Ex-SG Nyabally explains State House building project

By Baba Sillah

Former Secretary General, Lamin Nyabally has told the Janneh Commission that it was impossible to challenge former president on his directives.
Testifying in connection with the payments made from the GNPC accounts, which he confirmed to be a signatory of.

According to him, the president would only direct them to make payments from any account he wished, and if he instructed them, they dare not challenge his directive as it often leads to consequences.
He told the commissioners that the former president did not take over the account when he was secretary general. At that point, a document was given to him in relation to Gai Enterprise Construction but he said he had never seen the contract, further stating that he was instructed by Jammeh to effect payments. He added that the storey building at State House was for offices as well as a bus park but he did not know the cost of the contract.

When asked whether he ever visited the construction site, he responded in the negative.
He however confirmed that the payments of D10, 000,000 to Gai Constructions from GNPC Access and Skye Bank accounts were in relation to the same contract at State House.
On the payment of €80,000 to Studio Tech in Belgium, Nyabally said this was for the provision of broadcasting materials for GRTS, approved by the former president and the payment of over € 120,000 was meant for a State Aircraft which was paid to GIA from the same account.

There was another payment amounting to 1,320,000 CFA authorized by the witness and Sulayman Samba to one Sheikh Tijan Njie in relation to MV Bintang Bolong Vessel.
On the scholarship and other issues which payments were made under the directive of the former president, he said the document shown to him was a payment in respect of a dental care for Fajara Barracks, which he said was authorised by Jammeh.

Mr Nyabally further said when he was secretary general, there was a scholarship at the office of the president and once the president authorised and approved, he would authorise for payment.
He however said he was not part of those who approved for the award of scholarship as he only effected payment.

Mr Nyabally said he was not aware whether the scholarship award passed through the ministry of education and did not know the criteria attached to awarding the scholarships.
He confirmed his signature for the payments of students’ scholarship as well as payments in respect of fishing nets and equipment.

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