The Commission of Inquiry probing Ex President Yahya Jammeh’s financial transactions were told by a senior official from central Bank of The Gambia that the former dictator used his power and influences to withdraw millions of dollars from 22 different banks operated by the office of the president.
Appearing before the commission on Wednesday, Mr. Karamo Jawara, principal Banking officer of Central Bank of The Gambia said Jammeh has withdrawn $99,000 (D4.55 million dalasi) from the Vision 2016 Special Project Fund account at the Central Bank, few days after fleeing to exile in Equatorial Guinea.
He said the then office of President has 22 banks accounts at Central Bank adding that these include International Gateway Account, Special Project Vision 2016 account, State Aircraft Special Account, Green Industries Account, Fish Landing Account, the Office of the First Lady, Ministry of Petroleum Account, Special National Security Account and SABC Account.
Mr. Jawara testified that the signatories to the said accounts were Nuha Touray and Momodou Sabally but later Ssabally was replaced by Momodou Sallah in 2015.
According to the CB official, the total amount deposited into the said account from 2013-2014 was $5,421,732.98 and the amount withdrawn was $5,421,410.61 and the balance left stands at $292.00.
The first withdrawal, M. Jawara recalled was $310,000 which was withdrawn by Momodou Sabally and received by Momodou Batata Juwara under the directive of Sabally. Another withdrawal was made on 30th of September, 2013 and the amount withdrawn was $300,109.73 which was received by Momodou Batata Juwara under the directive of former Secretary General, Momodou Sabally, he told the commission.
He said another withdrawal was held on the 21st of March, 2014 amounting to $305,621.80 which was paid to the office of the president under the directives of Momodou Sabally and ex- President Jammeh.
According to him, there was another transaction on the 16th of May, 2014 and there was a withdrawal of $54, 67.45 signed by Jammeh and Ssabally respectively. He said there was a cash payment of $1,000,000.00 to Mr. Sabally but received by Sanna Jarju.
‘On the 13 May 2014, there was a transaction amounting to $85, 880.08 paid to Competent Company Limited signed by Nuha Touray and Sabally respectively. On the 14 May 2014 there was a payment of $35,332.61to FI Bank and the beneficiary was Sendola Safari Lodge but the purpose was not stated. On the 14 May 2014, $95,000.00 was paid to African Union Broadcasting for FIFA World CUP which was signed by Nuha Touray and Sabally again. on the 21st of May, 2014 $750, 000 was paid to Sabally but was received by Buba I Demba on behalf of Sabally and on the same date, $100,000.00 was paid to Sabally, office of the president which was signed by both Messers Sabally and Touray but the money was received by Makam S.K Bah on behalf of Sabally,’ he said.
He adduced that another $70,000.00 on the same date was also paid to Makam S.K Bah on behalf of Sabally.
Mr. Jawara further adduced that on the 29th of May 2014 the sum of $248,942 was paid to TK Motors signed by Sabally and Touray and on the 4th of June, 2014 another $250,000 was received by the said Sanna Jarju on behalf of Sabally. On the 10th June 2014, he added, there was a reversal of $44, 633.4 and on the same day, $97,209.00 was sent to Gambia Embassy in Washington for maintenance and tuition fees.
On the same day, he said, another $9,943 was paid Yai Conteh for tuition fee which was signed by Ssabally and Nuha Touray. He added that on the 17th of June, 2014, $873,362.43 was paid to Makam SK Bah on behalf of Sabally.
Mr. Jawara further disclosed that the next transaction was on the 24th of June, 2014 the sum of $44,633.40 cent was sent to Washington signed by Sabally and Touray but the purpose was not specified. He said on the 26th of June, 2014, the sum $100,000.00 was paid to former Secretary General, Momodou Sabally but was received by Nuha Touray.
He said on 2 July, 2014 the sum of $43, 117.96 was paid to University of The Gambia as students tuition fee signed by Nuha Touray and July 3, 2014 the sum of $132,669.24 was transferred to Barclay Bank for the purchased of New African Magazine which was signed by Nuha Touray an Momodou Sabaly.
The apex bank official further revealed that on July 4, 2014 the sum of $120,000 was paid to Art Contempory in Rabat, Morocco for the purchase of VIP carpet for the Office of the then President which according to him was signed by Nuha Touray and Momodu Sabally and after all the transaction on the said account the balance left was $292.37.
Mr. Jawara disclosed that former President Yahya Jammeh was the sole signatory to vision 2016 special account at central Bank.