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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bank Managers lift lid ‘diverted’ GNPC millions

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By Baba Sillah

The managing directors of Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Skye Bank and Trust Bank yesterday told the Janneh Commission how millions of dalasis from both GNPC’s dollar and dalasi accounts at their banks were paid to individuals and companies on the directive of former President Yahya Jammeh.

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Testifying before the Commission, David Aluko of Access Bank disclosed that the GNPC has two dollar accounts and two dalasi accounts with his bank while the Ministry of Petroleum has no account there at all.
He said the first dalasi account was opened on 5 September 2008 while the second was opened on 6 September 2008. According to him the major dollar account was opened on 13 March 2009 while the second was opened on 28 November 2014.

The signatories to the dalasi account, according to Mr Aluko, were Momodou OS Badjie, Fafa Sanyang and Ebrima O Camara.
He recalled that later, former President Jammeh and Momodou Sabally were added as signatories to the dollar account after receiving a letter from the GNPC officials for the replacement of signatories.

Counsel Amie Bensouda at that juncture applied to tender the statement of accounts and change of signatories with regard to the dollar accounts as exhibits which were accordingly admitted.
Continuing, Aluko said by the time Jammeh and Sabally took over as the signatories to the dollar account, the balance was $321,817.4 and there were six transactions with totalling $390,076.27.

Detailing the transactions, Aluko revealed that $100,000 was paid to one Sanna Jarju on the authority of Jammeh and Kalilu Bayo; $72,074.83 was paid to GICEC account through GTBank account; $13,890.3 was transferred to one Aisha Keita in Sweden; a transfer was made to Columbia State University for one Amat Bittaye and also another transfer of $125,000 was made to Gai Enterprise Construction while 2,550 British Pound Sterling was transferred to one Hydara as a tuition fee.

Commission Counsel Bensouda at that point applied to tender the transaction document as exhibits as well as both the dollar and dalasi financial statements which were accordingly admitted.
Meanwhile, Isatou Jawara, an executive director and the regional head of corporate banking at Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited, also revealed that GNPC maintained a current account as well as dollar and euro accounts. Mrs Jawara said former President Jammeh and Mr Momodou Sabally were the signatories to the dollar account.

According to her on 28 September 2013, an amount of $76,379.54 was debited to an entity called GICEC from GNPC through the directives of former President Jammeh and Momodou Sabally.
She further recalled that $2,450 was paid to Basiru Sarr; $7325 to Musa Trawally; $6,350 to Lamin K Sanyang and 7,750 pound sterling to Ousman Jobarteh as stipend.
Bensouda at that point applied to tender the statements and transactions on the dollar and euro accounts as exhibits.

 

TBL
Next to give evidence was the managing director of Trust Bank, Ebrima Sallah who gave evidence with regard to the account of GNPC at the Trust Bank.
According to Mr Sallah, the Ministry of Petroleum has dollar and dalasi accounts which were opened in 2016 with Dodou Bammy Jagne and Amadou Njie as signatories.
He however told the Commission that there was no transaction with regard to the dalasi account while on the dollar account, the only transaction was a customer generated amount of $258,352.13 and the balance was $258,565.25.

The statements of account and information of the dollar and dalasi accounts were tendered by Counsel Bensouda at that point as exhibits.
With regard to the account of GNPC, the Trust Bank MD testified that the company has five accounts, two dalasi accounts and three dollar accounts. He further testified that the signatories to the dollar accounts were the same as the dalasi accounts.

He recalled that the first signatories were Alieu M Ngum, Mambury Njie, Wuchang Ding, Lamin M Njie and Mei Char Lee, noting that there has been several changes of signatories from 2005 to 2011.
Mr Sallah noted that the first dollar account was opened on 18 May 2004 and the second on 29 September 2010 while the third was opened on 5 November 2014.

He said the third dollar account which was opened on 5 November 2014 had a balance of $2,218. Counsel Bensouda at that point applied to tender the transaction statement of accounts of the three dollar accounts as exhibits.
Mr Sallah finally furnished the commission with the statement of dalasi account after Counsel Bensouda applied as exhibit as the Trust Bank statement with regard to GNPC dalasi account.

Next to continue with his evidence was the managing director of Skye Bank, Doyin Adegbulugbe, who was summoned to give evidence with regard to transaction on the GNPC dollar account.
Mr Adegbulugbe told the commission that after the change of signatories dated 14 August 2013, they received an instruction for the withdrawal of $2,000,000 signed by former president Yahya Jammeh and another withdrawal of $150,000 by Momodou Sabally; $650,000 withdrawn by Madun Sanyang, $450,000 withdrawn by Momodou Sabally and $650,000 also withdrawn by Mr Sabally.

The Skye Bank boss further recalled that on 23 September 2013 they received a letter again signed by ex-president Jammeh and Momodou Sabally for the transfer of $224,900 to the account of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation while another $200,000 was withdrawn by one Sanna Jarju under the directive of ex-president Jammeh and Kalilu Bayo and another payment of 150,000 euros was also paid to the Office of the President and Access Bank Gambia Limited on the directive of Jammeh.

Mr Adegbulugbe further recalled that in 2015 there was a payment of $125,715 to the Gambia International Airline through Zenith Bank account which was signed by ex-President Jammeh and Lamin Nyabally.
Commission Counsel Bensouda at that point applied to tender the transaction documents and the statement of account of the GNPC dollar account. Mr Adegbulugbe finally told the commission he has tendered all the dollar transactions to the commission after ex-President Jammeh became signatory to the account.
Sittings continue today.

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