By Bruce Asemota
The criminal trial involving Saihou Drammeh, former managing director of Gam-Petroleum and Lamin Gassama, operation manager commenced yesterday before Justice Haddy C. Roche in Banjul.
The duo is standing trial on eight counts including corruption, malpractices and economic crime as they are accused of pilfering $20 million at the Gam-Petroleum facility in Lamin Mandinaring.
The Attorney General represented by State Counsel M.B Mballow indicated that the prosecution has eight witnesses to call and so many documents to tender in proving the case against the accused persons. The first of such witnesses is the acting general manager, Amadou Keita who testified as the first prosecution witness.
In his evidence in chief, Amadou Keita testified that Gam-Petroleum has transaction with some companies relating to transfer and exportation of petroleum products and by virtue of an agreement between GP and these companies, the companies have access to the storage facility at GP.
He further explained that GP has two partners, the local oil marketing companies and international traders. He named the companies as follows:
Equa Energy, Galp Global, Pure Energy, Castle Oil, Afric oil, Bai-Ceesay Energy, Fortune and Mandin Oil. The witness also produced documents relating to the transactions between these companies and Gam-Petroleum which were tendered and marked as exhibits.
The witness disclosed that he came to know about Gam-Petroleum and the international partners when he became the acting general manager.
He revealed that the 1st and 2nd accused used to deal with the international partners and it was never discussed at the office level.
He said there are three international partners i.e Addax, Transfigora and PSTV, noting that he came to know the type of relationship between these partners and GP.
The witness said there was a storage agreement with GP and when he was appointed as acting general manager, he received an email from one Abdou Rahman Jallow, a board member of Gam-Petroleum.
He explained that when he opened the email, he found out that there were two agreements with Tranfigora, and also found a protest letter, a claim letter and invoices from Transfigora.
He disclosed that after receiving the email and the attachments, he made print outs and had them certified and signed.