Janneh Commission summons KMC CEO

Friday, December 22, 2017

Mr. Pa Kalifa Sanyang, chief executive officer (CEO), Kanifing Municipal Council, yesterday testified before the Janneh Commission in connection to the acquisition of Mahindra tractors supplied by Kanilai Group International to the council.

Mr. Sanyang informed the commission that he served as CEO for three years but prior to that, he was the Public Relation Officer from 6 of May, 2002, until March 24th, 2009, and had served the council for 16 years.

He said he was aware that tractors were supplied to them based on purchase order, further stating that he had a copy of the order for the purchase of the tractors. He, however, testified that the supply of tractors by KGI was subjected to bids and KGI happened to be the winners.

Mr. Sanyang disclosed that there was a letter dated 12 January, 2008, instructing Guaranty Trust Bank to debit the sum of over D9, 000,000; adding that he had a statement from the bank showing the debit from KMC account which he said did not reflect anything order than the purchase of dollars from the bank.

When asked by Counsel Bensouda, he responded that he did not have documents to show that they had paid KGI for the purchase of the tractors and he did not either have documents as to what KGI did with the money. However, he said he had formally requested from the bank to avail him with some financial transactions between KGI and KMC, but the bank had asked for some time to furnish him with the documents required.

The former mouthpiece of the council indicated that he was not aware of any other transaction between KGI and KMC other than the sale of the tractors and the tractors were used for house to house refuse collection, but at the moment, they are obsolete.

At this juncture, the bank statement and documents relating to the sale of the tractors were admitted as exhibits.

Next to testify was Malick Njock -Jagne, Aviation Safety inspector, who deputised the director general of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) whom he said has travelled to France.

Giving a brief background at his work place, he said he served the institution for 21 years and the reason for his appearance on behalf of the DG was because of the subject matter before the commission.

He was reminded about the state aircrafts and he said that the Challenger 601 was under maintenance in Germany and by the time they started the process, there was a change of government.

He testified that they waited for the new government to take a decision and the aircraft was parked at the commercial area of the German Airport. He highlighted that cost was to be paid for the station of the aircraft and when the government assumed office, GCAA were invited and they made some recommendations to the government for the disposal of the aircrafts.

Mr. Jagne further stated that a taskforce committee was set up and they had a meeting with the Ministry of Works, noting that the aircrafts had not been valued and there was no evaluation report either, because it had to be paid, and according to him, evaluating them would add more cost and would not give assurance that once you value, you would get the particular price yearned for.

He disclosed that for the evaluation to be done online, they needed to pay $5000 for each aircraft, however, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that it was exorbitant to pay $5,000 for the assessment of the aircrafts.

He told the commission that the state of the aircrafts was that you may get one or two offers, and you choose one. He admitted that the loss had already been done.

On whether they requested or allocated a budget from Cabinet in order to enable them do the evaluation for the disbursement of the aircrafts, he replied that it was not to his knowledge that Cabinet was advised to provide them with money for the assessment of the aircrafts.

Counsel Bensouda further put to him that the right procedure and the right personnel were supposed to be involved, as required by law for the evaluation and disbursement of public assets. Commissioner Saine also added that it was paramount for evaluation to be done on the aircrafts, as this would safeguard the integrity and credibility of GCAA.

Documents such as Draft Non-Exclusive Aircrafts Agreement and related documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Ms. Loubna Farage, company secretary for Petroleum Storage Facility, testified that she was the solicitor of the company prior to her appointment as secretary in 2009. She said it was correct that she was summoned to produce minutes of meetings of the company, as well as board and sub-committee meetings which were admitted in a bundle as exhibits, ranging from 2008-2017.  

The commission will resume on the 8 January, 2018.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Pa Kalifa Sanyang