By Mamadou Dem
Ayodele Bolaji, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, yesterday continued to testify before the ‘Janneh’ Commission, on the various accounts opened by JFP, PEGEP and Kanilai Family Farms respectively. According to him, the signatories to the President’s Empowerment for Girls Education Project (PEGEP) were Alieu Njie, Dominic Jammeh and Ramou Cole-Ceesay and the first transaction on the dalasi account was done on the 28th of July 2002, while the last transaction was done on the 12th of September 2017. He said the last debit transaction before the account was frozen, was on the 26th May 2017. Mr. Bolaji testified that there was an inflow of D166, 666.60, further stating that there was a balance of D797, 211.41. On the dollar account, he revealed that on the 8th April 2010, the first payment was made into the account with a cheque from the Taiwanese Embassy, in relation to this payment; that there was a balance of $293.19; that the last transaction was made on the 3rd June 2014. At that juncture, account opening information, statements of accounts and other related documents from these accounts were tendered and admitted as exhibits. However, Mr. Bolaji reiterated that the correct figure for the balance on JFP current account was D2, 848.37 instead of D332, 274.78.
On the APRC Fund Raising Committee Account, he said this was opened on the 9th February 2004 and the signatories were Abdou Badjie, Fatou Mbaye and Abdoulie John; that there was another fund raising account linked to the first one with the same signatories, noting that out of the three APRC accounts, one was an investment account; that the balance on the first dalasi account was D112, 282.38 while the last transaction was done on the 2nd of May 2017, but was frozen. He said the account was funded through donations. Mr. Bolaji further testified that on the 9th September 2015, there was a transfer of D255,000 while the sum of D150,000 was paid for the APRC gala dinner; that on the other dalasi account, there was no payment from the former government. According to him, the APRC Youth Account was opened on the 21st September 2016 and the signatories were Mayor Yankuba Colley, Babucarr Sowe, Abdou Badjie and Pa Sulay Faye; that the first transaction on this account was done on the 22nd September 2017 and there was a balance of D1, 968.31; that the funds were from donations.
On the July 22nd Anniversary Marathon Account, he stated that the signatories were General Yankuba Drammeh, Lamin Jassey, Mamud Jawla and General Musa Savage; that there was a withdrawal of D20,000 by General Musa Savage which was also a donation from government. He said the balance on this account was D957, 385.93.
Mr. Bolaji further indicated that the Kanilai Family Farm Ram Sale Account was opened on the 18th of September 2015 and the signatories were Isatou Auba and Yam Bamba Njie-Keita who were removed and replaced by General Sulayman Badjie and Mamburay Njie, on the 21st October 2015;
that the last transaction was done on the 25th November 2016, to the tune of D15, 833.38 while the balance was D2, 552,536.87 before it was frozen. Mr. Bolaji further testified that there was a conversion of D100,000.00 into dollars and the total deposit was D8,564,570.26; that on 16th October 217, Isatou Auba withdrew D2,000,000 which was signed by herself and Yam Bamba Njie-Keita.
The GT Bank boss further revealed that another account called Kanilai Investment was opened on 6th August 2009, with a dalasi account and Pa Ousman Bojang was the signatory. He told the commission that the first transaction on this account was done on the 29th December 2011; that there was a withdrawal of D450, 000 while the last transaction was done on the 26th May 2017 with a dividend payment of D1, 742,541.97 leaving a balance of D1, 756,216.16. The senior banker informed the commission that the first transaction on the dollar account was $42,000, which was done on the 6th of August 2009, from Green Impact; that the last transaction on the account was $2,069,646.72 on the 21 July, 2016. Documents relating to the accounts were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Commissioner Saine, at that juncture, put it to the witness that the bank accepted a high ranking Military Officer to be a signatory to a corporate account without having a role in the company, and then asked whether this was normal. In response, he said at times this was acceptable.
Meanwhile, the ‘Janneh’ Commission embarks on yet another site visit today, as part of its mandate to investigate the former president’s financial dealings.