By Kebba Mamburay
Kebba Ceesay, the Director at the Department of Physical Planning reappeared at the ‘Janneh’ Commission. Ceesay was required by the Commission to produce a file on Gam-Petroleum’s storage facility at Mandinary, under with lease number K351. Ceesay said the lease was issued by Manlafi Jarju, former Minister of Lands; that the land was applied for by Gam-Petroleum and signed by Amadou Samba; that this was in November 17th 2004. According to Ceesay, the land size is 9.04 hecters.
Fa Ceesay, who succeeded Alh. Langkoie Ceesay as Alkalo of Mandinary, also appeared. Ceesay said the foundation of the storage facility was laid by the former president; that the former president had the intension of making the place a flour processing factory where raw materials will be imported from outside the country to make bread and other pastry needs of the country; that one Idrissa Jobe met the village committee and told them that he was sent by the then government as a consultant; that Jobe claimed to be a senior officer at a Company; that the storage facility at his sales Company was limited and the demand for their products was higher than the amount available and they needed a better place to remedy the issue of fuel shortage in the country.
Ceesay said Jobe made a survey and pointed to two places; that one was in Bonto and the other in Mandinary; but that he preferred to choose Mandinary because it is not far from the Banjul. Ceeasy said during the survey, Jobe and his colleagues who came with him, came across fields which he (Jobe) said, must belong to the people of the village that he met the elders of Mandinary for them to give the rice fields to the then government; that after some meetings were held, the villagers claimed that they cannot give out their rice fields to the then government because they will not have anywhere to farm afterwards; that this prompted a stern warning from the former president, who warned him to be careful; that during the political impasse, he allege that he was arrested and seriously beaten by loyalist of the former president.
Ceesay said after the seizure of the rice field, former government officials came to the village and compensated them with D1 million, which they said belong to the land owners.
Asked why he was arrested, Ceesay said someone recorded an audio in his name and published it on social media that made him become the target of the then government, which led to his arrest.
Sitting continues today.