He was asked whether they had discovered sand being mined by the former president or Apam in URR.

He stated that they investigated but did not discover anything, adding that there was no report to his department as to the mining in URR.

He posited that he could not confirm whether there were precious minerals in URR.

Mr Doya, the MD of Skye Bank, was recalled to bring some transaction documents which were the debit transaction on 20 September 2012, in relation to GNPC account.

He told the commission that on 14 August 2013, there was an instruction for the withdrawal of $2,000,000 signed by the former president and Momodou Sabally, adding that Momodou Sabally withdrew $650,000 and $150,000.

He posited that $650,000 was received by Madun Sanyang and signed by Nuha Touray, adding that Momodou Sabally withdrew $32,000,000 and again Momodou Sabally and the former president signed for the transfer of $224,900 to the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

Mr Doyo stated that Kalilu Bayo and former president signed for the withdrawal of $195,348.84 to be sent to the office of the former president, adding that $200,000 was withdrawn on 15 December 2014, and signed by the former president and Kalilu Bayo to be given to Sanna Jarju.

A sum of $125,715.33 was sent to GIA and it was signed by the former president and Lamin Nyabally.

Author: Dawda Faye