“Ex President Jammeh, a signatory to GRA tax recovery account”

By Sarjo Camara-Singateh

The Managing Director of the Guaranty Trust Bank Mr. Ayodele Bolaji yesterday told the Janneh Commission that Ex President Jammeh was a signatory to the GRA tax recovery account.

This commission chaired by senior lawyer Mr Surahata Janneh is inquiring into the financial activities of the former President Yaya Jammeh and his close allies. During his deliberations it was discovered that former president Yaya Jammeh, Njoju Bah, Momodou Sabally were all signatories to the GRA Tax Recovery account.

GTBank MD, Mr Bolaji

According to the GTBank Boss, the said account was injected with an amount of D54,358,650.41. He further informed the commission that D47,418,835.33 was withdrawn from the account between 12 September 2012 to 2016. The Guaranty Trust Bank Managing Director presented all the account information to the commission and they were all admitted and marked as exhibits.

Mr. Bolaji was asked by the commissioners why the Bank gave deaf ears to all the withdrawals by the former president and without a thorough check because some monies from this revenue account were paid to individuals; whether the Bank had no internal regulations for such. He said when this account was opened, it was made public for people to pay in their taxes but they did not know that this was going to be the fate of the account. In reply to a question he said that those withdrawing from the account were signatories to the said accounts. He added that the president opened Dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling accounts as salary account.

Mr. Bolaji was further asked who Jammeh’s account officer at the Bank is, he replied that it’s Malick Mboob holding a position of account officer at the GTBank.

He indicated that 37 deposits were made into this account. On 12th September the first withdrawal was made in favour of Njogu Bah, former Secretary General and head of presidential affairs being an amount of D201,000 (Two hundred and one thousand dalasi) which was signed by both Jammeh and Bah.

Second withdrawal was for transfer purchase of 21,766 Euros equivalent to D946,834.92; destination to Paris Beneficiary, one woman, purpose of transaction was  financial payment for goods. Another transfer to Kuala  Lumpur ,Malaysia USD 14,759. 498, 88.96 for tuition fees of post graduate programme; another transfer of 5000 pounds destination UK tuition fees for Ms. I. Darboe equivalent to two hundred and seventy thousand dalasi.

Mr. Bolaji further stated that another Bank Transfer of 5400 Pounds to Real Bank of Scotland was made to Ya Oley Conteh as tuition fees; 13th September 2012, USD 21,524.40 transfer to Canada, Toronto Carlton University Tuition fees for Amadou Gitteh amounting to D727,524; 13th Sept 2012, another USD 17,227.27 transfer to Canada paid directly or in favour of Amadou Gitteh; next transaction was purchase of USD 250,000 cash collected over the counter by Njoju Bah, signed by former President Yaya AJJ Jammeh and Njoju Bah.

20-12-12 cash withdrawal amounting to D1,981,277, the cheque was signed by Njoju Bah and Yaya AJJ Jammeh; 30th December 2012, 4,733,138.00 cheque withdrawal by Njoju Bah singed by himself and Jammeh.

Mr. Bolagi informed the commission that in June 2013 Jammeh and Momodou Sabally, became signatory to the account; on 28th of June 2013, two million dalasi was withdrawn by Sabally signed by Jammeh and Sabally.

A letter with instruction from President Jammeh to transfer D5,398,693 (five million, three hundred and ninety-eight thousand, six hundred and ninety-three dalasi) paid to NAWEC; another transaction was paid to Lt. Col. Sanneh Bojang, a sum of D229,390 whilst Mr. Johnson Njie and Mariama Colley were paid a sum of 300,000.00 (three hundred thousand dalasi). Bolaji informed the commission that he did not know what that transaction was for.

Another transfer of D13,383,600 paid to GIA (Hajj account at Ecobank account number Acc. 00100149, 2,809,501 cash withdrawal by Momodou Sabally. He indicated that the last transfer was paid to Trust Bank, a sum of D4,401,507 (four million, four hundred and one thousand, five hundred and seven dalasi) which was paid to one Sheriff Sawaneh authorized by Jammeh.

Depositors into the GRA Tax Revenue account were as follows: Fatou Sonko, Kebba N. Darboe, Sheriff M. Tambadou, Kololi Clinic, Surakata Janneh, Qcell, Master Plan, Gamcel, Bijilo Hotel, cheque from Trust Bank, George, Augustus Prom, Dr. Emmanuel Fagbenle, Makasutu Forest Park and Modou S Jallow to name a few.

He was asked about the leading share holders of the Guaranty Trust Bank, he responded that Guaranty Trust Bank PLC Nigeria has 78%, Amadou Samba 12%, Kanilai Group International has 1.5%.

He was further asked to disclose the board members, he replied that currently the GTBank board doesn’t have a chairman because the former chairman has exhausted his term limit of three five year terms amounting to 15 years.