On 19th February, 2014, we published the acquittal of the former Managing Director, Abdoulie Tambadou and the Financial Director of the Gambia Ports Authority, Hali Abdoulie Gai. Please read on to appreciate this case as it begins to unravel before the Commission that is looking into the illicit wealth of Yaya Jammeh.
With the threat of 40 million Euro lawsuit hanging over the regime of Yaya Jammeh, by Gallia Holdings ( a Greek company) over the purchase of the two ferries, the former Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority Abdoulie Tambadou and his former Financial Director Hali Abdoulie Gai have both been acquitted of all charges leveled against them by the Banjul Magistrate Court. The acquittal occured on the eve of Gambia's 49th Independence Anniversary.
This blog has been reporting on this scandal, and we cannot help but to think that over extensive coverage with hard evidence has contributed immensely to bringing international focus to this case thus forcing the hands of Yaya Jammeh to look elsewhere for scapegoats.
What we have been able to glean from an unusually long account of the judgement by the official mouthpiece of Jammeh, The Daily Observer (DO), is that the Task Force set up in the Office of the President charged with the "restructuring of the ferry services" was the driving force behind the purchases, and we know what that means when such structures are established under Jammeh's office and Chaired by his Secretary General, in this case the former Secretary General who is already serving a two-year prison sentence on other charges.
The judgement, as reported by DO, confirms all of what was reported here. We now know from the judgement that the ferry "Aljamdu" was priced at 1.7 million Euros and that it was to be paid by a loan from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation. In short, from your pension contributions. Nothing was said of the sister ferry "Kansala". Both ferries are moored at the Banjul harbor and deemed inoperable because of structural defects and some serious design faults.
Another interesting fact to have emerged from the case was that the Financial Director, Gai, was not answerable to his Managing Director but to the then Chairman of the Task Force, former Secretary General Njogu Bah. Jammeh was, therefore, pulling the strings as always.
We will delve into the details of the ruling and the figures quoted in Court which we maintain are incorrect. We, therefore, stand by our figures. For now, we can only say that we are happy that Messrs. Tambadou and Gai are free men today because of the fact that their case was broadcast beyond the Gambian borders, and that a lot of people, including insurance companies and other interested parties, are watching. The Joint Venture partners certainly are equally interested in the evolution of the case of the two ferries "Aljamdu" and "Kansala".