By Baba Sillah
Former vice president, Isatou Njie-Saidy, was yesterday spotted at the Djembe Hotel where the commission of inquiry into the financial dealings of former president Jammeh, his family and close associates is taking place.
The Standard could not verify the purpose of her presence around the reception lobby of the hotel. Contacted to shed light on the presence of the former veep in the commission building, the secretary to the commission, Alagie Kurang, said he had no idea about her presence and referred me to the hotel receptionists.
However when contacted, the receptionists said they had no idea about the purpose of her visit.
However, a source close to the commission told The Standard, “The procedure, normally is, if witnesses are summoned by the commission, they have to meet the investigators before they appear at the commission proper.”
Meanwhile, in a separate development, two former managing directors of the SSHFC, Edward Graham and ML Gibba gave testimonies.
Mr Graham said the D15 million loan given to the Office of the President (OP) by the corporation for the purchase of Tobaski rams from Mauritania was taken out of the National Provident Fund which the debtor claimed was payable within three months. He said it was explained to them that the rams were to be provided to workers because the open market price for rams was exorbitant. Mr Graham however said he discovered the loan request
On whether OP could be given loan by the corporation, he said yes, under the investment policy of the corporation which mandates SSFHC to give loans to government and related institutions as a form of investment.
When asked by Commission Counsel, Mrs Amie Bensouda whether the proper procedure was followed in the disbursement of a US$4.5 million loan to OP for the purchase of an aircraft, he said he was not sure whether the loan request went through the board of directors.
On the €200,000 loan to the GRTS, he said he could not recall whether it was also channeled through the SSHFC board.
He said by the time he took over, SSHFC had debts totalling D1 billion.