(JollofNews) – A Gambian minister who was sacked on Friday by President Adama Barrow has denied taking bribes from a Belgian company contracted to produce national identity cards in the country.
Former Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty said the allegations are concocted and contained no fibre of truth.
Semlex, a Belgian company engaged in the development and supply of technological systems in identification and authentication, was last month given the go ahead by the Government of the Gambia to produce national documents in collaboration with Pristine Consulting (Gambia).
Prestine Consulting was initially awarded the Biometric Identity System (GAMBIS) project in 2010 intended as an integrated system in which government aims to capture bio-metric details for all citizens and aliens in the country. The project includes National Identity Card, residential Permit and driving Licenses; to expand into passports, birth, death and marriage certificates respectively. The contract was later terminated and awarded to Semlex before it was again terminated by the former government of President Yahya Jammeh.
Following the assumption of power by President Barrow, his government renegotiated an agreement the agreement with the two companies thereby saving nearly US$100 million in litigation cost.
Former Interior Minister Fatty whose, ministry is responsible for issuing national identity cards is accused of by some Gambians in the diaspora of receiving bribes in exchange for the deal.
But Mr Fatty Tuesday vehemently deny receiving any bribes from Semelex.
“The allegations are concocted and contain no fiber [fibre] of truth. The alleged meeting and settings were all lies, with no foundation and I challenge them to prove me wrong,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“It is an orchestrated smear campaign of columny [calumny] designed to ruin my reputation. I am ready and willing to subject myself to the most expansive, thorough, independent investigation ever in the history of the Gambia on this matter. I am confident that I am innocent.”
Mr Fatty urged Gambians to respect his and his family’s privacy.