Njogu Bah recalled at commission

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Njogu Bah, the former secretary general, was yesterday recalled at the Commission of Inquiry that looks into the assets and financial transactions of the former President Yahya Jammeh.

He was reminded that there was a document indicating that he requested for the rehabilitation of the prisons to the tune of D10, 000,000.

Mr Bah said he told the commission earlier that he was not aware of the rehabilitation of the prisons.

Mr Bah, who was shown a cheque from the GNPC, confirmed that he had signed it, noting that the D10, 000,000 was meant for the rehabilitation of the prisons.

He stated that there was a directive from the Office of the former President, adding that he could not remember what had happened with the cheque.

The said cheque was tendered and admitted as evidence.

It was put to him that various funds were taken when he was the secretary general, and was shown a document he signed, requesting $1,000,000 and $500,000, which were given to him. He said there was another $500,000 given to the Office of the former President.

Mr Bah posited that he received the $500,000, meant for the Ghanaian government, further noting that he was not too sure about its purpose but he could remember that some Ghanaians died in the country.

He said that one Basila Niase, who was the guest of the former President, had received the money.

He adduced that he did not know what had happened, but said it was the former President who authorised for the payment to be effected to the lady for the families of some Ghanaians, who lost their lives in the country.

A letter indicating the directives for the Ghanaian lady to receive the money was also tendered and admitted as evidence.

When asked whether the second payment of $500,000 to Japan was cancelled, he replied in the affirmative, adding that he did not have any other dealing with Basila Niase.  He, however, noted that she was dealing with the former President.

Mr Bah testified that the loan from SSHFC was intended to be paid and could remember that SSHFC was under the purview of the Office of the former President.

When shown a document for SSHFC to finance Tobaski rams to be purchased, he confirmed writing it, adding that there was a directive from the Office of the former President. He further stated that the former President told him that the loan would be paid to SSHFC.

Mr Bah testified that it did not sound proper at the time the money was borrowed, adding that they helped civil servants to purchase rams during the Tobaski.

While noting that he received verbal instructions from the former President, Mr. Bah said, he was not sure whether the loan was eventually paid to SSHFC.

At this point, it was put to him that the funds were meant for the pensioners, and the loan was not paid.

On why he was involved in a transaction he said wasn’t proper, he replied that the former President told him that he was helping people to buy rams.

He was again asked whether he made a follow-up for the payment of the loan, but Bah just said ‘he felt sorry for SSHFC.’

He testified further that the former President was made to understand that SSHFC had money, and that they could lend out money which would be later paid.

Mr Bah revealed that he could not say why the former President had the perception that monies from the National Provident Fund could be spent like that.

A letter, dated 28 August 2012, written to SSHFC for the purchase of an aircraft to the tune of D148, 500,000 was shown to him.

Mr Bah, who confirmed that he wrote the letter, said that there was a Russian type aircraft to be purchased by the Office of the former President.

He said it was the former President who needed the money, and had the impression that he could go back to SSHFC to get a loan.

It was put to him that there was an agreement between the government and SSHFC, but the minister was not involved in the transaction.

Mr Bah stated that he knew that there was an instruction from the Office of the former President to purchase the aircraft.

He confirmed that the loan was not paid to SSHFC.

He was reminded that he requested for a loan of €200,000, on behalf of GRTS, but he said he could not remember the GRTS delegates. But he said the director general of GRTS was present at the time, as well as the former President.

Mr Bah further testified that he could not remember whether the loan was paid, nor could he recall whether he made a follow-up for the loan to be paid by GRTS.

He said GRTS was under the Office of the former President.

He adduced that it was news to him that GRTS said they did not ask for the loan.

He said GRTS asked for the loan and signed for it.

He was reminded that 15% of $3.6 million was a loan for the purchase of vehicles.

He stated that the loan was meant for ambulances for Banjul International Airport and fire attendants, which he said were purchased as well.

Mr Bah posited that the former President promised to pay the loan.

A document was shown to him for the purchase of tractors, and was signed by the then secretary general.

He confirmed that he was the secretary general when the tractors were acquired.

He stated that funds were supposed to come for Vision 2016 project to be used on agricultural equipment, adding that he was present when the farming equipment arrived in the country.

He said some of them were assembled and taken to the Office of the former President.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Njogu Bah at the Commission of Inquiry