Former Sect. Gen. Faces the Janneh Commission

Abdoulai G. Dibba

Mr. Momodou Sabally, the former Secretary General in the Jammeh administration, faced the Janneh’s Commission on Tuesday 22 August 2017, at the Djembe Hotel.

Testifying before the Commission, Momodou Sabally said he was Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service from 2013 to 2014; that before his appointment, he worked with the Central Bank as an Economist and then with the Ministry of Finance as the Director of Budget.

Mr. Sabally told the commission that as Secretary General and head of the Civil Service, he advises the president with regard to the offices under his purview and continues: “By the time I was SG, the Ministry of Petroleum, Defence, NAWEC, GAMTEL, SSHFC and the EFSTH were under the office of the president.”

He informed the Commission that as SG, he was the accounting officer responsible for all payments even though he has deputies who act on his behalf; that the president’s budget is an integral part of the national budget.

At this jucncture, he was shown some exhibits containing the account number of the Tax Recovery Account (TRA), at Guarantee Trust Bank and Trust Bank, with the signatories of the accounts, which Mr Sabally confirmed as being part of, when he recognized his signature.

He said those accounts were opened before he was Secretary General and that monies received from the recoveries of taxes were deposited there.

He was shown a transaction amounting to D1,396,740  which was given to Ansumana Tamba and was asked who Ansumana Tamba was. Mr Sabally responded that Ansumana Tamba was at one time the Commandeering Officer of the State Guards.

He was also shown a transaction and he said that was in connection with Sana Jarjue who was the Chief of Protocol.

Momodou Sabally informed the Commission that the TRA was opened because President Jammeh requested for them even though he said, they were not comfortable with the opening of these accounts simply because all government monies should be deposited at the Central Bank.

He said he does not object to the opening of the accounts because President Jammeh was a very powerful man and as the director of budget who was appointed Secretary General, he had to be very careful if not extra careful.

He accepted that the opening of the accounts was irregular and the transactions were outside his budget.

At this stage, Momodou Sabally was asked to step down until Thursday but was informed to liaise with the Commission Secretariat if he has any documents to show.