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African International Trading sued D4.4M for breach of contract

African International Trading sued D4.4M for breach of contract

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A UK-based Gambian businessman Laggie Gumaneh has taken legal actions against Muhammed Kebbeh, his company African International Trading and one Khadijah Kebbeh for allegedly defrauding him D4, 468, 800.

According to the writ of summons obtained by The Standard, Mr Gumaneh is suing the two for fraudulently acquiring D4, 468,800 which was supposed to be paid for four containers of 5,320 twenty-liter jerry cans of vegetable cooking oil and D446, 880.00 being legal and administrative expenses.

In his affidavits, seen by The Standard, Gumaneh claimed he contracted Mr Kebbeh to purchase the said items that were to be shipped to Dakar port and transited to Banjul port.

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However, he said on 7th May 2020 Mr Kebbeh issued him a proforma invoice with a total sum of 53,200,000 CFA equivalent to D4,468,800.00 for the four containers. He said Kebbeh instructed him to deposit the money into Khadijah Kebbeh’s account at GTBank.

“On 8th May 2020, I made full payment of the purchase price for the 4 containers of vegetable cooking oil by RTGS transfer. I transferred the sum of D4, 468,800.00 from my Trust Bank account to Madam Kebbeh’s GTBank account,” he said.

Gumaneh said after making the payment, the accused persons “inadvertently” forwarded him a Bill of Lading dated 2nd May 2020 indicating that 3 containers of vegetable cooking oil comprising 3,960 cartons have arrived but upon calling their attention that the amount paid was for 4 containers of the same product, he was forwarded another undated bill for 4 containers.

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“Mr Kebbeh informed me that the 4 containers will be delivered on or before 20th July 2020 however, no such delivery was made and he eventually informed me that he did not have the vegetable cooking oil anymore but was able to convert my purchase for building materials which I turned down,” Gumaneh said.

He said for over a year, he kept demanding through several telephone calls, texts and WhatsApp messages for Kebbeh to return his money.

“In June 2021 the Mr Kebbeh informed me that he was in Spain and that I should travel to that country for us to discuss how he was going to return my money. When I got to Spain, he had unfortunately moved out of the hotel he had been staying. That as a result of the defendant’s breach of the contract of purchase and trust, as a businessman, I have suffered considerable economic and financial losses including substantial business hardship and inconvenience in my relationship with other businesses and businessmen with whom I had contracted to sell the products that the defendants were to supply me,” Gumaneh said.

He informed the court: “I have incurred additional expenses to the tune of D446, 880.00 as legal and administrative expenses to institute this suit against the defendants for the recovery of the sum of D4, 468,800.00 that I paid for the vegetable cooking oil.”

Gumaneh said Mr Kebbeh has “no defence to this suit, and I therefore crave on the Honourable Court to assist me recover my claims and consequential losses by placing this suit on the Undefended List, failing which, the defendants will not pay me. That I make these statements solemnly and sincerely to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.”

The case resumes on February 7 at the High Court before Justice Oledi Uko Uduma.

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