By: Kebba AF Touray
The Janneh Commission has ordered Mr. Amadou Samba to pay the sum of US$134,000(approximately D6, 566,000) for the acquisition of the Daily Observer Newspaper.
This is among seven penalties imposed on Mr. Samba, for his involvement in financial transactions, while handling Director portfolios in Gamveg Oil Company, EAGL and Gam Petroleum.
The seven fines levied on Mr. Samba, as indicated by the Janneh Commission are, 134,000 for the acquisition of Daily Observer Newspaper, US$350,000 for the sale of Gamveg Oil Company to KGI illegally paid from the Central Bank of The Gambia, D4,689.48 being his part in the arrears of rent for sheds owned by Gam Petroleum.
The fines also include D7,680,696 being his part for the conversion by Gam Petroleum of the Barajally Ferry, D588,963 compensation for the people of Mandinari, Euro 84,00 being Capital Gains Tax on the sale of his shares in Gam Petroleum to the SOEs and EUR240,000 being overpayment for Gam Petroleum shares sold to the SOEs.
The commission found that among others Mr. Samba was involved in business dealings with the former regime under Jammeh, such as being the Chairman of the Board of Kairaba Beach Hotel before and after it was seized by Jammeh from Baba Jobe. Samba is also alleged to have been involved in the operation of Sindola and was a signatory to the accounts.
The commission also found that in view of Samba’s role in the acquisition of the Observer Newspaper, Mr. Samba and former President Jammeh are jointly and severally liable for the restitution of the sum of US$268,000, being money allegedly stolen by former president Jammeh from the Central Bank of The Gambia, which was used to purchase the observer Newspaper.
The commission however blamed state institutions for their failure to effectively carry out their constitutional and statutory responsibilities, to safeguard against abuses, which Mr. Samba took advantage of.
“This opportunism by Mr. Samba must not, however be equated with civil or criminal liability on his part. The state must take full responsibility for this institutional failure”, says the Commission.