I could not have said no because of circumstances, Amadou Samba Testifies

Friday, March 23, 2018

Amadou Samba yesterday told the Janneh Commission that he could not have said no when the former president asked him to sign a contract for the construction of a recording studio and a conference centre at Kanilai.

Mr. Samba began his testimony by reminding the commissioners that the former president on numerous occasions would ask him for quotation which he had been doing for him on many occasions and that was what happened in the case of the construction of the recording studio and the conference centre that was built at Kanilai.

He recalled that during the said works at Kanilai, he invited the officials of Swami India Construction Company in his office for the contracts which were executed.

Mr. Samba testified he had no vested interest in the affairs of Kanilai Family Farm (KFF), despite he had signed numerous agreements on behalf of the company but he knew the consequences if he refused to sign .

“Being a lawyer, I knew that there was no implication for not signing. I don’t even know the managers or the general manager of Kanilai Family Farm. If there is any liability, KFF will be responsible for it and not me,” Mr. Samba told the commission.

Though he confirmed his involvement in the construction of four houses for the president in his village who asked him to find workers for him but he would not know the cost of the houses, since there was no formal contract.

Mr. Samba accused Jammeh of using his company, Gacem, and its resources to build the said four houses, claiming that some of his materials are still at Kanilai for 20 years and he dared not to ask Jammeh about them.

He testified that the fish pond and the three storey buildings were built by CSE but did not know who built the military school.

Mr. Samba further recalled that Jammeh would some time ask him to do some work for him.

Next to testify was the former secretary general, Sulayman Samba, who was also summoned in connection to the International Telecommunication gateway.

In his evidence, Mr. Samba told the commission that he is a retired public servant from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in 1996, adding that he was also once a permanent secretary as well as secretary general after then SG Lamin Nyabally’s appointment was terminated from 2015 to 2016.

However, Counsel Amie Bensouda asked him whether he was aware of the Special Project account opened by the former president for proceeds to be deposited in the said account from payments made by MGI, which had an agreement with the former government. In response, he said he was not aware, noting that he was not also aware of the Gamcel Billing System which MGI financed.

Counsel Bensouda reminded him that there were Carnegie and Sand Mining accounts to which he was a signatory, and asked why he was a signatory to the said accounts.

In reply, he said that was a cultural organisation he found at the office of the former president.

Asked whether it was proper for the former president to misappropriate funds that should have been in the consolidated revenue fund, and he stated that it was not proper under normal circumstances.

Counsel Bensouda further asked him why the former president was using public funds without the participation of the accountant general and the Ministry of Finance. He replied that the question should go to the former president.

He was again asked by commissioner Bai Mass Saine whether he had the latitude to tell the former president that something was wrong, and in response, he stated that there were some failures.

Author: Dawda Faye