The most influential and closest business aide to the ex-President Yahya Jammeh has finally appeared before Janneh Commission.
The name of Muhammed Bazzi, a Belgian – Lebanese tycoon has surfaced several times at the commission and his companies are currently under scrutiny for his association with Jammeh. He was contracted by Jammeh to supply heavy fuel to the state-owned power company, NAWEC.
Mr Bazzi, who is also the proprietor of Global Trading Group informed the commission he was involved in electrification projects with the National Water and Electrification Company (NAWEC), importation of fuel as well as milling of flour.
Among the companies he operated were GEG and GAMICO. GEG was later closed. Bazzi said he also has a share of 73-75% in Premier Investment Group.
According to Mr Bazzi, his first meeting with the former president was in 2001 when he came for the electrification project.
He claimed that Tony Ghattas was the one involved in the mining activities and Mr Ghattas was later given certain percentage since his company was not directly involved in the mining at the time.
Mr Bazzi noted that he was not involved in the termination of Carnegie Mineral license noting that he was the one who identified a law firm for the Gambia Government and paid the legal fees in his capacity as the Consular General for The Gambia.
He recalled that they were stopped from mining on several occasions and some of their documents were taken from them by the then NIA and appealed for the documents to be handed over to them.
On the issue of stockpiles, he said he did not know how many stockpiles were left by Carnegie Mineral which was taken over by GAMICO at the mining site claiming that despite Carnegie has left some of it equipment his company has also imported some machinery and equipment as well.
Mr Bazzi explained that his company did not take over the equipment left by Carnegie Mineral but instead the equipment was given to them by the Geological department and the government.
He stressed that the former president has no share as far as GAMICO is concerned neither he has intermediary shareholder nor did he has interest in the company.