US financial forensic experts to help Janneh Commission

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By Baba Sillah

The Government of The Gambia has hired a US-based financial consulting firm to assist the Janneh Commission in the auditing of the financial dealings of the former president and his close associates, The Standard has learned.

A source close to the commission intimated to The Standard that three forensic accountants from the firm called FTI will assist the commission in its work.

However, our source could not shed light on the duration of their stay as well as the payment agreement between the firm and the government but referred this medium to the Ministry of Justice for information on such matters.

FTI Consulting is a business advisory firm headquartered in Washington, DC. The company specialises in the fields of corporate finance and restructuring, economic consulting, forensic and litigation consulting, straegic communications and technology. Founded as Forensic Technologies International Ltd in 1982, FTI Consulting employs more than 4,600 staff in 28 countries.

The firm was involved in the Lehman Brothers and General Motors bankruptcies, the investigation into the Bernard Madoff fraud among other things.

Testimonies
Meanwhile the former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Dr Kalilou Bayo yesterday appeared before the Commission to explain about monies withdrawn from Access and Sky banks during his time in office.

Explaining his functions or duties as secretary general, Dr Bayo said he used to advise the president on certain issues regarding file work and writing speeches.

He said he was asked to submit his signature to a certain account which he had no knowledge of and which bears many other signatures.

He said he has asked for those signatories to be removed but his request was turned down after writing a memo to that effect and had no choice but to be a signatory to the account.

He said he was a signatory to the GNPC account with the former president, noting that the $100,000 paid to Sanna Jarju on 16 January 2014 bears his signature but he was not in the office by then which he said might be an error.

Dr Bayo said he could explain the purpose of the money being paid to Sanna Jarju if he is shown the right date.

On the withdrawal of €150,000, $200,000, and €65,000 he explained that the first payment which was paid into the president’s account, was a request from the former president but he did not know the purpose of the money while the $200,000 was a payment made to Sanna Jarju for their trip to Dubai.

Dr Bayo is expected to reappear today to shed light on other payments.

Meanwhile the human resources and admin manager at SSHFC, Babucarr Foon earlier gave evidence and produced documents ranging from list of board members, resolutions on loans and investments of the Corporation.