By Talibeh Hydara
Sedia Bayo, a Gambian politician who has been recently sued by Coco Ocean and Spa, for over one million dalasi unsettled hotel bills, has disagreed with the hotel’s version of the incident explained in an affidavit from the court. He called it defamatory and false.
The suit was filed against Sedia and one Philippe Andre Raymond Piere Etienne, also a French citizen.
According to an affidavit signed by Sheikh Tijan Gaye representing Cocoa Ocean, which was published by The Standard earlier this month, the hotel alleged that on the 3rd February 2017, both defendants Bayo and Philippe booked into his hotel and took a double-bedded Presidential Villa room for 13 nights but failing to settle the bills.
Responding to the allegations in a Facebook live message, Sedia said he gave no guarantee to pay the bills because his friend Phillipe was the one who booked the villa.
“The hotel agreed with Philippe to pay the money into its account. During our stay, President Barrow was going to France I left to prepare President Barrow’s trip to Paris.
“It was during that time that Sheikh Tijan Gaye, the manager, called my phone several times telling me that my friend hasn’t paid the bills. I told him I did not take the guarantee to pay the bill.
“I didn’t force Philippe to stay in that hotel. I didn’t sign any document indicating that I am the one who would pay the bills. Yes we both stayed there but I wasn’t supposed to pay the bills; it was Philippe. The hotel decided to take the case to the High Court and to me this is a defamation of character,” he said.
Sedia, who said he is coming to clear his name, said he had no reason to pay exorbitantly to stay in a hotel in The Gambia because he has a home here.
“Left to me alone I wouldn’t even stay in that hotel because I have a family in The Gambia and I have a compound. But because it was a business trip that is why and I even introduced him to the ministers of foreign affairs and youth, Ousainou Darboe and Henry Gomez, respectively, before taking him to the president, Adama Barrow. It is all because of trust I took him to The Gambia. He saw the hotel himself and said he wanted to lodge there and he would pay the bill. He did pay 8000 euros when we stayed in King Fahd Hotel in Dakar with his credit card but I don’t know why he didn’t pay this time,” he added.