By Mamadou Dem
The outgoing Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and National Mobiliser of the Opposition APRC Party Yankuba Colley, yesterday intimated that he could not present some documents before the Commission because they were consumed by fire at the APRC Bureau in Kanifing South.
Mayor Colley made this disclosure during his testimony before the ‘Janneh’ Commission.
Mr. Colley was summoned in relation to payments from the Mobilization Account. According to Colley, he served as Mayor for ten years and was a Councillor from 2002-2005; that the Council has been dissolved.
At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that there were cheques for D602, 000, D230, 000, D150,000 and D5,000 respectively, paid to him from the said account. He confirmed that he received these payments.
According to him, he retired the sum of D385, 000 to Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie. “If you do not retire monies, you will not get another impress,” he told the Commission; that he did not have any documents because they were consumed by fire at the APRC Bureau in Kanafing.
He however produced documents showing that he had retired some monies which were subsequently tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Mr. Colley confirmed that a sum of money was paid to him for the KMC mobilization team while he was the chairman; that he was in charge of mobilization for the welcoming and farewell for the then Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, in November 2013.
Responding further, he said the mobilization team were a group of women politicians and the money paid to him was meant for them. Counsel Bensouda put it to him that he submitted some documents without supporting receipts. She therefore told him that it was in his own interest to provide receipts for the retirement of those funds given to him.
Mrs. Oumie Samba-Savage, the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, testified that at the time the transaction of $28,000,000 loan was effected, she was the Principal Accountant and it happened 17 years ago; that she dealt with several accounts at the bank. However, she said she could not say anything regarding the 3M account unless she saw some documents but was quick to acknowledge that substantial amounts were paid to Baba Jobe from this account.
The former banker testified that Mr. Abdoulie Cham was her boss and she took over from him when he left; that there was no formal handing over, as there was chaos at the bank, because the top brass got their services terminated; that when reports were submitted to IMF, they intimated to the bank that there was misreporting amounting to $28,000,000 which was a concern to them all.
According to her, the misreporting triggered a re-auditing to be done by a South African Audit Firm which she was part of; that she could not remember whether the $28,000,000 was recovered or not; that IMF requested for the money to be refunded.
When asked by Counsel the source of funds refunded to IMF, she said she did not know. It was further put to her by Counsel that the sum of $500,000 and $600,000 were transferred by her. In response, she revealed to the commission that the $500,000 was a payment in respect of Jamus Import and Export Services as indicated in a telex message; that the mode of operation was such that directives will come from the MD to the Financial Controller and finally to her desk and she would do the transaction; that the $28,000,000 was not included in the report submitted to IMF and the bank gets loans from them. She said she did not know whether the said amount was a debit transaction, neither does she know why the money was excluded from their report to IMF.
The former Deputy Governor informed Commissioners that she did not play any role in the exclusion of the said money, further stating that it was the Research Department that was responsible for preparing reports.
However, when it was put to her by Commissioner Bai Mass Saine that the non-inclusion of the said amount in their report undermined her integrity as then head of finance, she responded that it undermined not only her integrity but that of the entire bank; that it tarnished the reputation of the bank.
It was further put to her by Counsel Bensouda that the former Financial Controller at the bank, Mr. Abdoulie Cham, told the Commission that a sum of $28,000,000 was outstanding when she took over his post.
Mrs Savage responded that she could not recollect neither could she remember how the misreporting was resolved and after looking at the certificate of incumbency shown to her by Counsel, she maintained that she could not remember the said outstanding loan.
She finally testified that the re-audit by a South African Firm was not finalised.
Next to testify was Mr. Nuha Touray, former Secretary to Cabinet who was summoned in connection with GAMTEL and the Republic of China on Taiwan loans and grants respectively.
On GAMTEL, he said the former president instructed him to write to Muhammed Bazzi who represented TELL interest in The Gambia; that after writing to him, funds were deposited into the account to which he and Momodou Sabally were signatories.
Minutes of the meeting and letters written by the witness to the former president and Bazzi, were admitted in evidence. Mr. Touray however disclosed that the contract was awarded to MGI by the former Government for GAMTEL International Gateway; that the management of GAMTEL was reluctant for the Gateway remittances to be taken from them by the office of the former president; that they wrote to the former president to that effect.
According to him, the appeal from the management of GAMTEL to rescind the decision for remittances from the Gateway to be handled by the office of the former president, was not considered.
On fuel Exclusivity licence granted to EURO AFRICA GROUP by the former government, he said he saw correspondences regarding this issue but does not know why it was granted to them; that he knows T.K Exports and that they were responsible for the provision of gold coins for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the July 22nd for high profile dignitaries.
He confirmed that the gold coins were received but could not recall who actually received them on behalf of the former president; that he did not know what became of the gold coins.
Hearing continues on Monday 15th January, 2018.