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Sunday, August 9, 2020

‘MGI was dealing directly with Jammeh’

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By Baba Sillah

A telecom engineer and consultant, Alagie Abdoulie Kebbeh yesterday told the Janneh Commission that the international telecom company, MGI was dealing directly with former president, Yahya Jammeh and his close associates.
Mr Kebbeh made the revelation as he appeared before the inquiry to shed light on Gamtel’s gateway contracts.

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He also told the Commission that neither the management of Gamtel/Gamcel knew anything about MGI contract nor do they have the record of MGI contract agreement, adding that the cost of gateway switches for the first project was more than $3,000,000.

Testifying before the inquiry , he said prior to becoming a consultant, he worked in the public service from 1968-1995; adding that he was appointed to be a member of the taskforce to prepare a report on the findings of Gamtel gateway and Bakary Njie, a former managing director of Gamtel was the chairman of the taskforce.
Mr Kebbeh, who was also a member of the taskforce constituted by the former president to prepare a report on the findings of Gamtel gateway, further told the inquiry that he had the report on the taskforce covering 2006-2016 with regard to the management of the international gateway.

According to the telecom expert, during the course of their investigations, they invited the chairman of MGI and they also dealt with financial matters relating to the office of the former president which was also compiled in the report.

The ICT final report of 2017 prepared by the taskforce was tendered and admitted as exhibit. When asked by counsel to explain from their report the sum of $449,891,688 paid from the proceeds of Gamtel International gateway in 2006, out of which Gamtel received only the sum $77,859.40, he said they knew all this during their findings as a taskforce through the MGI report and Central Bank records as well.

Mr Kebbeh claimed that MGI was not paying tax at the time despite generating $66,340,347 as net profits indicated in their report. He also stated that the revenue they generated in 2006 amounted to $144,000,000.
Mr Kebbeh disclosed that MGI was also involved in projects which was also captured in their report and outlined the various projects to the commission such as E. Government, fraud protection, roaming, Gamtel Billing System and Intelligence Management Centre among others. He said the taskforce report also made analyses of the MGI activities as well as their financial transactions.

According to the telecom engineer, the revenue from the gateway was just applied but there was no record to that effect, noting that only the former MD, Bakary Njie, could be in a position to explain that.

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