Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lawyers Argue Over Admissibility Of Company Documents

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By Mamadou Dem

Barristers for both Amadou Samba and Momodou Lamin Sonko, Sheriff Tambadou and Combeh Gaye, yesterday argued on the admissibility of Millennium Africo Water and Electricity Power Company documents, which were sought for tender in Court, by the defense.

The argument arose when Counsel for Mr. Samba, Sheriff Tambadou, applied to tender the Memorandum and Article of Association as well as Business Registration Certificate of the Company, as exhibits.

At this juncture, attorney for Mr. Sonko, Combeh Gaye, objected to the admissibility of the documents on grounds that it was not in line with the subject matter her client was summoned for.

It would be recalled that Mr. Sonko, the Country Coordinator of MA Kharafi and Sons, earlier appeared before the Commission and gave evidence on the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel which he claimed  Amadou Samba, a Gambian business tycoon was involved in.

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When Sonko appeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission yesterday, he was cross-examined by Samba’s attorney, Tambadou.

Mr. Sonko in his evidence before the Commission indicated that Amadou Samba and his sister Marie, were initially involved in the sale of the hotel and explained the various roles played by Mr. Samba and his sister, who is also his lawyer.

Under cross-examination, Sonko confirmed that he was called by MA Kharafi who was in Cairo, Egypt at the time of the sale of the hotel to the former President.

According to him, there was no formal receipt given to him after the payment of $10,000,000 which he said, was paid at the Standard Chartered Bank after an agreement was reached.

Sonko further explained that there was a document which contained the name of Edward A Gomez but that it was never stated that the document was prepared by him; that rather, it was prepared by Marie Samba; that he could not remember whether he incorporated any business name called “Millennium” in the name of his business, when asked by Counsel Tambadou.

However, Counsel asked him about the shareholders of Millennium Africo Water and Electricity Power Company Ltd. And after a careful perusal of a document given to him, he responded that the shareholders were himself and Kanilai Family Farms.

Mr. Samba’s attorney at that point, applied to tender the Memorandum and Article of Association as well as Business Registration Certificate of the Company as exhibits.

Counsel for Mr. Sonko, Combeh Gaye quickly interjected and objected to the admissibility of the said document on grounds that it was irrelevant to the subject matter before the Commission, which his client was summoned to dwell on.

The document notwithstanding was admitted in evidence as exhibit after the Commission Chairman Sourahata Janneh, weighed its admissibility.

Mr. Sonko, who is also the proprietor of Boto Construction, refuted that the said documents do not mean that he was engaged in business with the former president; that rather the former president verbally offered him 20% shares after he introduced a Company to him in which he had vested interest.

He insisted that Mr. Samba did sign a document during the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel on behalf of the former president but that he does not have the documents which Mr. Samba appended his signature on; that the documents which Mr. Samba signed was rejected and he could not produce it.

The KPMG report on the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel was requested by Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda who urged the witness to liaise with MA Kharafi, to make it available to the Commission.

Hearing continues today.

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