Former Gambia president’s Accountant Testified before Janneh Commission

By Halimatou Ceesay

The former Gambian president’s accountant on Tuesday before the Janneh Commission tendered relevant documents in relation to payments she made for per Diem and travel tickets.

Former President Jammeh

In giving her evidence Mrs. Adama Njie said she made payments from 2011-2016 respectively from the Special Security Account at the Central Bank. “In 2013 I made a payment of D69,639,778, D81,413,827 in 2014 and made a disbursement of D28,186,270.80”.

Mrs. Njie disclosed that in 2016 she made another payment of D63, 897,285.90; adding that permanent secretary No.1 dealt with traveling with her immediate boss. She said PS1 used to give her invoices from the travel agencies for her to effect payments.

Documents relating to payments from 2011 to 2016 were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Some of the payments she mentioned were made to the former president, ex-first lady and former vice president as per Diem. “Daily per Diem for the former president was £350.00 while the former vice president and first lady received £300.00 each per day”, Mrs. Njie explained.

Responding from commissioners, she said she was instructed to make payments from the Special Security Account, further noting that she was never audited from 2011 to 2016 but currently, auditing is being carried out.

Also testifying was Sheriff Sawaneh, the proprietor of Competence Company Ltd. who was asked to supply the commission with certain documents that were outstanding such as list of contracts, tax clearance from Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and registrations with Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA).

Sawaneh disclosed that he paid tax from 2012 to 2016 and there was a tax credit in favor of his company for over D3, 000,000. Documents provided by the witness relating to his company were also tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence Mr. Yusupha Dibba was also summoned in connection with the building of boats contracted to one Alhaji Jass Sam. In his testimony Dibba said that the former president created a fishing unit in the navy and never consulted him. He added that the acquisition of boards was the former president’s show and they did not have the discretion to tell whom he should give the boats. Dibba added that he retired in 2011 and was on contract till 2016.

Mr. Ousman Jatta alias ‘Rambo’ reappeared and informed the commission that he received three boats from General Badjie and three from Commodore Madani Senghore. He said some of the boats were leaking and were not catching fish.

However, Counsel Bensouda put to him that under the laws of the Gambia, income generation enterprises are expected to register and pay taxes. In his respond Jatta said he neither registered nor paid tax with the fisheries department.

He said he didn’t have a bank account for the fishing boats, instead had accounts in different exercise books and on the 20th of January, 2017, his driver absconded with his double cabin pick up where he had some of the receipts and log book; adding that even under the former regime, he was expecting to be accounted for the expenses of the boats.

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