Wednesday, July 17, 2019

AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: Present, Former GPA MDs Reappear


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By Mamadou Dem

Messers Abdoulie Tambadou, corrent Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority and Momodou Lamin Gibba, a former Managing Director, yesterday reappeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission in connection to GPA investment on Gam Petroleum.

Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, reminded Tambedou that in an earlier testimony, he told the Commission that the statement of affairs of Gam Petroleum, was prepared by PKF. In response, he said after going through their records at GPA, he realized that the statement of affairs was prepared by DT Associates and not PKF; that DT Associates did not sign the statement of affairs, noting that this was the issue of €33,000,000 and €35,000,000 respectively; that a memo dated July 2008 to the former Managing Director, indicated the difference between the said sums.

On the statement of affairs report, Tambadou disclosed that it was only signed by Muhammed Bazzi but there was no signature by Amadou Samba, where the €35,000,000 was mentioned in the report.

Making reference to the minutes of meetings, Tambedou explained that it was highlighted in the Annual General Meeting that DT Associates had served as auditors of the company, Gam Petroleum, since inception.

Next to testify was Momodou Lamin Gibba who stated that when instructions were given to them to buy 10% shares, there was no due diligence; that it was imposed on them by the office of the former president to buy the shares.

According to him, there was a lot of problems with the then management and a monopoly in the service, noting that the sales at Gam Petroleum was incurring losses; that his relationship with some of the employees of Gam Petroleum, was not cordial.

He told the Commission that he wrote to the office of the former president to check the whole management, and the office of the former president agreed with them to have some people to represent GPA; that they made an arrangement to work with Gam Petroleum, and sent two representatives but they were not allowed to be at the meeting.

“We wrote to the office of the former president but my letter was not acknowledge. Instead my service was terminated,” he disclosed.

Gibba told the Commission that he did not know what happened after his termination.

At this juncture, he was shown a copy of his statement that was submitted to the Commission, which he confirmed. The bundle of documents including the minutes of the AGM and the witness’ statements, were admitted as exhibits.

On the returns on the investment, Tambedou said in 2014, they received 2.5-3%. He however said it was not a better return but a strategic asset.

Aji Penda Sankareh, a Certified Chattered Accountant at DT Associates, told the Commission that they checked their records but no one at their office could say as to whether Gam Petroleum was audited by them, neither was there any record indicating such audit was done by DT Associates.

She said during their exercise, they were told that they prepared the statement of affairs, but they checked their records and could not find any; that had it been the audit exercise was carried out by DT Associates, then there would have been a letter of engagement from Gam Petroleum; that there would have also been an opinion in the report.

Malick Njie, who was representing Swing Associates, was summoned in connection to Gam Petroleum Storage Facility. Malick said he was called by the late Cherno Jallow of DT Associates regarding the assignment on Gam Petroleum.

At this juncture, he dwelled on the evaluation of Gam Petroleum. Documents relating to the evaluation and the witness’ statements, were admitted as exhibits.

Sitting continues today.

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