Amadou Colley

(JollofNews) – A former governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia Tuesday told the commission of inquiry probing numerous allegations of mismanagement of public funds, abuse of office, and wilful violations of public funds by former President Yahya Jammeh and his associates that he executed orders from the former president out of fear of being arrested and detained for months without fair trial.

Amadou Colley who headed the Central Bank for six years and was among other things responsible for ensuring price and financial stability of the Gambia, said during his tenure, he was instructed to execute some instructions that were not in line with the bank’s own policies.

He added that in one instance, he was instructed by Office of the President to open a sand mining account for Mr Jammeh.

He said although a request for the opening of a government account with the bank should have come from the Accountant General as stated in the bank’s manual, he carried out the instructions without hesitation before notifying the Accountant General and Ministry of Finance.

Mr Colley added that the political environment during Mr Jammeh’s era was very intimidating and he didn’t have the courage to tell Mr Jammeh to follow the procedures of the bank

He added: “The Accountant General will write to us defining the purpose of the account and that they all fall under government deposit. We do not ask what the purpose for opening the account was because it is not relevant to us.

“Whenever I receive a phone call or letter, I authorise the payments and then work on the documentation later. I did this to avoid consequences on me, my family or my life so I made the decision with the belief that documentation will be complete.”

Further giving evidence, Mr Colley said: “For several years, the protocol officers and special aids to the president will come to the bank with instructions from the Office of the President. On many occasions, I will receive text messages from General Sulayman Badjie [of the Armed Forces] saying that President Jammeh wants to withdraw some money and if he [General Badjie]  is not able to come, he will send some people to come and collect the money.

“It is not okay at all and we were dealing with an abnormal situation so I fear for my life and that of my family. I could not do anything under the circumstances for somebody like Jammeh, who is not normal. If I was able to resign and leave the country, I would have done so because I was not comfortable and I fear for my life.”

The former governor who sent packing from the post in last May, said President Jammeh used to interfere with monetrary policies  of the bank.

“It is not normal but we were concerned of the consequences of standing up to the president, which could result in me being detained for months with no fair trial and the list is been sacked.”