More Revelations at the Commission of Inquiry

By Awa B. Bah

Karamo Jawara, principal banking officer at the Central Bank of The Gambia, on Thursday 17th August 2017, continued his testimony before the commission of inquiry into the assets and financial dealings of former President Yahya Jammeh.

The proceedings kicked off with Karamo Jawara testifying that on 18th November 2014, a debit amount of two hundred and ninety-eight thousand, three hundred and ninety two dalasi, fifty bututs (D298,392.50) was debited at the Central Bank. According to him, the office of the president wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank, requesting payment from the Carnegie Minerals account equivalent to four thousand, two hundred and fifty British pounds (£4,250.00) to Yusupha Gibba as five months’ stipend. The documents about the transactions were presented and admitted as exhibits.

 

He further pointed out that on 18th November 2014, the office of the president wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank and requested payment of two hundred and ninety eight thousand, three hundred and ninety two dalasi from the Carnegie Minerals account to one Seedy Drammeh as stipend.

He added the letter was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba (a permanent secretary). All the vouchers were presented before the commission.

He told the Commission that on the 18th of November 2014, the office of the President wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank and requested payment of one million, one hundred and seventy -nine thousand, five hundred and twenty eight dalasi (D1,179,528) to Sheikh Omar Bittaye, a student in the United Kingdom. This payment is in respect of the tuition fees of Sheikh Omar Bittaye. The said amount is equivalent to sixteen thousand and eight hundred British pounds. The request letter was signed by Dr. Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba.

He noted that on 18th November 2014, the Central Bank effected the payment of two hundred and ninety-eight thousand, three hundred and ninety- two dalasi and five bututs (D298,392.50). He noted that the director of finance at the Central Bank authorized the payment of this amount, but was quick to point out that the supporting documents like the payment request was not found.

At this juncture, he was asked to state what the voucher says and for what purpose. In his response, Jawara said the voucher indicated a payment to Sheikh Omar Bittaye, reference is quoted as two hundred and ninety- eight thousand, three hundred and ninety- two dalasi. The purpose for the payment, he said, is in the letter from the office of the president but the letter is not yet recovered. According to him, the only thing the letter states is tuition fees in favour of Sheikh Omar Bittaye.

He added that on 18th November 2014, the office of the president wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank requesting the payment of two hundred and ninety -eight thousand, three hundred and ninety -two dalasi and fifty bututs for five months’ stipend for one Alieu Jallow. He added that the said letter was signed by Dr. Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba. The payment is fromCarnegie minerals’ account to one Alieu Jallow. He told the Commission that the instructions of request and the account details are provided, but the name of the university is not stated. The account number at eco bank reads 0041134902916401.

Jawara noted that office of the president wrote a letter to the Central Bank requesting the payment of seven hundred and thirty-six thousand, one hundred and fifty one dalasis to one Isatou Darboe of Holborn University. He added that the said letter was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Nuha Touray.  According to him, the said payment was effected by the bank.

Similarly, the sum of ten thousand, four hundred and eighty- five British pound sterling was paid by the Central Bank to Khadditou Hydara ofUniversity of Huddersfield. He proceeded to say that the sum of ten thousand and two hundred was also paid to Khadditou Hydara for her accommodation and living expenses. The transactions’ vouchers were attached and tendered before the Commission.

Jawara told the Commission that on 26th November 2014, the office of the president wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank requesting the payment of the sum of three million and six hundred thousand dalasis from the Carnegie Minerals’ account to  TK Motors, being payment for three L 200 double cabins four wheel diesel pickup vehicles which was effected .

He said the letter from the office of the president was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba.

According to Jawara, on 2nd  December 2014, the office of the President wrote to the Central Bank of the Gambia requesting the payment of one million, one hundred and ninety two thousand, six hundred and fifty four dalasi, three bututs from the Carnegie Minerals’ account to Arizona State University in USA, being payment in respect of tuition and health insurance for Ndey Basin Jobe  who was pursuing BSc degree in aerospace engineering for two years.

The payment which was made through international wires, was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba.

According to him, the office of the president on 4th December 2014, wrote to the Central Bank requesting the payment of eight hundred and seven thousand, six hundred and eighty-two dalasi, five bututs from the Carnegie Minerals to the University of Akron USA.

The letter to the Central Bank was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba The payment is in respect of tuition fees for one Alagie Darboe who was pursuing BSc Degree in civil engineering for two years. The account name is University of Akron and the account number is 100204036.

Jawara further told the Commission that on 9th December 2014, the office of the president wrote to the Central Bank requesting the payment of four hundred and twenty-nine thousand and eight hundred and forty-two dalasi from the Carnegie Minerals’ account to one Saja Badjie who wassponsored to attend a two-week training course on Information Technology and network security in Dubai.

Jawara added that on 18th December 2014, the office of the President wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank requesting the payment of one hundred and twenty thousand, two hundred and seventy- five dalasi to one Ndey Basin Jobe. He said the payment was for living expenses for  Ndey Basin Jobe who was pursuing BSc Degree in aerospace engineering at Arizona state university.

 

Jawara testified that on 29th December 2014, the office of the President wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank requesting the payment of the sum of three hundred and fifty-seven thousand and eighty -seven dalasi and nine bututs from Carnegie account to Kwame Nkrumah University of science and technology in Ghana in favor of Haruna Sey for tuitions fees. He further testified that the request letter was not found, but the director of finance at the Central Bank authorized the payment of the said sum of money.

Jawara told the Commission that on 27th January 2015, the office of the President wrote to the Central Bank requesting the payment of the sum of three hundred and sixty- two thousand, seven hundred and sixty -three dalasi from Carnegie Minerals’ account to one Mansour Camara in the US.

He noted the request was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba.

Jawara told the Commission that on 7th January 2015, the office of the President wrote to the Governor of the Central requesting the payment of the sum of three hundred and six two thousand, seven hundred and sixty- three dalasi from the Carnegie Minerals’ account to Barclays Bank for the tuition fees of one Fatou Jasseh.  He testified that they received another request from the office of the President to pay the sum of five thousand, one hundred pounds’ sterling from Carnegie Minerals’ account to Barclays Bank for Fatou Jasseh.

Jawara informed the Commission that on 7th January 2015, the office of the president wrote to the Central Bank requesting the payment of the sum of 362,763 dalasi from the Carnegie Minerals’ account to one Ebrima Jatta. He added that the payment is for the tuition fees of Ebrima Jatta. He added that the letter to the Governor of Central Bank was signed by Kalilu Bayo and Isatou Auba.

 

He testified that they received another request from the Office of the President for the payment of the sum of five thousand and one hundred British pounds sterling from the Carnegie Minerals’ account to

Barclays Bank for five-months stipend for one Abdoulie Badjie.

 

Jawara told the Commission that on 7th January 2015, the sum of two million, four hundred and forty-two thousand, eight hundred and eighty dalasi and seventy- two bututs, equivalent to 10,950 British pound sterling was paid from Carnegie Minerals’ account to Barclays Bank, being tuition fees for one Ebrima Jatta.

He added that the sum of five thousand and one hundred British pounds sterling was withdrawn from the Carnegie Minerals’ account and paid to Barclays bank for the tuition fees of one Ebrima Jatta.