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Former GPA MD Tambedou opens defence

Jan 7, 2014, 10:19 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Abdoulie Tambedou, former Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), yesterday opened his defence in the false information trial involving him, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before senior Magistrate Lamin Mbai.

In his defence, Tambedou told the court that he resides in Sanchaba Sulay Jobe in the Kanifing Municipality, and that he is a chartered accountant by profession.

He said he started working at the Gambia Ports Authority in July 1989 up to 2012, adding that he was appointed as an accountant clerk after he completed his ACCA course.

“I passed it with flying colours in 1993, and I returned home in 1994. I was appointed as senior financial manager,” said Mr Tambedou.

He said when the results were out, he was appointed as financial accountant and from there, finance manager.

Tambedou added that he was further sent to the United Kingdom to do his Masters in business administration, which he said he again passed with flying colours.

“I was appointed as financial director in 2004 to 2011, then I was appointed as managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority,” he said.

He further told the court that he served the GPA for 23 years, with hard work and dedication until the day he received his dismissal letter from the authority.

Asked by his counsel whether he was aware that he stands charged with four counts of  giving false information to a public servant, Tambedou told the court that he was aware of this, and vehemently denied.

Asked again by his counsel what one Lamin Sanyang used to tell him, Tambedou told the court that Lamin Sanyang used to tell him that he was not fit to be the Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority, and it was just because he was recommended by Momodou Lamin Gibba to be appointed as the managing director of the GPA.

He said the information contained in his petition was all true, and nothing but the truth.

“I went extra miles to discuss with the former Secretary General, Njogu Lamin Bah, who was at that time his boss, as the GPA was under the Office of the President instead of Ministry of Works,” Tambedou stated.

He added that when he discussed with the Secretary General about the issue, he advised him to put the complaint in writing, which he did and highlighted the agenda he wanted to discuss with him regarding the general welfare of the GPA.

“The issue I discussed with the secretary general was not only the issue of Lamin Sanyang and other staff members’ problems, but also the continuing congestion of port premises was part of the discussion,” he added.

At that juncture, defence counsel L.S. Camara applied to tender the minutes of Tambedou’s discussion with the secretary general, and it was admitted in evidence and marked as an exhibit.

Tambedou said the reason of discussion with the secretary general at that time was for GPA to maintain high profitability, as well as anything that would stop him from managing the port properly.

At that time, two things were at issue, the continuing congestion of the port and having problems with members of staff of the port, which prompted him to discuss the issue with the secretary general.

He told the court that all the information contained in his petition was the truth, and that he still stands by it.

He said he appeared before two investigation panels, and that he had never written any letter to them; adding that he had never told the panel that Lamin Sanyang attempted to knock him down with his car.

The case was adjourned till 13th January 2014, for cross-examination.