Banjul, The Gambia—A Senegalese American businessman, who was trying to sell two of his luxurious cars to The Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, ended up having his cars taken away from him without been paid, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Alhassane Ndoye, a resident of Washington DC, spent months in The Gambia, having endless meetings with Gambian officials, who told him that Gambia’s De Facto dictator Yahya Jammeh, wanted to buy his Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram from him after travelling from his native country Senegal, with the two cars.
Mr. Ndoye, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the DC based Sophie-J, LLC, was lured into Banjul, by a Gambian man, through a third party, who informed him that a close confidant of dictator Yahya Jammeh, General Saul Badjie, wanted him (Ndoye) to bring the cars to The Gambia, so that Jammeh can buy the cars from him. Mr. Ndoye wasted no time. He then traveled to Banjul with the cars, while accompanied by a friend of his.
Upon arrival in Banjul, Ndoye, was told to take the cars to dictator Jammeh’s car maintenance shop, situated in Kotu, for the cars to be tested by Jammeh’s personal mechanic. He met Jammeh’s official driver and mechanic on site. He also spotted fleets of old helicopters at the Kotu garage.
While the cars were being tested, a guard believed to be General Badjie’s orderly told Mr. Ndoye that he was on the phone with General Badjie. Ndoye never gotten the chance to speak to General on the day in question. He couldn’t also confirm whether the guard was indeed speaking with General Badjie or not.
Mr. Ndoye tells Freedom Radio Gambia in an interview that he videotaped his first encounter with Jammeh’s mechanic and driver. He was told to go to his hotel, and wait for General Badjie.
It took Mr. Ndoye weeks before he could meet with General Badjie. An army officer in charge of Jammeh’s food catering at the State House, even had to arraign an appointment for him to be able to meet with General Badjie.
At the State House meeting, Gen. Badjie emphatically denied discussing with anyone about Jammeh wanting to buy cars from Mr. Ndoye. He told Mr. Ndoye that the people he dealt with must have misled him. Mr. Badjie also informed Ndoye that it was not his duty to run such errands for the President. He made it clear to Ndoye that Jammeh has stopped buying cars from third parties. That all car purchases from the State House are made directly to the manufacturer.
Mr. Ndoye left General Badjie’s office with disappointment. He started feeling that he was deceived by The Gambian man, whom he met in Dakar.
Few days before his planned return to Senegal, Mr. Ndoye was introduced to the Alkali of Bijilo. The Bijilo Alkalo told him that his in-law, one Sheikh, a banker at the Central Bank of The Gambia, is a close friend and former colleague of the then Secretary General, and Presidential Affairs Minister Momodu Sabally. The Alkalo told Ndoye that Mr. Sabally should be able to facilitate his meeting with the President and possibly help him sell his cars to The Gambian leader.
Mr. Ndoye, was subsequently introduced to Mr. Sabally by the Alkalo’s in-law Sheikh. He visited Sabally at his private residence, but Sabally was not at home at the material time. He was received by Sabally’s wife. Mr. Sabally later met him at the property, where he explained his mission to him.
Mr. Sabally told Ndoye that he should be able to make arraignments for him to meet with Jammeh, so that he can flood the idea of selling his cars to him. On the same token, Ndoye said Sabally also informed him that they were busy with the preparations of the Kanilai Home Coming Festival. That the state wanted to invite the Mayor of Washington DC to grace the occasion.
When Ndoye, told Sabally that he could facilitate the presence of the DC Mayor, and other US officials to the Kanilai event, Ndoye said Sabally was bit apprehensive. He then placed a phone call to the Mayor’s office, where he spoke with his Deputy. Ndoye was asked to put his request in writing.
According to Ndoye, Sabally also introduced him with Fatou Mass Jobe, the former Minister of Tourism. Fatou Mass was asked by Sabally to work with Ndoye to ensure the DC Mayor attends the Kanilai festival. Mr. Ndoye, met Fatou Mass Jobe, after the State House event, in which some Turkish guests were in attendance.
After exchanging chains of emails with Fatou Mass and her office staff, Ndoye said he was informed by one of Fatou Mass’s subordinates that her Ministry lacks money to foot for the travel bills of the Mayor and his delegation to Banjul. Ndoye said he has emails to confirm such assertions. He said Fatou Mass Jobe also told him that dictator Yahya Jammeh personally donated $30,000 dollars to her Ministry to foot for the expenses of the Kanilai festival, while Gamtel, and other prastatals had to chip in to sponsor the program. Ndoye, said he is not very sure about the exact figure Fatou Mass told her in regards to the monetary gift Jammeh extended to her former Ministry.
Mr. Ndoye said he was asked by Sabally to bring the two cars to the State House, the next day, which he did. He met General Badjie, officer Tamba, Gibba and co, including Momodou Sabally himself.
At the time, there was a function taking place at the State House. Jammeh had some guests from Turkey. Ndoye was asked by Sabally to witness the function, and he agreed. He was introduced to Jammeh by Sabally in the presence of General Badjie.
During his short meeting with Jammeh, Ndoye said he complimented him for his pan-African values. He also expressed interest in working with him to take The Gambia to another level.
Ndoye made it known to Jammeh that he doesn’t want betrayals and that he is a man of his words. Jammeh in response assured Ndoye that he is not that type of a leader. That if he (Ndoye) supports him, he will never live to regret it.
Mr. Ndoye then asked Jammeh if Mr. Sabally has briefed him about his cars, which were up for sale. Jammeh replied in the affirmative. Jammeh then asked Ndoye as to where the cars were, he told him that the cars were parked outside General Badjie’s office. Jammeh told him that he was going to inspect the cars when he got situated.
As soon as the State House event ended, Ndoye said he was told by Mr. Sabally to take the cars to his residence and bring them the next day to the State House. He later received a phone call from Mr. Sabally, who told him to bring the cars back to the State House. That Jammeh wanted to see the cars.
Mr. Ndoye was neither paid nor allowed to recover his cars after taking it to the State House. It turns out that Mr. Sabally told the NIA after his sacking and subsequent arrest that Mr. Ndoye donated the cars to Jammeh. Mr. Ndoye was invited to the NIA to make a statement to that effect to confirm or deny Sabally’s claims.
In his statement to the NIA, which was videotaped by the agency, Ndoye said he denied donating cars to Jammeh. He said he sold the cars to Jammeh for ($220,000) two hundred and twenty thousand United States dollars.
Mr. Ndoye said since no payment was made in regards to the cars, he could not release the cars titles, and insurance to Mr. Sabally, who was the middleman between him and Jammeh. He only handed a copy of the keys of the two cars to Sabally.
Ndoye tells Freedom Radio that both the Bijilo Alkalo and his in-law Sheikh said in their statements to the NIA that he never donated the cars to the President. That Sabally was the middleman between Ndoye and the President during the ongoing sale talks of the said cars.
When Sabally got charged by the state, Ndoye received a letter from Gambia’s Director of Public Prosecution inviting him to show up in court to serve as a witness in regards to his cars that Sabally falsely claimed that was a donation to the President by Ndoye.
Mr. Ndoye then flew from the DC to Banjul to witness the trial of Sabally. The DPP’S letter to Ndoye is hereby reproduce below:
After wasting his time for months in Banjul—walking in and out of court, Ndoye said Sabally’s case was discontinued by the State. He was later pardoned by the President.
On top of that, Sabally got hired as the Daily Observer Managing Director. He was also appointed to serve as the Director General of The Gambia Radio and Television Services.
Mr. Ndoye returned to the United States with a heavy heart. He left his two cars behind. Jammeh never paid him his money.
When Mr. Ndoye explained his predicament to the US Embassy in Banjul, he was advised to write to the President, which he did. Mr. Ndoye asked Yahya Jammeh to pay him his money. Below is the Ndoye’s letter to Mr. Jammeh:
Ndoye received a threatening response from a junior staffer of the State House Fatou Kinneh Jobe, on behalf of the Secretary General, who told him to desist from writing to the office of the President, asking about cars that the President has no knowledge about. Ms. Jobe used to be Managing Director of the Daily Observer Company. She was replaced by Sabally, before she was moved to the State House.
Mr. Ndoye was told by Ms. Jobe to sort out whatever problem he had with Mr. Sabally and spare the President. Below is Fatou Kinneh’s letter to Mr. Ndoye.
Mr. Momodou Sabally could not be reached for his own side of the story.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
E-mail: [email protected]