Gambia: Bombshell Revelations: SSHFC – Free Allocation of Lands To Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Public Institutions Worth Over D57 Million

Dear Pa, Thank you for the great job you are doing. You are contributing massively in our new democracy by always exposing injustice and reporting the truth.   The attached memo dated 29th November 2015, from the former Minster...

Dear Pa,

Thank you for the great job you are doing. You are contributing massively in our new democracy by always exposing injustice and reporting the truth.  

The attached memo dated 29th November 2015, from the former Minster of Lands and Regional Government to the Managing Director SSHFC speaks volumes about the land fraud that existed between Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation and the former Minister of Lands , Mr. Aki Bayo, who illegally authorized the free allocation of plots located at Burusibi to Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Public Institutions including some private individuals based on what was described in the memo as “courtesy from the Hon. Minister.” There is no indication of an executive directive or approval from the ex-president.

A closer look at the document listed out 27(Twenty Seven) interesting names prominent among them are:-

  1. Hon. Burama K. Sanyang,                  Minister of Planning
  2. H.E.  Dembo Badgie,                            Ambassador of India
  3. H.E.  GEN.(RTD) Lamin Bojang          Consul General, Jedda
  4. Mrs.  Fatoumatta Gassama,              PS, Office of the First Lady
  5. Mrs.  Isatou Auber                                PS, Office of the President (OP)
  6. Mrs. Ndey Marie Njie                            PS,  OP
  7. Mr.    Bulli  Dibba                                    PS,  Ministry of Lands
  8. Mrs.  Rohey Bittaye-Toro Darboe      PS, OP (Wife of DG, GRA- Yankuba Darbo)
  9. Mr.    Yankuba Toro-Darboe                DG, GRA Customs
  10. Mr.   Essa Jallow                                  DGG, GRA
  11. Mr.   Alhagie Conteh                             Director of Operations, GRA
  12. Mr.  Sarjo Jah                                         GAMWORKS
  13. Mrs. Rose Kujabi                                   GAMWORKS
  14. Mr. Momodou Sarr                                GAMWORKS
  15. Mr.  Bakary Nyassi                               DG, GIA
  16. Mr. Alieu Boye,                                       GPA
  17. Mrs. Faith Cole                                       Diaspora c/o Adama Samba Faye
  18. Mr. Karamba Touray                              Auditor General
  19. Mr. Lamin Camara                                  PS, MOFEA
  20. Mr. Saikou Sanyang                               PS, MOLRG

The free allocation had cost the corporation over D57 million. These plots are located in a premium area not far from Brufut Heights and some had already sold their plots for huge amount of money close to D1 million. Both legal and processing fees were done free of charge which usually cost the corporation about D30, 000 per plot.

The DG of Customs and his second wife, Mrs. Rohey Bittaye are included. Also, the Auditor General who is supposed to monitor and report on such massive fraud is also a beneficiary in this land deal. Both the former Minister of Lands and the MD of SSHFC should be made accountable for the massive abuse of pensioners’ funds. If those working for GAMWORKS cannot afford their own homes I wonder why poor teachers in the civil service have not been accorded the same opportunity.

One of the fundamental principles in the allocation of SSHFC plots is to give priority to those low- or middle-income earners who lack the opportunity to build and own their compounds. All those listed above are residing in their own compounds and some have over two to three developed compounds. What basis was used in this deal is a question that the former Lands minister, Mr. Aki Bayo who is now the Ambassador in Russia, can explain.

There should be no selective justice in the fight against corruption. We wait and see whether the Interior Minister or the Finance Minister will do something urgently about this. There are other serious fraud in GRA and SSHFC that need to be investigated without delay. If the head of SSHFC can be removed why the DG of GRA, who was a member of the Security Council under Njie-Saidy and was personally managing the taxes of the businesses of the ex-President should not also face justice.

Democracy thrives on honesty, transparency and accountable government. If we want to build a genuine democratic country, we have to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the past activities of the previous Government to determine the level of corruption that was so pervasive in order to build the necessary strong institutions to eliminate all forms of corruption and corrupt practices by those who were entrusted with public resources without fear or favor.

Written By An Insider

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