Ex SG Sabally: “Vehicles were Donations, not for Sale”

By Rohey Jadama

Former Secretary General Mr. Momodou Sabally told the Banjul High Court yesterday, 25th June 2015 that AlhassanModou Sabally SG Ndoye’s vehicles were for donation to President Jammeh and not for sale. The former Minister of Presidential Affairs was testifying before Justice Emmanuel Amadi in his economic crime and abuse of office case, among others.

Prosecutors allege that Mr. Sabally while serving as Secretary General and Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs  abused his office with intent to annoy and cause financial loss to Alasan Ndoye informed the president that Mr. Ndoye had given two vehicles to the President which information he knew or believed to be false.

Sabally said he received Alhassan Ndoye, Sheikh Omar Bah(PW1), and Sulayman Jatta (PW2) at his house and that PW1 introduced Ndoye  to him as a Senegalese Man who had had vehicles to donate to the President. He continued, “Ndoye told me that he is a contractor who had a registered company in the US and I asked him where the cars were and I was told it is parked outside my house.”

The erstwhile SG said himself; Ndoye, Jatta and Bah went outside to see the vehicles, which were two pickups of American Brands. He added that upon enquiring he was told that they were used cars and that he (Sabally) told  Ndoye that the cars are good but he cannot make a decision until he consulted his boss.

They were showed to General Badjie in the presence of   Lieutenant Colonel  Ansumana Tamba and Badjie said they were good enough and that they should accept them. The president concurred, he added.

He added that   there was a musical   jamboree   at the 22nd July Square   and he invited Mr. Ndoye to  come and attend and that he had the opportunity to   shake    hands with the president during the ceremony.

“Ndoye said he spoke to the president for about 8 minutes, what do you have to say to that?”,   asked Lawyer Antouman Gaye, his counsel  .”That is not true it was only a courtesy hand shake”, responded Mr. Sabally.

He said that he eventually handed over the keys   of the vehicles to Colonel Tamba and he came to my office. He said  Ndoye said that he had a vast network of business people in the US and he proposed that he could bring investors in the Gambia especially in the area of urban development. However,   he requested that for him to do that government will need to pay for the cost of his travel, hotel expenses and   for it to be paid for   the potential investors as well, said Mr. Sabally.

He further added that he refused to accept the conditions of payment of this cost mentioned above. He said after this conversation with Mr. Ndoye,  PW1 came to his office with an envelope, which he said contained documents from Ndoye but did not receive it because he feared that it would be lost.

He told the court that a couple of weeks later through a telephone conversation PW1   told him that Mr. Ndoye wanted money bargain which shocked him because the cars were presented as gifts   to the president.

Sabally added that he reminded PW1 that both him and Ndoye told him that the two cars were gifts for a donation to the president and that it will be over his dead body to   go back to the president and ask him to pay for items that were presented to him as gifts.

The erstwhile SG said he never sent PW1 to Ndoye in Dakar. He said time went by and PW1 came   to him and told him that Ndoye was no longer asking for payment of cars   but wanted business contract with the government. “I told PW1 that I had no problem with Ndoye wanting to do business with the government but that I will never allow him to use the donated cars to blackmail me for getting government contract.”

The case continues on the 29th of June, 2015 at 11:30