GPA MD testifies before commission

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Abdoulie Tambedou, the managing director of Gambia Ports Authority, yesterday testified before the Commission of Inquiry that looks into the assets and financial transactions of former President Yahya Jammeh.

Introducing himself to the Commission, Tambedou said, he is managing director of GPA, and that he was also an accounts clerk and director of finance.

He stated that he was confirming the debts owed to the GPA by Youth Development Enterprise (YDE).

Mr Tambedou adduced that they had been involving the YDE until the government took a legal action against YDE, adding that he could not produce the letters written to YDE, because they were submitted at the High Court, as there was a criminal case against YDE.

He stated that the amount YDE owed to the GPA was over D16, 000,000, further positing that there were directives from the Office of the former President for the Barra-Jally ferry to be used by Gam-petroleum to transport materials at the tune of D16, 500,000.

Tambedou, who disclosed that they had finally given out the ferry to Gam-petroleum, posited that GPA wrote to Gam-petroleum for compensation, but the ferry was never returned.

At this point, letters written by the former MD and Muhammed Bazi were tendered and admitted as evidences.

Mr Tamdedou said that the former MD did not pursue the debt; neither did he also pursue it, because the former MD did not hand it over to him.

He also stated that there was another directive from the Office of the former President to give Gam-petroleum their tanks.

He adduced that Gam-petroleum had abandoned the tanks and they did not pay rent, further noting that negotiation was led by Amadou Samba.

Mr Tambedou posited that Euro Africa owed GPA D18,000,000 for a land and that Gamtech leased agreement was signed by Amadou Samba, adding that the company was producing groundnut oil.

He testified that Gamtech did not respond to their letters for payment, and that GPA wrote to the Attorney General for legal action.

He posited that GPA had a letter from the Ministry of Lands to give out their land to Shyben Madi, further stating that GPA had received another letter for extension of the period.

He adduced that they had another claim for Kanilai Family Farm to pay rent, which they failed to do so, further noting that their share is being used by Shyben Madi.

He said they also had a claim against Euro Africa for one of their shares which was handed over to the company.

Mr Tambedou stated that when Euro Africa requested for their share, GPA did not agree, further noting that a directive then came from the Office of the former President for GPA to hand over their share to Euro Africa, and they had their share back.

Mr Tambedou adduced that the GPA also claimed D10, 420,103.21 against Euro Africa, adding that they wrote several letters to the company to recover the sum.

He posited that GPA had claimed for the sum of D25, 840 for ferrying former president’s animals from Banjul to Barra, further noting that the total sum owed to the GPA by the former president was D383, 365.

Earlier, Yankuba Colley, who is a soldier in the military for 15 years, testified that he was the orderly of General Saul Badjie, and was working at Saul Badjie’s office.

He said he had been an orderly for Saul Badjie for 8 months, further noting that prior to being an orderly to Saul Badjie, he was servicing at the Military Intelligence.

Mr Colley stated that his duty was to keep the office of Saul Badjie clean and to keep files in order, adding that Saul Badjie had sent him to the Central Bank to collect money.

At this juncture, he was given a document from the Office of the former President to confirm whether the signature on it was his, to which he responded in the positive.

He told the Commission that it was Saul Badjie who gave him the document to sign and also took his ID card and attached it to the document.

He said he knows Nuha William Jammeh who works with them, further positing that he does not know what Nuha William Jammeh took to Saul Badjie, because he was always at the gate.

Mr Colley testified that he sometimes helped Nuha William Jammeh to take suitcase to Saul Badjie, adding that whenever he received money from the Central Bank he would hand it over to Saul Badjie.

Ousainou Corr, who said he is now unemployed, told the Commission that he was the director of finance at the Central Bank for 9 years and he worked at the bank for 26 years.

He stated that his role was to ensure that entries and supporting documents were always collected, and that they had an operating manual as their guideline.

He adduced that some receipts were taken to the State Guards, adding that the transactions were done out of working hours, but he could not remember the exact time.

Mr Corr adduced that this was a practice at the bank, further noting that when cheques arrived after working hours from the Office of the former President they used to process them, and when the governor of the bank authorised their payment, that’s when they are paid.

He said he would sign the accounts to authenticate the payment, adding that he used to receive authority before effecting the payments.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Managing Director of Gambia Ports Authority Abdoulie Tambedou