Businessman Abubacarr Jawara

By: Mafugi Ceesay 

The founder and CEO of GACH Global Abubacar Jawara told the High Court in Banjul that former head of Gam petroleum, Mr Saihou Drammeh has made some comments during fuel shortage of which he implicated former trade minister, now finance minister Seydou Keita, Muhammed Jah of Qgroup, Edi Jobe of Atlas oil company, Saikou Omar Jigo, and former Finance Minister Mamburay Njie of being behind the fight to bring him down.

Mr Jawara was continuing his testimony in an eight-count charge of economic crime trial involving former general manager of Gam Petroleum Saihou Drammeh and former Operations Manager Lamin Gassama.

They have both denied any wrongdoing.

Dr Jawara told the court that he had informed the first accused person Saihou Drammeh that Gambia National Petroleum Company had contracted him to supply them with 1400 metric tons of AGO and 400 metric tons of PMS.

He added that the message was communicated to Drammeh through a letter from his agent Kadijatou Kebbeh, noting that his wish was granted as the GNPC was supplied.

The said letter dated 5th September 2021 was rendered, admitted and marked as exhibit P75.

Continuing his testimony, Jawara said whilst he was in Senegal, he received a phone call from his agent informing him that GNPC had transferred money worth 300 metric tons of PMS in the company’s account

He said he ordered his agent Kadijatou Kebbeh and his financial assistant to make a bank transfer but the two wanted to withdraw and pay the Senegalese in cash which he (Jawara) insisted that the 221, 000 dollars must be paid through a bank transfer.

He said whilst he was in that dilemma, he received a phone call from the first accused person ordering him to pay the Senegalese in cash since they (Senegalese) don’t have a bank account.

Jawara further informed the court that he granted the first accused person’s wish and ordered his agent to deliver the said money to Mr Drammeh to hand it to the Senegalese, noting that he ordered his agent to sign a receipt of acknowledgement of the money which the first accused person confirmed.

The receipt of acknowledgement was also tendered, admitted and marked as exhibit P75

At this point, Mr Jawara further informed the court that he has the voice message he sent to his agent Kadijatou Kebbeh in connection with how to deliver the money.

He informed the crowded court that upon arrival in the country, he signed a tendered agreement with the GNPC deputy manager Yero Jallow, adding that this agreement was a photo and sent to the first accused person.

He said he later informed Saihou Drammeh that his product is coming from outside and in response, the first accused person urged him to hurry up, but he assured him (Saihou Drammeh) that he was doing everything possible to bring the said product.

The witness adduced that he asked his agent to write to
Gam petroleum and inform them that he is to supply GNPC for the month of October but Saihou Drammeh insisted that he should settle the month of September first before GP supply for October. However, he said Mr Drammeh later agreed to supply for the month of October after he explained to him (Drammeh) that his fuel is yet to arrive in the country.

He said no sooner than Mr Drammeh supplied for the month of October, GNPC make payment of September but Mr Drammeh ordered him to hold on to the money and wait for the Senegalese supplier, adding that two days later his agent informed him that the Senegalese supplier said they needed their money.

He confirmed that he later transferred the said 58 million 900,65.50 dalasi to the Corringo account.

At this juncture the said invoice was rendered, admitted and marked as exhibit P78 (1) whilst the bank transfer receipt was rendered, admitted and marked as exhibit P78 (2) dated June 7, 2021.

The witness further told the court that the first accused person refused to effect any supply to him for the month of November and insisted that if he (Jawara) cannot make effort to bring his fuel into the country, he (Drammeh) cannot continue to supply him (Jawara) because they made loses in the months of September and October but introduced him (Jawara) to one Pap, insisting that he (Drammeh) cannot be part of any discussion on the modalities.

He also explained that when fuel shortage hit the country, his name (Abubacarr Jawara) was all over the social media accusing him of taking all the fuel to Mali. He said he relayed this message to Mr Drammeh who told him not to worry himself because Saikou Omar Jigo, Mamburay Njie former minister of finance, Muhammed Jah of the Q Group, Edi Jobe of Atlass, and Seydou Keita finance minister were the ones fighting him (Saihou Drammeh).

He said in response to this accusation coming from the first accused person he (Jawara) assured him (Drammeh) that he is a good person that will always be helped by Allah.

He said he came to understands that intelligent agents had visited the depot and when he relayed the same message to the first accused person, he told him that it is the Finance Minister Seydou Keita and Edi Jobe who sent the state intelligence service to the Gam petroleum to investigate him (Saihou Drammeh).

According to the witness, he also called the director of state intelligence service Ousman Sowe on phone to inquire about the purpose of their visit but director Sowe informed him that the SIS realised that he (Abubacarr Jawara) and another company took fuel from the depot which he (Jawara) denied.

He said he also relayed the SIS allegations about him to Saihou Drammeh but Drammeh informed him that the SIS were misinformed.

Continuing his testimony, Jawara told the court that he later received a phone call from the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of trade asking him the amount of fuel he took from the depot but little did he know that the PS was in a meeting with a panel of investigators including the former general manager of Gam Petroleum Saihou Drammeh and the phone of the PS was on loudspeaker.

He said he told him (PS) that he only took fuel from the depot in September and October, which amounted to 1400 AGO and 400 PMS which he gave the whole amount to the GNPC.

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