The former Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Nuha Touray has made stunning revelations at the commission of inquiry set up to look into the financial activities of the former President Yahya Jammeh and his close associates at the Djembe Beach Hotel, Kololi.
Touray made synopsis of his employment in the civil service from 1988 where he rose through the ranks to the post of Deputy Permanent Secretary, Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet until his recent appointment to the ECOWAS Commission Secretariat as Assistant to Edward Singhateh, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria.
“I had a problem with former president when he accused me of destroying a file that could be used against the former petroleum officials,” former Cabinet Secretary Nuha Touray said.
He added: “I was put behind bar.”
Touray told the commission that the charges preferred against him were dropped by the new government.
The former Secretary to Cabinet has served under five Secretary Generals, Dr. Njogu L. Bah, Momodou Sabally, Abdoulie Sallah, Lamin Nyabally, Dr. Kalilu Bayo and Sulayman Samba.
He was asked about the former heads of the Republican National Guard and the State Guards which he said were General Saul Badjie and Brigadier General Ansumana Tamba respectively, saying the functions of Republican National Guards transcends the State Guards.
When asked to revealed the close associates of the former president he declined saying he preferred to provide a list rather than verbal due to the nature of society while the Lead Counsel, Mrs. Amie Bensouda insisted that the close associates of the former president is not a matter of confidentiality.
He was asked to name the civilian associates of the former president. He mentioned the names of Muhammed Bazzi, Nicolae Euzainu, Tony Ghattas, Tibu Camara, former First Lady Zeinab Jammeh’s brother- in-law, Abubacarr Souma, former First Lady’s brother and businessman Amadou Samba.
Touray explained the business interests of the close associates starting with Muhammed Bazzi, Proprietor of Euro Africa Group.
Nicolae Euzainu he said was a former Gambian Ambassador to Monaco and France, Proprietor of Ocean Bay Hotel among others.
Tony Ghattas, was the Chief Executive Office of APAM.
He said he does not know the business interests of Tibu Camara, former First Lady’s brother in-law.
Mr. Touray handed over the confidential business letter of Muhammed Bazzi from the Office of the former President which was admitted and marked as exhibits.
He mentioned former President Yahya Jammeh’s business interests which includes the Kanilai Family Farm, Kanilai Family Garage, Kanilai Bakery and Green Industries among the few he knew.
When asked about the former president’s assets he mentioned the Dunes Hotel around the Palma Rima Hotel. He reported that the property was purchased from the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation GNPC Account at the Guaranty Trust Bank. He submitted the transaction documents signed by the former president.
The copy of minutes between the former Secretary General Momodou Sabally and former President Yahya Jammeh in respect to the purchase of the said hotel was admitted and marked as exhibits.
Nuha Touray told the commission that the persons responsible of the former president’s assets were within the military circle.
Meanwhile, the former Secretary to Cabinet outlined his responsibilities from taking minutes during cabinet meetings and deputizing for the Secretary General among others. He confirmed being a co signatory to accounts which he said should not be the case.
“I did not have a choice,” he interjected.
Touray went further to mentioned Dr. Kalilu Bayo, former Secretary General who refused to signed a document to become signatory to an account but was forced by the former president to sign.
“Ordinarily, Secretary to the Cabinet should not be a signatory to accounts,” he added.
The minutes of Dr. Kalilu Bayo’s refusal to signed a document to become signatory to account was admitted and marked as exhibit.
He was questioned about the withdrawal of $610,000 US Dollars from the Accounts of the International Gateway authorized by Momodou Sabally and himself.
He explained it was an instruction from the former president to himself and Momodou Sabally. He presented a letter of instruction to the Governor of the Central Bank and a minute from the former Secretary General Sabally to former President Jammeh.
Meanwhile, the documents were admitted and marked as exhibits.