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Former Agric PS recalled at fertilizer commission

Nov 21, 2011, 12:59 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Abdourahaman Jobe, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, was Friday recalled at the fertilizer commission sitting at the High Court premises in Banjul to shed light on some issues.

Jobe told the commission that he could recall some of the people who were involved in the 2009 fertilizer procurement.

He added that Momodou Ceesay, the supplier of the fertilizer, did go to Bakary Trawally’s office, the former PS No.1  at the Ministry of Agriculture and often stayed there for long, making it difficult for people to have access to Trawally.

He said he was sidelined in the fertilizer issue, and a procurement officer was posted at the Ministry of Agriculture in 2010.

Jobe further told the commission that he knew Mbye Jabang, the project manager of the Farm Management project, adding that PS No.2 is under PS No.1 and, therefore, he could not go against him.

Next to testify was Elizabeth Jobe, accountant at the Ministry of Agriculture, who told the commission that her responsibilities included drawing out cheques, preparing vouchers and other assignments from the PS.

She explained that the two cheque books which she had at her disposal had two signatories to the account, but added that she did not know the current signatory to the account.

Ms Jobe also said that she did not have any file for the account.

The witness insisted that she did not do anything in connection with this fertilizer, other than issuing cheques, adding that she could not tell who instructed her to issue a cheque for the amount of two million, three hundred and ten thousand dalasis.

Also testifying was Alhagie Omar Taal, former Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS) at the Ministry of Agriculture, who told the commission that he was responsible for administration and finance at the Ministry of Agriculture.

He added that the ministry was under pressure, and the PS was trying to restructure the ministry revealing that, in 2009, the budget of the ministry was between D29, 000,000 and D30, 000,000.

Taal told the commission that he was not aware of the fertilizer procurement, and that his predecessor did not hand over any fertilizer documents to him.

He said that he could remember that, when he was overseeing the ministry, Mbye Jabang then came and extracted a letter from a bag on his table, and that the letter was from the Office of the President.

Sitting of the commission continues.