By Fatou Sowe

Amadou Samba a business tycoon in the Gambia and a friend to the former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh has said that he does not owe his success to ex president Jammeh as perceived by many members of the public.

Samba made this remark during his testimony before the commission of inquiry on Thursday, November 16 after he was asked to react to the general perception that he owes his success as a businessman to Jammeh and owing to their friendship he (Samba) was untouchable.

He stated that he was successful prior to Jammeh’s regime as he incorporated his first company in 1986 when Jammeh was going to school. He further claimed that he brought a lot of investors into the country and that the amount of money he has paid into taxes is in billions, talk less of the employments he created.

On the question that his is untouchable, Samba narrated that his own sister was once detained at the NIA for days by Jammeh so if he was untouchable that wouldn’t have happened. He also claimed that his friendship with Jammeh was not based on the spirit of mutual friendship because Jammeh had always worked against his (Samba’s) business interest several times.

He said there was an instance when Jammeh compelled him to reduce the price per bag of cement, adding that Jammeh also ordered him to allow his airline crew members to occupy his property at Cape Point and he dares not ask for rent and this is among other cases.

He informed the commission that that he is a lawyer by profession and that he decided to quit the legal profession when he had temptation for money.

Samba recounted that his decision to quit the legal practice for business was as a result of a bribe that was attempted at him by a rich businessman who was involved in a case he was handling as a state counsel at the attorney general’s chambers.