The Point (Banjul)

5 February 2013

Gambia: AMRC Deputy Director Testifies in Court

Lamin Sanneh, currently deputy director at the Assets Management and Recovery Corporation, AMRC, yesterday testified in the economic crime case involving three former senior officials of the corporation.

Abdoulie B. Tamba, former managing director of AMRC, Abdoulie Dibba, former commercial director, and Yusupha M. Jaiteh, former acting financial director were arraigned at the Special Criminal Court under a five count-charge, which included economic crime and abuse of office.

Sanneh told the court that he lives in Banjul, and he is a civil servant working with the AMRC.

He added that he was an accountant before he was elevated to the post of deputy DG, stating that he came from the UK on 9 July 2011, and resumed work on 19 July 2011, as an accountant.

He added that he did a review of the accounts, and came across a consolidated debtors' list amounting to several millions of dalasi comprising cements and rice, and he then reported the matter to the then DG, Abdoulie Tamba.

The current AMRC deputy director further told the court that he knew the accused persons, Abdoulie B.Tamba, as the ex-MD, Abdoulie Dibba the 2nd accused, as the ex-director of commercial and trade, and the 3rd accused, Yusupha M. Jaiteh, as the ex-acting director of finance and administration.

"After reporting the matter to the 1st accused, Abdoulie Tamba, there was a management meeting where they discussed the modality of setting a recovery taskforce, and the ex-MD then gave me instructions to form a recovery taskforce, which was chaired by the 2nd accused person," he said.

He added that they came across a debtor called Ahmed Yaya Mutarr, who owed the corporation D2.7million, but his whereabouts was not known, stating that they tried to locate him, but could not, and the matter was reported to the ex-MD through a memo.

Designated as the third prosecution witness (PW3), Sanneh told the Special Criminal Court that the debtors were given rice and cement through a personal guarantee, adding that in the matter of Ahmed Yaya Muktarr, he later found that the said person was an employee of N and N.

The 2nd accused told him (the witness) that Ahmed Yaya Muktarr owns a bakery in Barra, noting that this was captured in the memo.

There was a long list of debtors whose whereabouts they did not know, he stated.

At that juncture, the DPP showed him exhibit C, which he recognised and confirmed that it was an absconded debtors' list, which amounted to D15m.

Mr Sanneh told the court that exhibit B was the comprehensive list of all debtors, adding that the absconded debtors' list was submitted to the then MD, who later called a meeting, but the meeting was never held because the 2nd and 3rd accused persons were not in the office, who were supposed to brief the meeting on the list of the absconded debtors' list.

The deputy DG told the court that the selling of rice and cement was the responsibility of the 2nd and 3rd accused persons, adding that the 3rd accused signed some sales agreements between the customers and AMCR.

He further stated that the management and the board had a relationship wherein if approval was not given by the board, then the transaction would not be carried out, adding that he did not see any approval of the board.

The case continues on11 February 2013.

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