By Mamadou Dem
Mary Samba, attorney for Mr. Amadou Samba, yesterday, while addressing the Janneh Commission, submitted that Mr. Amadou Samba suffered in the hands of the former president, Yahya Jammeh.
Ms. Samba was addressing the Commission on a wide range of issues affecting her client. She said that Mr. Samba testified concerning his financial dealings, noting that he was issued with 20 summonses and he cooperated with the commission.
According to her, Mr. Samba testified on the entire summonses issued to him, adding that he swore to some affidavits and he relied on them. She further submitted that his first appearance before the Commission was on the 23 October, 2017. She argued that there were orders published in newspapers in relation to the freezing of his assets.
Ms. Samba told the Commission that her client was not given the opportunity to react to the allegations against him. Still addressing the Commission, she stated that the investigation of the Commission should be carried out properly, with accuracy and impartiality.
At this juncture, she referred to some authorities, including a Caribbean authority to support her argument, further indicating that the witnesses should have testified under cross-examination.
Samba’s lawyer submitted that her client challenged the said orders which have detrimental effects on the business of her client, and she referred to the definition of a ‘close associate.’
She adduced that the witnesses failed to substantiate their claims and urged the Commission to dismiss such pieces of evidence, noting that her client was not a close associate of the former president. Counsel Samba went on to say that her client started business when the former president was going to school, further indicating that Mr. Samba never benefited from the former president and his government.
At this juncture, she referred the Commission to the proceedings of 13th November, 2017, and said that the former president took advantage of her client’s business, and that no one dared to challenge the former president.
Ms. Samba further argued that the former president undermined her client’s business, noting that he used his client to his financial advantage. She added that the former president interfered in the political dispensation of the country, noting that Mr. Samba suffered in the hands of the former president.
Still arguing, she told the Commission that discussions of Mr. Samba with the former president were on social issues, and that the former president was competing with Mr. Samba.
She disclosed that the Commission should verify the evidence of the witnesses before coming to a conclusion; adding that Mr. Samba has not helped neither has he associated himself with the former president.
She told the Commission that there was no evidence that Mr. Samba was involved in a project initiated by Pierre Kujabi (Atepa). She therefore urged the Commission to accept the testimony of Mr. Samba.
At this juncture, she referred to some companies in which Mr. Samba was a shareholder, and said that the former president never paid rent to Mr. Samba for his building he rented. She also called upon the Commission to disregard the testimony of Mr. Momodou Lamin Sonko of Kharafi Group, because he was discredited under cross-examination.
Kissima Kabba, a businessman, appeared before the Commission to explain about the land transaction transpired between him and the former president.
Testifying before the Commission, Mr Kabba said he never worked in the public service. At this juncture, he was reminded that he made a statement to the investigators, which he confirmed.
He was told that there was a deed of gift for a land at Fajara Booster Station and Kotu. In response, he told the Commission that he bought the land at Fajara and he wanted to sell it but was told by Pa Ousman Bojang that the former president was interested in the land.
He recalled that Mr Bojang told him that instead of former president buying the land, he would be given a land at Kotu with some money, noting that he spent D20,000,000 on the land at Fajara.
Mr Kabba adduced that he wanted to live on the property at Fajara with his family, stating that he told Mr Bojang that he lost D10,000,000 on the said property.
He further informed the Commission that Mr Bojang told him that they would not make a transfer but a deed of gift, but he told Mr Bojang that he would not sign the deed of gift if he was not given the money he was promised.
He disclosed further that no one signed the deed of gift which was prepared by Mr Bojang. Mr Kabba stated that he was given a letter, indicating that Mr Bojang and the former president accepted the deed of gift, adding that he never met the former president.
He went on to say that he applied for a property at Bertil Harding Highway. At this juncture, he was shown a deed of gift prepared by lawyer Badou Conteh, which he perused and confirmed.
Mr Kabba said the document prepared by Badou Conteh was a copy of the deed he endorsed with his signature.
He was again shown another document in relation to the property at Bertil Harding Highway. He went through the said document and testified that he did not value it.
Counsel Bensouda put it to him that it was Mr Bojang who asked him to put an application so that he would be allocated a land at Kotu, but he said he bought the said land. Again, it was put to him that the deed of gift for the land at Fajara was not meant for Kanilai Family Farm but for the former president, which he confirmed.
Mr Kabba testified further that the land at Fajara is in his possession. Then Counsel Bensouda put it to him that the said property has remained the same without any development. He answered in the positive, adding that the property is occupied by his people.
Mr Kabba however denied that the former president asked him to apply for a property situated at Kotu, stating that the matter was in the hands of the Commission.
At this juncture, documents relating to the properties were tendered and admitted in evidence.
He further informed the Commission that he had a letter he wrote to the former president asking for the sum of D10,000,000 which he was promised, adding that Mr Bojang then wrote back to say that he and the former president cancelled the deed of gift.
He finally disclosed that he spent US$400,000 on the land at Fajara.
Sittings continue today.