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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Commission probes Jammeh’s institute of technology

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By Baba Sillah

Fatou Mbaye, a former deputy speaker of the National Assembly yesterday appeared before the Janneh Commission in connection with the Kanilai Institute of Technology which was initiated by the former president.
Mrs Mbaye was summoned in her capacity as the then director general of Gambia Technical Training Institute that oversaw the contract.

She said the Institute was initiated by the former president purposely to improve the teachings of math, science and technology in the country. However, she said the name of the Institute was initially changed by the former president.

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She testified that the former president was invited by Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) and GTTI was to oversee the construction which was awarded to a contractor in 2007.
She added that the contract was signed by GTTI on behalf of the former president who awarded the contract to one Abdoulie Jaiteh but she was not privy to the contract.

According to her, the total cost of the contract was D47, 398,749.75 and the sum of D37, 189,146 was received from Taiwanese embassy through cheque.
She disclosed that the cheques received went into the GTTI account and the project did not complete because the contract stopped, noting that the D37, 189,146 did not include the external works, notwithstanding, they continued paying the salary of the night watchman.

She said apart from the extra funding from GTTI, all the funds were from Taiwan and they wrote several letters to the government requesting for the outstanding balance of the contract but to no avail.
Testifying earlier, the Managing Director of Swami India International Limited, Khimiji Patel appeared in connection to the construction of dormitories in Kanilai. He said the cost for the contract was D9.2 million which was funded by Kanilai Family Farms (KFF) but the money was received from Amadou Samba.
Mr Patel revealed that he has all the payments that went into their account; however, he said he could not remember where all the monies came from and apart from the said contract, they did not do any contract at Kanilai.

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According to him, Kanilai International Group bought two storey buildings from his company at Paradise Estate; adding that the storey buildings at Paradise Estate are called the Toronto Houses but neither General Saul Badjie nor the former first lady bought any house.
Mr Patel was however asked to furnish the commission with the Memorandum and Article of Association, Business Registration Certificate and Tax Clearance respectively.

Mr Augustus Prom Junior, Louise Prom, earlier testified that they did not come across any report that KGI received the Japanese rice. After looking at an audit report, he said it was indicated that KGI owed D26, 462,000 to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Sittings continue today.

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