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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ex-protocol Jarju confirms withdrawing US$20M from Central Bank

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By Baba Sillah

Sanna Jarju, a former Chief of Protocol at former President Jammeh’s State House, has confirmed that he alone withdrew US $20 million from the Special Project Account at the Central Bank of The Gambia.
Mr Jarju, who has become a household name at the Janneh Commission, made the confirmation to the inquiry yesterday via a video conference from his base in Atlanta Georgia, USA.
Mr Jarju was summoned with regard to the MRI Presidential account and special project account among other related matters.

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According to him, when he was appointed as chief of protocol, he was in USA but he turned down the offer on the grounds that his medical leave was not approved by the former president.
Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda at that point drew his attention to the withdrawal of D3million and D2million from the MRI account, which he said were verbal instructions from Jammeh who asked him to find out from the former Secretary General and Secretary to the Cabinet, Momodou Sabally and Nuha Touray, respectively, how much was left in the said account.

He recalled that after the findings, he was instructed by Jammeh to withdraw the sum of D3million from the account, which he did and handed over to Jammeh.
On the Special Project Account at the Central Bank, he confirmed the withdrawal of US $20 million from the account which he said were all in cash.

The total transaction on the account, he confirmed was 28, noting that all the transactions he did were instructions from the office of the president and whenever he brought the cash, they would confirm it before he would leave the State House.

Mr Jarju claimed that as the deputy chief of protocol at the time, he had no term of reference instead he was assigned by the Chief of Protocol, Alagie Ceesay.
Mr Jarju further testified that he started dealing with Jammeh on financial matters when he was appointed as the chief of protocol but as the then deputy chief of protocol, he received instructions through the chief of protocol.
Hearings resume next week.

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