The former Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Momodou Sabally has said that the Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh was a very powerful man.
Momodou Sabally made these revelations to the commission of inquiry set up by the new government to look into the financial activities of the former president and his close associates at the Djembe Beach Hotel, Kololi.
“President Jammeh was a very powerful man. I could not ask him why the accounts were opened,” former Secretary General Momodou Sabally said.
He added: “The accounts opened were direct instructions from the president.”
Sabally after swearing on the Qur’an, confirmed his own signatures on the different accounts that were opened out of the consolidated government account ranging from the Tax Recovery Accounts to the Mining Accounts among others.
“All of us were not comfortable with the accounts opened out of the consolidated government account,” he asserted.
The former Secretary General who called himself the ‘Gambia’s Pen’ told the commission that he served the office of the Secretary General from the period 2013 to 2014. He said he was the Accounting Officer of the Office of the President. He disclosed that the nature of his job was very complicated.
“I have to be careful with some of the directives,” he said.
Sabally agreed that the said accounts in question were irregular, saying they came as directives from the former president who issued directives.
He added:”Many of the directives were verbal.”
Sabally was then released but told to reappear on Thursday.
The next witness was the Secretary to Cabinet, Ms. Isatou Auber. She told the commission that she was Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President before her dismissal in 2016. She was reappointed by the new government as Secretary to the Cabinet in 2017.
Ms. Auber was questioned about her role as permanent secretary at the office of the president under the former government. She said she does not have any specific terms of reference.
She confirmed her signatures on the Carnegie Mineral Mining Account, Heavy Sand Mining Account and Tax Recovery Account as well.
“The former president decides who should be signatories to the account,” Isatou Auber said.
She was ordered to reappeared on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. Abdoulie Sallah also appeared before the commission. He confirmed his signatures on some of the accounts. He was ordered to reappeared on Tuesday.