(JollofNews)- The managing director of former President Yahya Jammeh’s owned sand mining company, Alhamdulillah Petroleum Mineral Company (APAM), Wednesday appeared before the commission of inqury to give evidence into the activities of the company.

Tony Ghatta succeeded Mr Jammeh’s half brother Ansumana Jammeh as managing director in December 2015.

He told the commission headed by veteran lawyer Surahata B. Janneh, which is probing numerous allegations of mismanagement of public funds, abuse of office, and willful violations of public funds by former President Yahya Jammeh and his associates that he was made director of the company while he was in Dakar.

He said at the time of the appointment, he had never heard of the company APAM and its business activities.

We will be reproducing Mr Ghatta’s testimony in our live blog.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 20176:42 pm

Tony Ghatta on how he was appointed Managing Director of President Jammeh’s owned mining company APAM
Tony ( giving evidence in broken English) I was appointed managing director of APAM while I was in Dakar by Mr Nuha Touray. This was the first time I heard of Mr Touray and the company called APAM. I asked him about the company but he (Nuha Touray) said this is a company doing sand mining in Sanyang…am…Tujereng and ….Kartong.They called me on my Gambian number which was on roaming.I said fine but I am in Senegal and maybe three, four days I will come back. So when I came back, I called and I met him. He showed me the letter.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What Letter?
Tony: My appointment letter that I am managing director from the Office of the President.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Do you have that letter?
Tony: Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Can we have it?

Tony (shifting through a bundle of paperwork said) sorry ( and continued searching for the letter lasting over two minutes)

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: If you can’t find it we will give you time to come back when you find it. Okay? You were telling us how you became managing director of APAM.

Tony: Yes (continued shifting through his thick file of papers). Yes… (closes the file) yes my instructions were given by General Badjie.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda. What instruction?

Tony: What to do. The operation…

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You accepted the appointment?

Tony: Yes?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And you took over the operations?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who did you takeover from?

Tony: Ansumana Jammeh.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (To the clerk) Can you show him exhibit MS9 please.

Clerks hands over a piece of paper to Tony

Tony examines the document marked MS9 carefully

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Do you know that document?

Tony: (Holding the documents with two hands) I didn’t sign this document. I didn’t recieve anything from them. That’s not my signature here.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: That’s not your signature?

Tony: No. And didn’t go to that office. Only once I go there with the managing director of the NIA [National Intelligence Agency] to handover for me. I didn’t take even the key. I told them this is the key I have my own offices and will use my offices.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 20176:58 pm

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: ( Holding document MS9) Mr Ghatt….

Tony (cuts in) yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: This is a handing over document between Mr Ansumana Jammeh and yourself when you tookover as managing director and you said you did not sign it.
Tony. Yes. It’s not my signature.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: That’s not your signature?

Tony: (looking at MS9) Yes that’s not my signature because I refuse to take all of this ( he pointed out at some of the items listed on the document).

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Sorry?

Tony: I refused to take all this (he pointed at the items listed on the document) from that office and I didn’t want to use that office.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: When did you refuse to take these?

Tony: The same moment.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You were offered to take these?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Who offered you?

Tony: Theeeeeeeeeeee ..(stuttering) DG and Ansumana [Jammeh] that this is your office but I told them no I have my own office thank you.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Did he handover the bank statement?

Tony: The bank statement, yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Was there a balance of ten million, two hundred and sixty eight thousand and seven one Dalasis?

Tony: Yes.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 20177:13 pm

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now you are saying you did not take any of the items that are listed?

Tony: No.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And you did not use the APAM office at Standard Chartered House?
Tony: No.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay we hear you. So you took over the operations including the staff of APAM…
Tony: (cuts in) No staff.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:There were no staff?

Tony: No. I use my own staff.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What happened to the staff that Ansumana Jammeh was using?

Tony: I don’t know.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: There were no staff on the site?

Tony: I don’t know. We used our own staff.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: There were no staff when you tookover. No watchman, no….

Tony: They were having only the watchman.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Only the watchman?

Tony:Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What about the Chinese?

Tony: No Chinese.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay I see. So you brought in your own staff?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Both in the mining site and in your office?

Tony: I used my own staff.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:So you were operating APAM from your offices when you tookover?

Tony: Yes.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 20177:26 pm

Bank Dealings

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now you were the signatory to the bank account when you took over..

Tony (cuts in) yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: When Mr Jammeh [Ansumana] handed over the Dalasi account at Guaranty Trust Bank…

Tony (cuts in) The Dalasi Account at GTB bank [Guaranty Trust Bank] yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You also opened a Dollar account….

Tony: (cuts in) Later on I opened a Dollar account yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: In May 2016?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You also opened an account with FIB Bank [First International Bank]?

Tony: When they blocked the account at GTB Bank….

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (cuts in) Did you open the account at First International Bank?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: When did you open those accounts?

Tony: At FIB bank?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: When did you open those accounts?

Tony: Which one?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: FIB bank?

Tony: After they blocked the account at GTB bank.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Alright I see. That’s when you opened both accounts in Dalasi and Dollar?

Tony: Yes.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 20177:57 pm

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Alright. Now let me just take a step back. You said you were being paid five dollars by GANICO?

Tony Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now how much did you earned during the period of your sub contract with GANICO? Since you do not have the records of how much you shipped, they expect that you have a record of how much you earned?
Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Can you tell us how much you earned

Tony: Well, I don’t have the records with me but….
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (Cuts in) But you can provide the records?
Tony: Erm… I can look for it and see if I can provide it all.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 20179:16 pm

APAM’s Activities

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay. Now… What was APAM mining?
Tony: APAM did not mined HMC more than one month or 45 days.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What was APAM mining?

Tony: We were selling construction sand.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay.

Tony: The white sand with da… with da (stuttering) erm.. business plan management from geology. It was signed.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You were selling construction sand?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: When did you start mining HMC?

Tony: HNC we started like in end of October. We did like 45 days and then things happened here and thenthe Chinese didn’t want to stay and we stopped everything.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Do you have a record of how much construction sand was sold by APAM?

Tony: The construction sand?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes the construction sand.

Tony: Yes we know.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Do you have the record?

Tony: Yes we have a record.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Do you have it here?

Tony: Erm… the record for the sand I do not have it here.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You don’t have it here?

Tony: But I can bring it here.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: We would require the record for the sand.How much sand was sold. Erm…

Tony: (cuts in) But we know how much royalty we pay. The royalty on this white sand it was nearly D12 million was paid. We still owe (displaying a shape with his hand).. some money…

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:(cuts in) We will come to black sand.I want us to be clear on the white sand first.

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Was GHATSON involved in the construction sand business?

Tony: No.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: GHATSON was not?

Tony: No.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: So between the period when you took over November 2015 until October 2016 you said when you started mining the heav mineral concentrate, GHATSON was not doing any business in the mining sector?

Tony: GHATSON was doing the transportation.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Transportation of what?

Tony: The machinery, the black sand, the HMC, the containers… they were 119 containers on the ground. They asked us to ship them.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: One hundred and?

Tony: There were 119 containers.These containers were at the ports and returned back. The government forced GANICO to return it back. So these containers, Office of the President asked me to sell it. GHATSON loaded, transported at the port and ship it.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay. Now you took these 119 containers at the ports, brought them back to the site and then you shipped them again?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now can you give us how much GHATSON was paid for this?

Tony: GHATSON?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes. You were paid I presumed?

Tony: Yes. Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Can you tell us how much you were paid. Now if you don’t have we will need the figures of how much GHATSON was paid for the shipment of the 119 containers from…

Tony: (cuts in) From Sanyang to ports.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes and then how much you were paid to take them back to the ports I presume.

Tony: No they were returned back at the time of GANICO. When they closed GANICO they returned it back. It was three/four years ago.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: It was GANICO that took it back to the ports…

Tony: (cuts in) Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What you did was to take it back.

Tony: (struggling to express himself) After maybe two/three weeks, we returned it back.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: To the port?

Tony: From the port to the site. That was in 2014.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: I understand…

Tony: Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: I understand. But GHATSON was paid for this service right?

Tony: Yes from GANICO to return it back.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You see I asked you when you became managing director of APAM…

Tony: (cuts in) Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What service if any did GHATSON render to the company APAM…

Tony: Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And you said you shipped heavy minerl concentrate because there were 119 containers at the ports which was returned..

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: So what was the service that GHATSON rendered to APAM?

Tony: It was loading the containers and transporting it to the ports.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: How much were you paid for this?

Tony: I don’t remember….. maybe D6000 per container…. erm I have to check my records.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You have to definitely check your records.

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now. Apart from this service what other service did GHATSON render to APAM?

Tony: Ehem… everything. We were like er… (struggling to find the right phrase) sort of helping APAM to stand on its foot [feet].

Jollof Media Network August 23, 201710:02 pm

Number of Shipments Made

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: How much mineral was exported?

Tony : (Making gestures with his hands) it was errr… almost 190 to 200 containers… something like that.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: 200 containers…?

Tony: It was between 190 and 200 containers.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Where was it imported to?

Tony: China.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: How much were you paid per tonne?

Tony: Err….. 100 dollar per tonne I think.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: 100 dollar?

Tony: Per tonne.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: 100 dollar?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: This was not the price of HMC (heavy mineral content). That was not the price of HMC…

Tony: These are you……You know ….errrr the HMC here is varies between other countries errr.. it;s in the stock market. The minerals here, they were mined twice.. so the zircon content is less than eight percent.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:Okay, were was it sold in China. Which company?

Tony: It was errrr…. HiNALD Minerals and then HiNALD-Fugam.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Do you have the contract. The sales contract with the company?

Tony: Yes I have the contract with the company.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You have it?

Tony ( Nodding his head) yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And do you have the shipping documentation including the invoicing and everything?

Tony: Errr.. I have some copies yes, but because we sent the documents by bank. So I sent all the originals. but I have some copies.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Which bank?

Tony: GT Bank [Guaranty Trust Bank].

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: We should be able to retrieve the documents from GT Bank.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 201710:16 pm

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now Mr Ghatta..

Tony: Yes
.
Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: How much was paid. How much was paid?

Tony: How much?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes for the shipment?

Tony: (Remains silent and moves his body from left to right and right to left….)

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: How much was paid for the minerals exported?

Tony: It was transferred to GT Bank. It was aroun three hundred. No four hundred….. I don’t remember exactly. (Starts going through a pile of papers)..

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (cuts in) This will help you… GT Bank?

Tony (stops going through the papers and looks up) GT Bank is like three hundred and fourteen no three hundred and twenty two hundred dollar or something like that.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay that’s fair.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 201711:30 pm

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Can you look at this exhibit please?

Tony: Three hundred and twenty two thousand dollars.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You have it?

Tony: (Going through the document and muttering to himself that It was three shipments. Yes this is the amount).

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: (Looking at a document Tony gave to the clerk a few seconds earlier) This is just an extract from the bank.we want the shipping documentation and the contract that you entered into for the sale of HMC. Do you have it?

Tony: (No answer)

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: We want the contract. The export contract. Do you have a sales agreement. We want to see the shipping documentation.

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Do you have all these?

Tony: I should have them.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes please can we have them? I will give you the GT Bank dollar account.. that should help you. (Passes the document to Tony).

Tony: (Gets the document from the clerk and begins to examine it).

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: If you look at th document (bank statement) there is an entry on the 28th July 2016 there is an entry of three hundred and fourteen thousand, one hundred and eighty two dollars and fifty nine. Was this the shipment?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay this was debitted but we understand there was a shipment there.

Tony: This is the shipment.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay now if you look at that account, on 5th of May 2016, there was an inflow of hundred and sixty thousand, two hundren and eighty five dollars for a settlement of outward billing….

Tony (Examining the document)

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What was the inflow for. Wasn’t it for a shipment of HMC?

Tony: (Muttering to himself) I think this was a mistake. Errrr errr It was not for a shipment. It’s a reverse or something.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: If you add them up you…. How were you paid?

Tony: All what I remeber that was in this account was three hundred and fourteen thousand maximum

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: That’s fine. Now let’s just look at that account. You were paid three hundred and fourteen thousand, one hundred and eighty two dollars which GT Bank said they transferred to the shipment ledger and it was returned to the account as you needed the money. But I want you to look at the credit column and debit column on the statement. Okay?

Tony: Yeah.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now on 29th July 2016, the bank transferred sixty thousand dollars into APAM’s account and on the same date, you transferred sixty thousand dollars into GHATSON’s account.

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Then on 4th August 2016, the bank transfered another sixty thousand and on the same date you transferred that sixty thousand into GHATSON’s account.

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay. Then on 10th August 2016, another sixty thousand was creditted and we have a breakdown…

Tony: (Looking at the document) …. This is an error.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:What? Then there was a cash withrawal of six thousand dollars by yourself…

Tony: Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Then there was a fourty three thousand, six hundred and twenty six

Tony (cuts in) Pounds.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Yes in pounds. Were was this paid? You withdrew it in cash?

Tony: Which one?

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: The fourty three thousand, six hundred and twenty six pounds.

Tony: This was sent to the State House.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: You said this was sent to the State House. How?

Tony: General Badjie called from up country and said he wanted Thirty three thousand pounds and and six thousand dollars.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: And you gave it to him?

Tony: Yes.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda:And do you have proof that you gave it to him?

Tony: Luckily I have a proof.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Um?

Tony: Luckily I have a proof. Most of the time I couldn’t get.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Give us the proof.

Tony ( Began to go through his stack of documents before pulling out a piece of paper and giving it to the clerk)

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: ( Begins to examines the document)

Tony: That;s not his signature.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Sorry? Is this the best copy you have got? It’s a little bit faded. Where is the original?

Tony: In the office.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: We want the original.

Jollof Media Network August 23, 201711:39 pm

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Now did General Badjie himself signed this?

Tony: No he was up country and one lady at the Office of the President signed it for me. I don’t remember her name.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: What is the name of the lady?

Tony: I don’t remember her name.

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Did you see the lady? Did the lady receive it in person?

Tony: Yes

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: If you see the lady will you recognise her?

Tony (shrugged his shoulders).

Lead Counsel Amie Bensouda: Okay let’s have the original (entered the copy as exhibit for identification purposes)

Jollof Media Network August 23, 201711:50 pm

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