By Yankuba Jallow

Lawyer Malick Mba’i, the attorney for the proprietor of Mobicel, Bala Jassey, yesterday faulted the ‘Janneh’ Commission whilst addressing them for issuing an interim order on his client, without evidence to justify it.

“The evidence before this Commission does not justify the interim order on Mr. Jassey,” he stated.

He said his client found himself to be a victim of character assassination.

“There is not a clear and unequivocal evidence before this Commission, that shows Bala Jassey as a close associate of former president Yahya Jammeh. The evidence adduced by the witnesses, do not in any way prove anything that Mr. Jassey is a close associate of Jammeh,” he said.

He cited the provision of Section 24 of the 1997 Constitution of the Gambia that any adjudicating authority established by Law for the determination of right or obligation, shall be independent and impartial.

He argued that the Commission without any probable evidence before it, issued an interim order on Mr. Jassey and referred to him as a close associate of Jammeh.

He said an associate according to the Oxford Dictionary, is a person who you work or do business with.

“There is no evidence before this Commission that shows Mr. Jassey has worked or engaged in any business with Yahya Jammeh,” he said; that Mr. Jassey like any other Gambian has the right to be awarded contracts; that Mobicel and Multimedia Companies were not responsible for the management of the International Gateway in The Gambia.

“The witnesses who testified before this Commission that Mobicel and Multimedia Companies were managing the Gateway, have not proved to the Commission with any documentary or any other relevant evidence of their testimonies, but instead they were speculating,” he said.

He said the two Companies were only providing technical support and were not responsible for the management of the Gateway; that at the time the contract was awarded to Mobicel and Multimedia, Gamtel lacked staff competence to carry out the services.

Lawyer Mba’i adduced that Jassey raised 3.6 million dollars for Jammeh, for the purchase of a Caterpillar for the Vision 2016 project; that this came through a presidential directive and was conveyed to Jassey by Jammeh’s Chief Protocol, Sanna Jarju. Lawyer Mba’i said Jassey raised the money under duress, because no person dared challenge a presidential directive by then.

On the donation given to the Zainab Jammeh’s Foundation, Lawyer Mba’i said the donation was made on humanitarian grounds but that this does not mean he is a close associate of Jammeh.

“There is no conclusive evidence before this Commission that proves that Jassey was a close associate of Jammeh. I am urging the Commission to look into the issues I raised,” he concluded.

The Chairman of the Commission Surahata Janneh, told Lawyer Mba’i that the Commission will look into the issue and communicate to him when the time is due.

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