Wednesday, May 27, 2020

AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: Counsel Bensouda Continues Her Address

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By Kebba Secka

The ‘Janneh’ Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, on Thursday November 29th 2018, continues her address at the ‘Janneh’ Commission of Inquiry, set up by the president to probe into the financial dealings and properties of the former president and his close associates.

Counsel Bensouda submitted that Muhammed Bassi and the shareholders of EuroAfrica Group Ltd., were all close associates of former president Jammeh. She cited various evidence and testimonies of witnesses which she said, clearly proves they were close associates of former President Jammeh; that the testimony of the former Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Abdou Colley, indicate: “EuroAfrica Group was not fulfilling its financial obligations and requirements.” She said the illegal activities of EuroAfrica Group Ltd., started way back in 2002, which she said was also part of Balla Jarssey’s testimony; that Ahmad Bazzi, brother to Muhammed Bazzi, testified that all the invoices were made in the name of EuroAfrica Group Ltd.

Counsel Bensouda further submitted that Gobal Trading Company Ltd., registered in The Gambia in 2015, made millions at the expense of tax payers. She submitted: “The incomes and value added taxes, are sources of evidence before this Commission.” She further submitted that the interference from the executive of the former regime, has adversely affected the operational efficiency of Gamtel. “The interference from Statehouse by the former regime, has jeopardize the efficient operation of Gamtel,” she said; that an account was created for the Telecommunications Company in which the Secretary General at the time Momodou Sabally, was among the signatories; that before payments could be effected, 50% of the revenue gained from the Company was diverted to Gamtel. Bensouda continued to explain to Commissioners that the former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service Momodou Sabally, in his testimony before the Commission said he was fired shortly after he made enquiries about the creation of an account by MGI; that the incomes generated by the Company was tampered with by the former president and his close associates. “As we know, the former president eventually terminated the contract. Why? Because of another Ccompany called MGI. This Company was negotiated at Kanilai, residence of the former president, in the presence of Sulaiman Badjie, Babucarr Sanneh, former manager of GAMTEL Balla Jarsey and others.

Commission Counsel Bensouda further submitted that the MOU between Gamtel and MGI, was signed by Babucarr Sanneh on behalf of the Government of the Gambia. “Evidence is before the Commission that the Company generated $140m with 70, 000, 000 Dalasi as profit. Bensouda further told the Commission that staff of Gamtel were all denied access to the Gateway accounts.

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She reminded Commissioners that part of their mandate is to investigate the procurement activities of the former president, citing various procurement Sections of the Constitution. She said TK Motors took part in the supply of goods for the former president.

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