By Baba Sillah
Businessman Amadou Samba has described former President Yahya Jammeh as a mad dictator, adding that he had no business relations with him.
Appearing for the third time before the Janneh Commission yesterday, Samba said: “I did not achieve my success through Jammeh. I was already a successful businessman as evidenced by the fact that I was awarded businessman of the year in 1992, well before Jammeh came to power. The jobs I created are many and the tax I have paid is in billions. The records are there to prove that. I am a lawyer by profession but because I had temptation for money, I decided to go into business”.
Mr Samba said Jammeh was a dictator and a bad man with whom he had no business relations.
Reacting to the testimony of Lang Conteh on the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel, Samba denied having conversation with Jammeh, Baba Jobe and Lang Conteh regarding the sale of the hotel, describing Mr Conteh as a “pathological liar.”
“I have nothing to do with Lang Conteh or Baba Jobe and there was no occasion where I sat with Lang Conteh, Baba Jobe and the ex-President to discuss the issue of Kairaba Hotel. Mr Baba Jobe appointed me as chairman which was even symbolic and I have nothing to do with Kairaba except when Mr Robert Aswandi contacted me on the sale of Kairaba,” Mr Samba said.
He said the only encounter he had with Lang Conteh was when Mr Conteh contacted him for the acquisition of Sun Beach Hotel and told him he was going to offer him $3,000,000 but he just laughed because he knew that Mr Conteh was going to take that money from CBG since he was the nerve centre of the bank and even overshadowed the governor.
“I have never dealt with Mr Conteh when he was director of foreign exchange at the central bank,” he added.
Samba informed Commissioners that he introduced the late Baba Jobe to Peter Smith and that could be the reason of Baba appointing him as Chairman of the Hotel. “From the beginning, I knew that everything about the hotel was meant for ex-President Jammeh because after all, Baba was working for Yahya Jammeh and at the time Baba appointed me, he was the de facto operator.”
He denied any involvement in the acquisition of properties by the former president, saying he only acted as a middle man and negotiated prices for him and has no vested interest in Jammeh’s properties.
“I wouldn’t agree with Pa Harry Jammeh on the acquisition of the former president’s properties because my only role was to negotiate the prices for him and Jammeh will always counter offer and ask me to send those selling their properties to his lawyer and the money for the purchase is usually delivered to his solicitor. I have never attended and would never attend auction sales at the Sheriff Division on behalf of Jammeh. I was just acting like a middle man for the ex-president and I would not call that a representation for the former president,” Mr Samba said.
He said he voluntarily submitted 47 properties acquired by the former president to the investigators in the name of Kanilai Family Farm and KGI.
Sittings continue next week.