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Ex-PS Sallah ‘served me memo to stop attending bi-weekly meetings’ – witness

Oct 23, 2015, 10:33 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Roheyatou Kah, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum, has said the former permanent secretary of the same ministry, Muntaga Sallah, sent her a memo to stop attending the senior management meetings, when he (Sallah) was in office.

DPS Kah was testifying before principal Momodou Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, where Mr Sallah is being tried for “stealing office computers”.

She said some time last year, she was part of the senior management meeting where the issue of the work stations was discussed.  At that meeting, Mr Sallah proposed the purchase of work stations, but some members of the management team did not consent to the issue.

Ms Kah said she asked for someone to brief her about what or where the said work stations would be used, and the accused person himself volunteered to brief her.

She further testified that it was at the meeting that a debate arose between Mr Sallah, the commissioner of petroleum and the managing director of Gambia National Petroleum Company, as whether the work stations were needed to be purchased at that time or not.

“Initially, I did not know what the work stations were for, and my intervention came when the amount was above a million dalasi; because in that case, if we were to procure the said work stations, we should go by the GPPA Procurement Act,” she told the court.

DPS Kah further explained that she was part of the meeting only to witness and listen to what they were saying, before Mr Sallah sent her a memo to stop attending the meetings.

She also told the court that at the end of the said meeting, Sallah stepped on the procurement of the work stations and further stated that he would take it up with Camac Energy Gambia Limited at the next bi-weekly meeting.

“I did not attend the next bi-weekly meeting and all other subsequent meetings during Mr Sallah’s term in office as PS, because he served me with a memo shortly after the meeting that I should stop attending the bi-weekly meetings, and after that I did not know what happened next.”

Former PS Sallah is accused of instructing, without approval from the Minister of Petroleum at the time, the purchase of three HP computers to the tune of $25,400.45.

The alleged incident happened in November 2014 when he was the PS at the Ministry of Petroleum.

He is said to have later stole the computers, and took them to his home in Senegambia.

Sallah is also accused of abusing his functions as PS when he instructed the purchase without approval from the Minister of Petroleum at the time.

He denied any wrongdoing.