No due diligence in buying Gam Petroleum shares

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ex-GPA MD Tells Janneh Commission


Momodou Lamin Gibba, former managing director of Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), yesterday disclosed before the Janneh Commission that there was no due diligence in buying 10% shares on Gam Petroleum.

He was testifying side-by-side with Mr. Abdoulie Tambedou, GPA managing director, in connection to GPA’s investment on Gam Petroleum.

Mrs. Bensouda reminded Mr. Tambedou that he earlier testified that the statement of affairs of Gam Petroleum was prepared by PKF. In response, he said after going through their records at GPA, he realised that the statement of affairs was prepared by DT Associates and not PKF.

He further testified that DT Associates did not sign the statement of affairs, noting that this was the issue of €33,000,000 and €35,000,000 respectively; adding that a memo dated July 2008 to the former managing director indicated the difference between the said sums.

On the statement of affairs report, he disclosed that it was only signed by Muhammed Bazzi but there was no signature by Amadou Samba where the €35,000,000 was mentioned in the report.

Making reference to minutes of meetings, Mr. Tambedou explained that it was highlighted in the Annual General Meeting that DT Associates had served as auditors of the company (Gam Petroleum) since inception.

Momodou Lamin Gibba stated that when instructions were given to them to buy 10% shares, there was no due diligence, stating that it was imposed on them by the office of the former president to buy the shares.

According to him, there was a lot of problems with the management and that there was a monopoly in the service, noting that the sales at Gam Petroleum was incurring losses. He added that his relationship with some of the employees of Gam Petroleum was not cordial.

He told the commission that he wrote to the office of the former president to check the whole management, and the office of the former president agreed with them to have some people to represent GPA, noting that they made an arrangement to work with Gam Petroleum, and they sent two representatives but they were not allowed to be at the meeting. “We wrote to the office of the former president but it did not acknowledge my letter, instead my service was terminated,” he revealed.

Mr. Gibba told the commission that he did not know what happened after his termination.

At this juncture, he was shown a copy of his statement submitted to the commission, which he confirmed. Bundle of documents including the minutes of the AGM meeting and the witness’ statement were admitted as exhibits.

On the returns of the investment, Mr. Tambedou said in 2014, they received 2.5-3%. However, he said it was not a better return but it was a strategic asset.

Aji Penda Sankareh, a certified chattered accountant at DT Associates, told the commission that they checked their records but no one at their office could tell as to whether Gam Petroleum was audited by them, neither was there any record indicating such audit by DT Associates.

She said during their exercise, they were told that they prepared the statement of affairs, but they checked their records and could not find any; adding that had it been the audit exercise was carried out by DT Associates, then there would have been a letter of engagement from Gam Petroleum, that there would have also been an opinion in the report. 

Malick Njie, who was representing Swing Associates, was summoned in connection to Gam Petroleum Storage Facility. He said he was called by the late Cherno Jallow of DT Associates regarding the assignment on Gam Petroleum.

At this juncture, he dwelled on the evaluation of Gam Petroleum. Documents relating to the evaluation and the witness’ statement were admitted as exhibits.

The commission resumes today. 

Author: Dawda Faye