By Omar Bah
Former ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction has threatened legal actions against Mai Fatty if he fails to prove his allegations of corruption against them.
Mai Fatty accused APRC of benefitting over D22 of taxpayers’ money.
“We urge him to prove his allegations but if he fails to do so, we will take legal actions against him. He has demonstrated that he has no respect for the APRC. But enough is enough. We are not going to take any bogus allegations for granted. We will fight back whenever we are attacked henceforth in the strongest terms,” Dodou Jah, deputy spokesman of APRC told The Standard.
Jah said the party had planned an emergency meeting to address the issue and even consulted a lawyer over what steps to take with regard to the allegations.
“You cannot accuse a party like the APRC of illegally benefiting from 100 million of public funds and expect us to take it lightly. These are very serious allegations that Mai Fatty will have to prove,” Jah argued.
Jah, who branded the allegations as bogus and unfounded, said “whenever APRC made progress people like Mai Fatty will come up with something to try to stain the party” but he argued that no political bigotry will affect the party or stop it from making the next government. “No wonder when he [Mai] was minister he was called ‘Ding ding Mansa’.”
“How is it possible that Mai was the only person in the cabinet who could dig sources to provide him with such relevant documents as he claims? The Janneh Commission was instituted to look into the financial dealings of the former government. Why did they miss this one? Or was it ignored? What happened that this could not come to light and how could Mai Fatty lay his hands on this document?
Let’s see where it is going to land,” he added.
On Fatty’s threat that he will initiate a prerogative order of mandamus in court against the government, National Assembly and APRC to make sure the money is recovered and returned to the state, Jah said Mr Fatty is talking as if the money “is in our pockets or it was spent by the party. We will come to that time. We are waiting for Mai to challenge us through the courts,” Jah stated.
Jah challenged Mai Fatty to share the entire audit report with Gambians.“Mai Fatty should know that he is talking about an audit report from the Office of the President, not the APRC as a party that’s been audited. You are talking about the government being audited. Now the question is how was the money transferred to the party’s accounts and who gave the orders? Was it presidential orders? He should provide more information for people to know,” Jah argued.
Reacting to Fatty’s assertion that the APRC should apologise to Gambians and return the stolen millions, Jah, again said the GMC leader should bring out proofs.
He said Fatty himself has a lot of questions to answer ranging from his alleged D10 million compound, the Semlex contract and moving the Ministry of Interior to his friend’s building.
“All these are questions you haven’t answered and yet you have the guts to talk about GMC initiating proper steps. We are waiting for that. But definitely you don’t need to waste anytime to initiate that,” he said.
Jah urged Mai to provide details of who were the signatories of the accounts he is alleging millions were transferred into.
This, he added, will give the party the opportunity to know whether these people are still with them.
He challenged Mai to show them the vehicles he is claiming were bought from public funds.
“As far as we know, party supporters and sympathisers were financing the party. This is why even after the fall of our government we continue to hold big political rallies and attracting thousands of people,” he added.
When asked to confirm whether the accounts in question are APRC accounts, Jah replied: “We will have to find out whether they are the party’s accounts and who were the signatories.”
The GMC leader said he gave the government and National Assembly 2 weeks to recover over D22 million of state funds allegedly transferred to APRC’s mobilisation accounts. Fatty said some D22 million was uncovered by an audit report conducted by the directorate of internal audit on the Office of the President for the period 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2016.https://standard.gm/