‘I never wanted to be a secretary general’Njogu Bah tells commission

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Njogu Bah, the former secretary general and head of Civil Servants, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that he had never wanted to be a secretary general.

He said that he wanted to remain as secretary to cabinet, adding that it was difficult to work with the former president.

He stated that he was secretary general to serve the interest of the people, but unfortunately he could not because of the threats and bad treatment by the former president.

Mr. Bah posited that they worked long hours, and “you could not see your family.”

He said he advised the former president, and because of this, he was imprisoned.

He adduced that they were accused of signing directives but Gambians never came out to challenge the former president.

Earlier, he dwelled on Conaco’s arbitration and joint venture with the former government.

He was given a document relating to the sale agreement between Conaco and the former government, concerning some fuel.

Mr. Bah stated that delegates from the company came to see the former president, further noting that after the meeting with the former president, he was called in.

He said they told him that the delegates were engaged in sand mining.

He testified that documents were given to him to sign, adding that there was another meeting with the Ministry of Finance and GNPC.

He said that Momodou Lamin Badjie and Mamburay Njie were present at the meeting.

Mr. Bah disclosed that an agreement was sent to the solicitor general for advice, further stating that they decided not to go for a higher price of fuel than what was available.

He testified that the investors told them to prove that they would stay in The Gambia, they would engage in agriculture.

Mr. Bah told the commission that the former president was also interested in feed mill, adding that then they signed the contract.

He adduced that when the government side was honoured, they paid, further saying that the investors were not willing to pay their dues.

He posited that there was a threat from the former president, and the investors left the country.

Mr. Bah disclosed that Ansumana Jammeh convinced the investors to come back, and that when things could not be solved amicably, they sued the former government.

He testified that the pricing of fuel was not available at Euro Africa, adding that the pricing became an issue when there was a comparison.

He said that a contract was signed, and that it was Pa Harry Jammeh who advised them that they could sign the contract.

Mr. Bah narrated that an account was opened for payment, adding that there was a business plan as to who should pay and how much each should pay.

He said that there was no evidence to show that the investors had paid, but the former president told them that the investors were going to bring money to the country, and that the investors represented the interest of the former president.

He adduced that there was technical advice.

Concerning the two ferries, namely Kansala and Aljamdu, he said there was a group of investors from Greece and were introduced to the former president and had a meeting with him.

He disclosed that the reason of the meeting was that the investors had vast experience in shipping and they were interested in the ferry services.

Mr. Bah testified that there were problems because the ferries were failing, further noting that the investors said they wanted to make a phase lift on the ferries, and also wanted to make them profitable.

He adduced that the former president was interested and though that this would solve the ferry problem, adding that the investors were asked to meet GPA officials, who were later asked to travel to Greece to see what the investors were doing.

Mr. Bah stated that there was a delegation that went to Greece to meet the investors, further noting that it was his office that determined the composition of the delegation.

Mr. Bah posited that they went to Greece but he was not part of the people who signed the contract.

He disclosed that the meeting in Greece was to ascertain the suitability of the vessels and their operations.

He revealed that upon their return to the country, a report was prepared and the former president asked them to go ahead with the investors.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Njogu Bah