By Yankuba Jallow
The Executive Director and Head of Corporate Banking at GT Bank, Isatou Jawara, has testified before the Janneh Commission of Enquiry, set up by government to probe into the financial dealings and assets of the former president, Yaya Jammeh and his associates, on Monday 4th September 2017, at the Djembe Hotel.
In her testimony, Ms. Jawara said the Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC), has both dollar and dalasi accounts with the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB); that they are five accounts and were opened on different dates and time. In her evidence in chief, Ms. Jawara said the first account was opened on September 2009; the second on 19th March 2009; the third on 5th January 2010; the fourth on 26th May 2014 and the fifth was opened on 11th September 2015. She held that Momodou O.S. Badjie, the former Managing Director of GNPC opened the accounts and was a signatory to all of them. She said the signatories include Ebrima O. Camara, Permanent Secretary, Fafa Sanyang, Commissioner of Petroleum and Teneng M. Jaiteh, the Secretary General; that this was at the time of their appointment to the above named positions.
Ms. Jawara said Ebrima O. Camara, Fafa Sanyang and Teneng Jaiteh on July 8th 2017, ceased to be signatories and Madung Sanyang, the Finance Manager was added as a signatory on September 7th 2016.
In addition, she said the former president Yahya Jammeh and the former Secretary General and Head of Civil service, Momodou Sabally, Alfred George Belford, Baboucar Njie, Lamin Manneh and Abdoulie T.B. Jarra, were all added as signatories to the accounts on different dates and times. She said the signatories are different from the two dollar accounts and that the first dollar account was opened on March 3rd 2009.
“At the time President Jammeh and S.G. Sabally were made signatories to the dollar accounts, there was 1,241,513.38 US Dollars, as balance in the accounts,” she said.
She said when the two took over, 2,266,266.29 dollars was added to the account; that the current balance of the account is 81,112.19 dollars. She said Abdoulie Momodou Sallah, Kalilu Bayo, Sulayman Samba and Adama Ngom Njie, were all added to the list of signatories on different dates and were all later deleted.
In her narration about the transactions, she said on 28thSeptember 2013, there was a debit transaction of 76,379.54 dollars from the GNPC account, paid to the GICEC account, through a letter signed by Momodou Sallah and the former President; that there was a transaction of 884,000 dollars equivalent to 650,000 euros, transferred to the UN budget services signed by Yahya Jammeh and Momodou Sabally. She reiterated that there was CFA 79,687,693.00 debit transaction paid to the COSETAM account, equivalent to a tune of 151,261.47 dollars, signed by Momodou Sallah and Yahya Jammeh. She reiterated that the Bank transferred 66,064.97 dollars to GICEC account and later 21,338.30 dollars was paid to the same account on the February 26, 2014 whilst 92, 282.78 dollars was debited to the account on April 27, 2014 by the former president and Momodou Sabally. She said 28,810 dollars was paid to PIAM, who she said, were beneficiaries and it was signed by Momodou O.S. Badjie.
Further, she said an amount of 100,000 dollars was paid to the Jammeh Foundation for Peace on 8th April 2014, from the account to Trust Bank Gambia Limited, signed by ex-President Yahya Jammeh and Momodou Sabally. She said an amount of 182,982.24 dollars and 288, 982.23 dollars, was paid to M.A. Kharafi’s account, in its equivalent in dalasi.
She said 129,337.00 dollars was paid to GICEC account on 23rdJuly 2014 at GTB and also a sum of 141,789.31 dollars was paid on July 3rd 2014, into the same account. She said 129,375.00 dollars was paid to T.K. Exports in the United Arab Emirates in Dubai and the transaction was authorised by Dr. Kalilou Bayo and the former President, Yahya Jammeh.
“The bank paid 1,014,169.68 dollars into the GICEC account signed by the former President and Kalilou Bayo,” she said.
She said the Bank paid stipend to individuals abroad such as Musa Trawally, Basir Sarr, Lamin K. Sanyang and many others. She added that Musa received 7750 pound starlings signed by Lamin Nyabally; Basir received 2,450 dollars and Musa Trawally received 6350 dollars among the many amounts paid for stipend.
“Former President Jammeh was not a signatory to the second dollar account,” she said.
All the transaction documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits by the Commission.