By Dawda Faye
Lamin Sanyang, former managing director, Gambia Ports Authority, today revealed at the Janneh Commission that he believed that Amadou Samba had received money which was paid into an account at the Central Bank.
He appeared before the commission along with the Managing Director Abdoulie Tambedou, and Deputy Managing Director Ousman Jobarteh, in connection to Gambia Ports Authorities (GPA) shares and investment on Gam Petroleum.
Explaining the portfolios he held at the GPA, Mr. Sanyang told the commission that he was director of Operations but prior to that, he was a logistic manager.
Abdoulie Tambadou, managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority, testified that he was the director of Finance the time he received a letter from the Ministry of Finance asking them to invest on Gam Petroleum, noting that different directors made comments on the investment.
According to him, the letter received from the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, was attached with a letter from the office of the former president, signed by Dr. Njogu Bah, adding that Muhammed Lamin Gibba was the former managing director. He said they sent a memo to the MD to implement the directives from the office of the former president.
Mr. Tambadou disclosed that there was evaluation before any investment was made. He added that they paid for evaluation made on Gam Petroleum by competent authorities. He said they were asked to continue with the investment by the board of directors in a form of a resolution dated 28th July, 2008.
Mr. Tambadou testified that the evaluation exercise was to quantify the value of the enterprise. However, he said no due diligence was carried out.
At this juncture, the deputy managing director of GPA, Ousman Jobarteh, was given two reports prepared by DT Associates, and he said that he recollected the said reports.
Mr. Tambadou added his voice that they decided to investigate why the company was making losses and not paying dividends as well.
Commission’s counsel, Amie Bensouda, at this point, asked him what efforts the shareholders made to ensure that they were represented at the management. In response, he said there were efforts to make sure that they were represented at management level but unfortunately their efforts did not bear fruits.
He said as the finance director, he used to attend shareholders’ meeting with the managing director but not frequently, further stating that they never had 50% shares but 49%.
At this juncture, Mr. Jobarteh intervened and disclosed that SSHFC was asked to nominate a member to form part of the management for the investments made on Gam Petroleum, noting that one Lamin Sanneh was chosen by SSHFC whom he said claimed that he was not given any assignment and was isolated at a GPA reception.
He further told the commission that he agreed with DT Associates representative when he was told that the representative’s firm adjusted the evaluation of Gam Petroleum to the tune of D32, 000,000. He adduced that the shareholders said that something must be done with the management of Gam Petroleum; adding that the shareholders took a decision that the management of Gam Petroleum should be restructured.
Mr. Sanyang came in again and said that he was involved in Gam Petroleum matters around 2015. He confirmed that a representative of DT Associate was insulted at their meeting, noting that he could not remember the conclusion of the said meeting, and that it was tough.
According to him, he was called after the meeting which was also attended by the former governor of Central Bank, Amadou Colley. He said they were told that the shareholders decided to buy 10%, further stating that there were financial instructions from the Ministry of Finance.
He further testified that they were asked to pay to CBG under the directive of the Minister of Finance, adding that he was threatened that if he did not pay, he would lose his job, and they recommended that all the expatriates should be terminated.
At this juncture, Mr. Tambadou intervened and said that he did not agree that proper evaluation of Gam Petroleum was done, further noting that they received a statement of affairs but not an evaluation exercise from DT Associates.
Documents relating to Gam Petroleum were tendered and admitted in evidence.
At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that a sum of D271,200 was land rent for the lease, and he responded that this included some arrears. He further testified that they received shares certificate before 2011.