By Alagie Manneh & Omar Bah
Agriculture minister Omar Jallow has denied a report that he connived for ‘financial reasons’ and sold obsolete fertiliser in The Gambia and Senegal.
Kerr Fatou reported last week that the minister connived with a Gambian businessman and truck away an estimated twenty-seven thousand plus bags of outdated fertiliser from the government stores in Banjul.
However, at a heated and crowded press conference at the ministry of Agriculture yesterday designed to shed light on the scandal, minister Jallow called the publication ‘treacherous and unjustifiable.’
“In the publication, it was written that I signed a contract with a businessman for the sale of the fertiliser for financial gains personally. I would like to show here, sincerely that this statement is unfounded, malicious and defamatory.
“As a minister, I have never been involved in this transaction, nor signed any contract with any contractor or businessman, nor knew when the contract was signed and I have not known anything about the contract until long after the contract was signed.”
OJ claimed in 2014, when the discarding of the fertiliser started, ‘due process’ was followed and all agencies and relevant institutions were contacted.
“Therefore I could not understand how I can be associated with a process that started in 2014.
“I called on the publishers to come out and show evidence that I signed the contract, with evidence that I have received financial gain from this contract.”
OJ said he has since consulted his lawyers and considering a legal action for defamation.
His press secretary distributed a document that appears to suggest that OJ did not connive with any individual.
However, it is not clear whether or not the minster connived to sell obsolete fertiliser.