By Rohey Jadama
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Hadi Saleh Bakum, yesterday,
1 July, continued the cross examination of Mr. Momodou Sabally, the
erstwhile Secretary General and Minister for presidential Affairs
who is standing trial before Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the Banjul High Court.The accused was represented by Antouman Gaye, whilst the DPP appeared
for the state.
“You did not want to tell your boss the truth that the vehicles were
for sale?” said the DPP
“I disagree with your statement because I had already told my boss the
truth that the vehicles were presented as donations to him,” said
“You did not tell your boss that the purported donation was associated
with a business deal as it was purportedly presented to you by PW10?”
ask the Chief prosecutor.
Sabally said, “The cars were presented as gifts for donation to the president
without any conditions attached and they were accepted as such?”
“If the cars were for donation why did you not care to ask for the
title deed from PW10?” ask the DPP.
“The office I was running was a very busy office as such most of my
responsibilities were delegated and as heard in evidence the keys were
handed to Lieutenant Colonel Ansumana Tamba in the presence of Ndoye
and I expected him to surrender anything related to the vehicle to him
henceforth,” said the former SG.
“Did you delegate Ansumana Tamba to collect the title deeds?” enquired the DPP.
“Yes, I delegated Tamba to receive the keys and everything related to
the vehicle, including the title deeds,” said Sabally
DPP asked, “Could it be that because of your busy schedule you did not have time
to attend to PW10 when presented exhibit P7 and P8?” “These exhibits
were never presented to me.”
DPP asked, “Did you remember telling this court that PW1 brought an envelope
but you told him that you have a number of documents on your
desk and that you will get back to him?” Sabally responded, “An envelope was presented to
me and I decline receiving it because was too many documents on my
desk and I feared losing it.”
DPP asked, “Are you are saying that that you decline to take the envelope because of
your busy schedule?” Sabally answered, “No am not saying that, this was a weekend and
the records clerk were not in court for reasons of safety and
procedure. I always receive documents through the records office.”
DPP added, “I’m putting it to you that you knew what PW1 was bringing to you
earlier, as the same document was brought to you by PW10 because you
had made up your mind to scuttle the sales transaction because you did
not want to hear about it.” Sabally answered, “I disagree with you because there is no
way I can know the content of the sealed envelope, at that time no sale
was mentioned and I had no intention to scuttle any sale and I did
not remember PW10 giving me any envelope.”
DPP asked, “I’m putting it to you that the issue of the cars were for sale from
the inception?” Sabally answered, “No the cars were never meant for sale from the
DPP added, “The deal of the purported donation was your misrepresentation?” Sabally answered, “No
the cars were meant for donation and that is the truth.”
Mr. Sabally while still responding to questions from the DPP told the
court that he has a dual relationship with Lamin Manga, the former
Director of Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS).
He added that Mr. Manga used to receive official instructions from him
and report back to him. He added that Miss Mariama Sillah was an
acquaintance and that she was introduced to him by Mr. Manga purposely
for the transaction.
When asked whether he knows the relationship between Manga and Ms.
Sillah, Sabally responded in the negative.
“How close were you with Mr. Graham, the Managing Director of Social
Security and Housing Finance Corporation?” asked the DPP.
“We have professional and official relationships,” responded Sabally.
“Why did you take it upon yourself to introduce Ms. Sillah to Mr.
Graham?” asked the DPP.
“Because the project she presented to me (Youth Career development)
was relevant to national development and the institution Mr. Graham
heads is also for national development?” responded the former SG.
“Do you have any ministry of youth in this country?” asked the DPP.
Sabally responded in the positive.
DPP asked, “Why did you not forward her request to the ministry of youths and
sports?” Sabally answered, “I thought they did not have the capacity to meet her
assistance for the project.”
Sabally said he presented the issue to the MD of SSHFC by phone and
that he did not write to him formally knowing fully well that he was
not giving any instruction from his office.
He was asked whether that was in line with his purview as SG.
“I was not acting in my capacity as SG but as a concerned young
Gambian interested in youth development and that Manga presented Ms.
Sillah to him so that he could help and that he had a relationship
with MD SSHFC during my tenure as Budget Director under the ministry
of finance and I did not know any relationship between Manga and
Graham,” said the former SG.
At this stage, exhibit P1A was shown to him and the DPP asked him
whether he stated there that he was acting as a concerned young
Gambian and not in his capacity as SG.
“It is not explicitly stated there,” replied Sabally.
The case will resume on Monday 6 June 2015 for continuation of
By Rohey Jadama