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Sunday, October 24, 2021

I was taking orders from General Badjie – Tony Ghattas

By Mustapha Darboe

Tony Ghattas, the managing director of the Ghatson Company who also managed Alhamdullilahi Mining and Petroleum Company (Apam) has told the Janneh Commission that he was taking orders from the former Republican National Guard commander, Lt General Sulayman ‘Saul’ Badjie.
Ghattas said about 90 per cent of the instructions received from the army general were verbal, making it difficult for the paper evidences of the exchanges to be established.

“Apam is a public company and you have to explain how that money was spent. You authorised every payment from the Apam dalasi and dollar accounts,” Amie Bensouda, the legal rep for the Commission demanded.
Ghattas was a managing director for Apam for about eight months during which period he was managing three other companies that were doing business with each other.

Over US$300, 000 was spent from Apam’s dollar account and over D61 million from its dalasi account, but Mr Ghattas on whose instructions the payments were made, said orders were given to him by General Badjie.
“Did you not see anything wrong in serving four companies invoicing each other?” asked Bensouda.
“No,” he responded.

On his second appearance before the commission, Ghattas presented papers including money transfers from Apam to various companies and individuals.
He said United Africa, of which he was also the managing director, had traded over US$3 million worth of business with Gambia Milling Corporation which is owned by Muhammed Bazzi.

He said their agreement stated that Apam should make all the expenditure and take 60% of profit and 40% be paid to Shanghai.
Before Mr Ghattas’ appearance, the Auditor General Karamba Touray had presented to the commission their audit papers of the government accounts from 1992 to 2013.

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