By Baba Sillah
The controversial former spokesperson of the AFPRC military junta, Captain Ebou Jallow has been summoned by the Janneh Commission, The Standard has learned.
According to sources close to the Commission, Mr Jallow is summoned with regard to the $35 million loan given to the Junta by the People’s Republic of China on Taiwan.
Mr Jallow was the spokesperson of the AFPRC at the time, who led a delegation to Taipei to negotiate the restoration of diplomatic relation between the two countries. He is repeatedly mentioned by witnesses in the Commission mainly former members of the junta in Edward Singhatey, Lamin Kaba Bajo and Yankuba Touray.
Jallow was alleged to have absconded with $3million from the said loan after he resigned from the council and deposited it into an unknown bank in Switzerland.
Mr Jallow however denied the allegation and described the former chairman of the council, Yahya Jammeh as a ‘liar and criminal.’
Meanwhile Balla Garba Jahumpa, a former Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs under the AFPRC junta, yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission in connection with the $35million from Taiwan to the government of The Gambia.
He started his testimony by giving a synopsis of his portfolios under the former regime and told the inquiry that the last position he held was minister of works and he was in the service for 52 years.
Mr Jahumpa informed the Commission he received a call from Captain Ebou Jallow during the era of the junta that he should answer to the former president, further stating that when he entered the former president’s office Alieu Conteh and Captain Ebou Jallow were there. He said the former president told him that the World Bank and IMF had suspended their assistance to the Gambia Government but the Council had agreed to go with Taiwan.
He disclosed that Captain Ebou Jallow and Alieu Conteh had been travelling between Banjul and Taipei arranging for two things, namely, the diplomatic relationship with Taiwan and a loan of $35,000,000 from Taiwan.
“I was never involved in the negotiation of this loan but the former president told me that Captain Ebou Jallow would lead a delegation to Taiwan and that I would sign the loan agreement as the Minister of Finance on behalf of the AFPRC,” he revealed.
He said Jammeh told him that he would give him power of attorney to sign the loan agreement. However, he said he told Jammeh that he wanted to take the loan agreement to his PS, Alieu Ngum and his technicians for a review of the terms and conditions.
However, he said Jammeh told him that the review of the terms and conditions of the loan was already done by Captain Ebou Jallow, further stating that upon their arrival in Taiwan, the former Taiwanese president told them that Jammeh should sign the loan agreement but instead he signed it on behalf of the government as the then finance minister.
Upon their return to The Gambia, he said Captain Jallow came to him on two occasions asking about the loan agreement but he told him that it was with him and the purpose of the loan was for agricultural development and life-scale industries as contained in the power of attorney.
He said he took note that the maturity of the said loan was 20 years with a grace period of 5 years and an interest of 4%, further noting that Captain Ebou Jallow asked him to give him the loan agreement but he told Mr Jallow that they had to go to Jammeh.