By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Mr. Abubakary Jawara, Chief Executive Officer of GACH Global Trading Company on Thursday 9th June continued his marathon testimony before Justice Haddy Roche of the Banjul High Court in the eight economic crime charges against the former General Manager of Gampetroleum Mr. Saihou Drammeh and Mr. Lamin Gassama then Operations Manager of the said company.
Dressed in light blue suit and speaking Mandinka dialect with translator, Mr. Jawara told the court that when they were call to the Police Headquarters in Banjul, the family of Kaddijatou kebbeh blamed him for the predicament she was in and asked if he Jawara can do anything to get her out of police custody so that they can discuss the matter at family level.
Jawara said while Saihou Drammeh was being detained at the police Headquarters in Banjul he spoke to Badou Conteh who assured him that a fuel vessel had arrived and that the operators were only washing the pipes to offload the product and now they wanted the matter to end. He said Saihou told him that the product was diesel and petrol and he was ready to pay for both diesel and petrol. He said the amount they told him was different after he did his own calculation and he disagrees but Badou Conteh assures him that Jah Oil will do the refund. He added that there was consensus for Jah oil to refund to him adding that the agreement was done by him, Sambou and Badou Conteh and when he enquired about the petrol he was promised that it will be available within two months time.
Jawara narrated that he told Badou and Sambou that his lawyer Mene will prepare an agreement document between the parties. He stated that his lawyer advises him to wait for the other party to pay the first deal before any agreement could be made. He said Badou promised him that within a few days they will get the refund from Jah Oil. Jawara said he met with Jah Oil at GNPC office and Jah told him that the amount of money Badou and Sambou offered him is too small for him to supply such a large quantity. He stated that Jah told him that he can only supply Jawara with the fuel amounting to the money paid to him by Badou and Sambou. He said he agreed and Jah Oil gave him two letters of acknowledgement of receiving payment. The documents were tendered as evidence.
Further testifying, Jawara asserted that the amount supplied to him was 514.7 metric tons of gas oil and after that no other payment was made to him. He said Gampetroleum also call them to the Police and accused him of taking fuel from them but he told them he had paid the money to Saihou Drammeh. He added that Gampetroluem told him that the manner the payment was done is not right. He stated that he told Gampetroleum that Saihou was the boss and his supplier who asked him to pay the money to the account of Koringo which he did.
CEO Jawara told the court that his previous lawyer was Mene who later switched sides to the accused person Saihou Drammeh and cannot represent both at the same time. He said he then decided to hire the services of lawyer Ayoub Njie. He added that the Police told them if they did not pay the amount of D31, 000, 000 the matter would go to Court. He asserted that Police wanted him to sign a document to admit to pay the money but he refused but then his lawyer Njie spoke with the Police before he was let go.
GACH boss told the Court that he later wrote to the Police to give him a month to enable him to pay the D31 Million but the Police told him that after their calculation the 300 metric tons supplied to GACH in August 2021 does not appear in the calculation. He indicated that Police told him after calculation of the entire amount including the interest GACH supposed to pay 700, 000 US Dollars to Gampetroleum.
Jawara explained that he then asked GP to give him 8 months period to pay the amount but they refused and he again asked for 4 month which was also rejected. He said he is currently in a settlement process with lawyer of GP Hawa Sabally.
Due to the fact that Lawyer Christopher E. Mene was once GACH’s lawyer he decided to abstain himself from the cross examination process. See next publication for the vigorous cross examination of GACH CEO by defence counsel Badou Conteh.