Ansumana Jammeh doesn’t know who owns the company he had managed. Who is he fooling here?

The brother of former President Yahya Jammeh yesterday appeared before the commission of inquiry. Ansumana Jammeh served as the Gambia’s Ambassador to Qatar, held various senior positions and own shares in companies belonging to his Equatorial Guinea exiled brother.

The commission – headed by Lawyer Surahata Janneh – is looking at numerous allegations of mismanagement of public funds, abuse of office, and willful violations of public funds by the ousted President.

Below is Ansumana’s testimony provided courtesy of Jollof News.

On Alhamdullilah Petroleum and Mineral Co. Ltd (APAM)
I was managing director for APAM for four months before I was relieved off my duties. We did mined sand but we never exported it. It was sold locally to people at the quarry. APAM had mining equipment but no trucks. I found all those equipment at the company when I took over and I did not buy any truck or equipment during my tenure.

Ansumana Jammeh was shown a copy of bank statement and asked to confirm whether he has any dealings with the transactions.
Asked who was the accountant? He replied it was Madam Sillah.
Question: Madam who?
Ansumana: Madam Sillah.
Question: Do you know her first name?
Ansumana: No I don’t know her first name.
Question: Who appointed her?
Ansumana: Who, Madam Sillah?
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes
Ansumana: I appointed her.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now let’s deal with the statement. Do you recognise that bank?
Ansumana: (Looking tense)…. well, I know Lamin Jammeh.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Is that statement from your bank?
Ansumana: Yes.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What’s the date on the statement?
Ansumana: 28th August 2015.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You were the MD at the time?
Ansumana: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now can you take us to the dealings on the statements until the time you were no longer MD?
Ansumana: (shifting through a pile of papers and muttering to himself)…. Around the 30th of November 2015.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What was the balance in the account when you were leaving?
Ansumana: It was ten million two hundred and sixty eight thousand.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Can you look at that bank statement? We had on the 3rd December 2015. We have ten million, two hundred and sixty nine thousand and seventy one. Can you see it in the statement?
Ansumana: Yes. Well, as for the date I was handing over, this was the balance in the account.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay, very well. You handed over to Tony?
Ansumana: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What is his full name?
Ansumana: Tony (then looked at a piece of paper before spelling out the surename) Ghattas.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What paper are you looking at?
Ansumana: My handing over paper to Tony.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Was it signed by Tony?
Ansumana: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Can we have it please?
Ansumana: (Handed the paper over to the clerk)
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: So you handed over to Tony on 3rd December 2015?
Ansumana: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (To the commission) I apply to have the handing over document admitted.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Mr Jammeh I would like you to look at this letter (dated 20th August 2015) and tell me whether you had anything to do with it. It is a letter of appointment of who?
Ansumana (Looked at the letter for several seconds) of Isatou Sallah.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who wrote the letter or appointed her?
Ansumana (holding the letter and unsure what to say)
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Look at the back page it will help you.
Ansumana: (flipped the paper over) It’s me.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You wrote the letter
Ansumana: Yes.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Appointing Isatou Sallah?
Ansumana: Yes
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: As what?
Ansumana: As financial manager of APAM.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay, can we have the letter. I am having it admitted in evidence.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now Mr Jammeh, you said when you were appointed and you opened a bank account but you did not have a business registration document for the business.
Ansumana: Yeah
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And you did not have one until you left.
Ansumana: Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now who owned the business?
Ansumana: Who owned the business?
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: APAM yes.
Ansumana: (Looking very uncomfortable) Well….. (took a long deep breath) I will say I don’t know. I don’t know who owns the business.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Sorry?

Ansumana: I don’t know who owns the business. I know I was appointed at the Office of the President’s level to run the business but to say that Mr X owns the business, I don’t know.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who were you working for?
Ansumana: Aah?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who were you working for as far as you were concerned?
Ansumana: I was working for the president as far as I was concerned.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay that’s clear. Now did you opened any other bank account?

Ansumana: No.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: I would like you to look at that bank account. There was a transaction dated 22nd of October 2015 (a debit transaction for 600,000). What does it say?
Ansumana: For the 600,000 it was given to MALIGAM for the staff payment of salaries.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: It was given to?

Ansumana: (flicking his fingers) It was given to KGI for the staff payment of salaries of the abattoir.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay and it says Kanilai Family Farm for the staff payment of…
Ansumana: (cuts in) for the staff payment of salaries.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Thank you. You were also the MD for the abattoir?

Ansumana: Yes from time to time yes. But sometimes it was not fully under my control.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Well your letter of appointment says “This is to inform you that His Excellency the President of the Republic has decided to appoint you as Managing Director of APAM Company Ltd effect from 6th August 2015. In addition to being the manager of the Abuko Central Abattoir…”
Ansumana Jammeh: (cuts in) But, but (stuttering) for the Abuko Central Abattoir it was under a management and I was only overseeing their daily management.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You were overseeing?
Ansumana: I was overseeing what they were doing there everyday.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: I see that’s what managing directors do.
Ansumana: Yes. In essence yes, but I was not fully, fully in charged of of the the (stuttering) the abattoir.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who owned the Abuko Central Abattoir
Ansumana: That’s the president.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Alright.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now Mr Jammeh you were MD for APAM. Can you please tell the commission what business APAM was engaged in?
Ansumana: Sand mining.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Where?
Ansumana: At Kartong and Brufut.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Were you involved in the licencing processes of APAM?
Ansumana: Well, partially yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: How were you involved?
Ansumana: I was asked to go and sign the licence for APAM.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (Showing Ansumana a document) Can you look at this document and confirm whether that is the mining licence that you signed.
Ansumana: (Looking at the document) the signature is not here.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Can I have the document.
Ansumana: (Cuts in) The signature is here.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You found it?
Ansumana: Yes. I am the one who signed it.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now when you were signing the mining licence, APAM had already got an exploration licence in the Upper Region.
Ansumana: I am not sure about that.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You’re not sure about that?
Ansumana: No, no I am not sure about that. I was told to go and sign the licence which I did.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who told you to go and sign the licence?
Ansumana: From the Office of the President.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: From the Office of the President?
Ansumana: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who precisely?
Ansumana: Nuha.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Nuha?
Ansumana: Nuha Touray. It was Nuha Touray.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Then what did you do after you signed the licence?
Ansumana: Well, then we went to open the bank account for APAM.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Where did you open the bank account?
Ansumana: At Guaranty Trust Bank, Bijilo.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Guaranty Trust Bank?
Ansumana: Yes I think it’s Bijilo. No not Bijilo (trying hard to remember) Brusubi.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay. Then what did you do in relation to the company? Just tell us your involvement as MD.

Ansumana: (Looking confused. Remained silent).
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You were managing director?
Ansumana: Yes.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Tell us what you did as managing director.
Ansumana: Well, then we opened the account we started operating. But then documents were not completed.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What documents?

Ansumana: The registration and ….. (fidgetting) ….document that were needed for the bank account to be opened were not completed so we couldn’t until I was removed.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: But did you open the account?
Ansumana: Yes we did open the account.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And you paid money into the account?
Ansumana: Yes we paid money into the account.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And withdrawing money from the account?
Ansumana. Yes. Yes we were withdrawing money from the account.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay thank you very much. Now when you said you started operating, where were you operating from?
Ansumana: Standard Chartered House at Traffic Light.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Standard Chartered House at Traffic Light?
Ansumana: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Was the office already there or did you open the office?
Ansumana: No the office was already there.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: The office was already there?
Ansuamana: Yes the office was already there.

Ansumana Jammeh will reappear before the commission on 28 August 2017.

Ends

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