Commission of Inquiry into Ex-President Jammeh’s financial dealings start hearing; Bank MDs & GRA boss testify

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The Commission of Inquiry set up to investigation the financial dealings and assets of exiled former President Yahya Jammeh today, Thursday, August 10th, starting sittings to hear witnessed testimonies.

The sessions will hold daily at the main hall of the Djembe Beach Hotel at Kololi.

The Commission of Inquiry is chaired by Senior Lawyer Surahata Janneh assisted by Abiosseh George & Bai Mass Saine as Commissioners.

In the opening session of the sittings, the Commissioners summoned five witnesses to be examined at today’s session.

The Commision has powers to summon and examine witnesses by virtue of Section 10 of Commission of Inquiries Act 1903.

Before the start of testimonies from witnesses, Counsel to the Commission, Senior Lawyer Amie Bensouda read out the terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry.

“The Commission of Inquiry will redefine the principle of Accountability and Transparency”, Lawyer Bensouda said.

The first witness to testify is Guaranty Trust Bank  (GTBank) Gambia Managing Director Bolaji Ayodele.

After taking the oath, he testified in detail and revealed all the bank accounts associating with Jammeh at his bank especially Alhamdulilahi Petroleum & Mining Co.(APAM).

The GTBank MD submitted bundle of documents to the Commissioners comprising statements and financial Information on relevant Bank Accounts

APAM Accounts was opened as corporate account but company was not registered. So did not have mandate to be opened? asked Bensouda.

The GTBank MD answered in the affirmative. He stated that the Accounts have now been closed, saying they chased the company to submit registration documents but to no avail.

“APAM account was opened by Ansumana Jammeh in August 2015. On 19th Oct 2015 Isatou Sallah added as Signatory. A total of D61,369,621.77 was deposited and D61,179,270.32  was withdrawn from the APAM Accounts”- Ayodele revealed.

MD Ayodele clearly stated that deposits into APAM Accounts were made on daily basis & were from mining Operations.

The second witness to testify is Mr. Momodou Musa, Managing Director FIBank.

He told the Commission that ‘only TIN Number was provided for APAM Account opening at FIBank.

“A total of GMD 13.7million was deposited and GMD 13.4 million was withdrawn from APAM Dalasi Account. A total of  $27,000 was deposited and $27,000 was withdrawn from the APAM USD account” FIBank MD said.

According to him, there were no foreign transactions on the account and the source of the funds is said to be from sand mining.

Third witness is Commissioner General of Gambia Revenue Authority(GRA) Yankuba Darboe.

He told the Commission that they opened one of the accounts through directives by former President.

“The opening of one of the accounts was by a Presidential Directive and no one knows the signatory to the account” he said.

Trust Bank Gambia Managing Director was supposed to be the 4th witness but sent representative but the Commission insisted on personal attendance of the MD on Monday.

Meanwhile, the representative of Trust Bank MD submitted statements in 3 private Bank Accounts belonging to former President Jammeh.

More coming……

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