Saturday, December 4, 2021

At The ‘Janneh’ Commission: Amadou Samba Reappears


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By Mamadou Dem

Amadou Samba, businessman, yesterday reappeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission to give testimony on the construction of Kanilai Recording Studio, Conference Centre and dormitories, due to the ‘instrumental’ role he played in their construction.

During his testimony, Mr.  Samba reminded Commissioners that the former president on numerous occasions, asked him for quotation which he has been doing for him; that this was what happened in the case of the construction of the recording studio and conference centre that were built in Kanilai.

According to Samba, during the said works in Kanilai, he invited officials of Swami India Construction Company in his office for the contracts; that he has no vested interest in the affairs of Kanilai Family Farm despite signing numerous agreement on behalf of the Company; that he knew the consequences if he refused to sign the agreements on their behalf; that as a lawyer by profession, he knew that there was no implication for not signing and reiterated that he has no vested interest in the affairs of KFF, and does not even know the managers or the general manager of the Company; that if there is any liability, KFF will be responsible for it and not him.

He however confirmed his involvement in the construction of four houses for the president in Kanilai; that the former president asked him to find workers for him but he would not know the cost of the houses since there was no formal contract.

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Samba accused former president Jammeh of using his Company, Gacem, and it resources, to build the said four houses and revealed that some of his materials are still in Kanilai for the past 20 years; that he dared not ask the former president about them.

Samba testified that the fish pond and the three storey buildings were built by CSE but did not know who build the military school; that the former president used to sometimes asked him to do some work for him

Next to appear before the Commission was former Secretary General Sulayman Samba, who was also summoned in connection with the International Telecommunications Gateway project.

In his testimony, Sulayman told Commissioners that he retired from public service from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in 1996; that he was one time a permanent secretary as well as Secretary General (SG) after former SG Nyabally’s appointment was terminated.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked if he was aware of the Special Project Account opened by the former president for proceeds to be deposited into the said account from payments made by MGI. Sulayman responded that he was not aware, adding that he was not also aware of the Gamcel Billing system which MGI financed. Counsel Bensouda reminded him that there were Carnegie and Sand mining accounts to which he was a signatory and asked him why he was a signatory to the said accounts. In reply, Sulayman responded that this was the culture of the organization he found at the office of the former president.

When further asked whether it was proper for the former president to misappropriate consolidated revenues, Sulayman responded in the negative.

Counsel Bensouda further asked him why the former president was using public funds without the participation of the Accountant General and the Ministry of Finance. Sulayman responded that the question should go to the former president for answers.

At this juncture, Commissioner Bai Mass Saine interjected and asked whether he had the latitude to tell the former president that something was wrong, and in response, Sulayman Samba stated that there were failures.

Sitting continues on Monday.

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