By Mamadou Dem
Officials from the Department of Lands and Survey, as well as police investigators attached to the Janneh Commission, yesterday outlined some properties belonging to General Sulayman Badjie who is regarded by the Commission as a close associate of the former president.
Detective Sub-Inspector Lamin Sanneh of the Fraud Squad Unit, Gambia Police Force (GFP), Surveyor Bunja Janneh and Director of Lands and Survey, Kebba Ceesay, testified simultaneously in relation to General Saul Badjie’s properties.
Sub-Inspector Sanneh testified that during the course of investigations, they discovered eight properties belonging to Saul Badjie. However, he said investigations are still on-going. He said the first property was found at Bijilo and one Aisha Fatty is taking care of it.
According to him, the property is measuring 699 square metres which was confirmed by the Surveyor, Mr. Bunja Janneh. He added that the land is not a layout. The Director of Lands and Survey, Mr. Ceesay, also added his voice and stated that the land is customary. Sub-Inspector Sanneh told the commission that they were able to interrogate and obtained a statement from Aisha Fatty.
On the second property, Mr. Ceesay revealed that there is a storey building and the property measures 35×25 square metres and is part of government layout, noting that it was an open space. He said that he came across an inventory with Saul Badjie’s name; adding that the property is situated at the Brufut Heights Annex. Mr. Ceesay testified that he thought that the Brufut Heights Annex was allocated during Aki Bayo’s time as a Minister for Local Government and Lands.
It was further stated that the 3rd and 4th properties are situated at Sinchu Alagie and that the 4th one is under the protection of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU).
On the 5th property, Mr. Ceesay adduced that it is located at Old Yundum and it has a mass structure with 3000 square metres, noting that it is occupied by two people with their brothers.
He further told the Commission that Saul Badgie also has two plots at Sukuta, adding that Saul Badjie’s mother and his brother occupied the first plot, while the second property at the same place measures 20×40 square metres and it has poultry area. He also said that it is also a customary land which is leased.
He revealed that the 8th property is located at Salaji layout and it is empty; adding that it was allocated to General Badjie by the former government.
Commission Chairman, Sourahata Janneh, told the Director of Lands to provide the Mbarala file since it was conflicting with the testimonies regarding the ownership of the property. He observed that on this property, it bears the name of KFF.
Mrs. Bensouda told the commission that documents provided in connection to the eight properties discovered that they belong to General Saul Badjie. She then applied to tender them in evidence as exhibits.
However, Chairman Janneh told her that Aisha Fatty is a potential witness and for that reason, a subpoena was issued for her to appear before the Commission. He said based on that ground, the file for the property at Bijilo would not be admitted unless she appears before the Commission.
Documents indicating properties owned by Saul Badjie were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Earlier, Mr. Lamin Touray, Registrar of Companies, reappeared in connection to properties belonging to the former president and his wife respectively.
He was supposed to submit the rest of the files of the said properties as requested by the Commission. However, he told the Commission that they continued to search and discovered that Jammeh Foundation for Peace (JFP) was not registered.
According to him, Kanilai Family Farm (KFF) Abattoir was not also registered but Kanilai Institute for Science and Technology was registered while Excel Construction file was found but he could not trace the rest of the files.
The registrar of companies further testified that Operation Save the Children Foundation which was operated by the former First Lady was also registered. At this juncture, a copy of Kanilai Group International, certificates of incorporation for Excel Construction and KFF as well as certificates of business registration were tendered and admitted in evidence.
He told the Commission that they would continue to search for the rest of the files, despite the challenges.
At this juncture, Commission Chairman, Sourahata Janneh, announced that the Commission would resume on 23 October, 2018 for continuation.