By Baba Sillah
Yankuba Touray, former junta member and minister, was yesterday spotted at the premises of Djembe Beach Hotel were the commission of inquiry into the financial dealings of former President Yahya Jammeh and close associate sits.
He was among the list of witnesses billed to testify yesterday, however he did not appear before the commission and no reason was given. It is believed Mr Touray was summoned in connection with the grants and loans awarded to the former government by Taiwan and related matters.
Meanwhile the outgoing mayor of Kanifing municipality and national mobiliser of the opposition APRC, Yankuba Colley, yesterday appeared before the commission in relation to payments made to him from the mobilisation account.
Mr Colley testified that he served as mayor of KMC for 10 years and was also a councillor from 2002 to 2005.
Mr Colley who appeared for the first time confirmed receiving cheques for D602, 000; D230, 000; D150, 000 and D5, 000 respectively from the mobilisation account. According to him, he retired the sum of D385,000 to Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie.
Colley however told the commission that he did not have any documents relating to the transactions as they were incinerated in a fire accident but produced other documents showing he retired some monies given to him. He said the mobilisation team was a group of women politicians and the money paid to him were meant for them.
Oumie Samba-Savage, former deputy governor of Central Bank, testified that at the time of the the transaction of a $28 million loan contracted from Taiwan, she was the principal accountant. She said she could not say anything about the account unless shown some documents but recalled that “substantial amounts”were paid to Baba Jobe from the account.
She said Abdoulie Cham was her boss and she took over from him when he left but there was no formal handing over as there was “chaos” at the bank because the top brass of the bank had their services terminated.
According to her, when reports were submitted to IMF, the fund intimated to the bank that there was a misreporting to the tune of $28 million which was a concern to them.
According to her, the misreporting triggered re-auditing by a South African audit firm of which process she was a part of.
Mrs Savage disclosed that the mode of operation was that directives were given to the finance manager and then to her and she would do the transaction. She confirmed that the $28 million was not included in the report to the IMF and she did not know why. She said the bank’s research department was responsible for preparing reports.
However, when put to her by Commissioner Bai Mass Saine that the non-inclusion of the amount in their report undermined her integrity as then head of finance, she responded that it undermined not only her’s but the entire bank’s integrity.
It was further put to her by Counsel Bensouda that the former financial controller at the bank, Abdoulie Cham had told the commission that the sum of $28 million was outstanding when she took over his post.
Mrs Savage responded that she could not recollect neither could she remember how the misreporting was resolved. She finally testified that the re-audit by the South African firm was not finalised.
Mr Nuha Touray, former secretary to cabinet also testified on the international telecommunications gateway account. He said himself and Momodou Sabally were signatories to the account at a point in time. He said the gateway contract was latterly awarded to MGI.
On the dalasi gold coins supplied by TK Export to the former president, he said the seventy-five gold coins which were received for the celebration of the 22 July anniversary were supposed to be given to high dignitaries. However, he said he had neither seen the gold coins nor knew who actually received them.
Sittings continue next week.