Shocking details have emerged in regards to the recent sacking of the longtime Central Bank Governor Amadou Colley, and three other top Directors of the Bank, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Mr. Colley, his Deputy Mr. Njie, Ms. Savage, and co were fired, following their apparent refusal to sell the onetime insolvent PHB Bank, now called Megabank Gambia Limited to Kallilou Waggeh, a close associate of president Adama Barrow. Mr. Waggeh, is a Senegalese businessman, who recently expressed interest in buying Megabank Gambia, which is under the direct supervision of the Central Bank of the Gambia, following its liquidation. The bank made a profit of couple of millions of dalasi last year after it was taken over by the Central Bank of the Gambia.
Mr. Waggeh’s name started surfacing in the Gambia, as soon Adama Barrow, was elected as the country’s third president. He met Barrow in Senegal, where Barrow temporarily took refuge in the wake of Gambia’s month long political impasse. He has businesses in Congo, and Banjul was among the countries, that he earmarked for investment post Jammeh rule.
Waggeh is always seen around Barrow and his family. There are few people in Banjul, who are privy to his association with Barrow. Even Barrow’s political Godfather Ousainou Darboe, doesn’t seem to know this Senegalese businessman called Kallilou Waggeh.
Mr. Waggeh is one of Barrow’s business confidants and political operatives. He donated money to the regime prior to the Legislative elections to buy campaign vehicles for the opposition alliance led government. Some of the parties, which formed the coalition government had benefited from Waggeh’s donation.
As Barrow’s presidency, has been shrouded in secrecy, some of the political leaders have been kept out of the loop about Waggeh’ ties with the Commander-in-chief. Both Ousainou Darboe and Halifa Sallah of the PDOIS do not know Waggeh. He recently coordinated Barrow’s trip to Congo. No government Minister accompanied Barrow in that rather impromptu trip.
It was until recently, when Mr. Waggeh, reportedly confided to Barrow about his intentions of buying Megabank Gambia Limited. This was the Bank, onetime managed by some Nigerian Bank Executives—notably the famous chucks and co. The bank was wrecked to the ground, as many of its clients, who borrowed money from the financial institution had defaulted to pay their loans.
President Barrow, we gathered, then instructed his Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh to work with Waggeh, and his team to ensure that Megabank Gambia Limited, is sold to the Senegalese businessman. Mr. Sanneh then placed a phone call to the former Governor of the Central Bank Mr. Amadou Colley, and instructed him to receive one Mr. Waggeh at his office to discuss the possibilities of selling the bank to the Senegalese man.
It should be noted that Mr. Colley and his management staff at the time do not know Waggeh’s association with president Barrow. They thought that Waggeh, was just another investor, who was in Banjul to invest in the banking industry. It was after the recent Freedom Newspaper piece exposing Waggeh’s association with Barrow that Colley and co knew who Waggeh was, said a source close to the State House.
Mr. Waggeh came to the Central Bank with two other people, whose names we do not know. He explained to the Governors of the Bank, the reason for the meeting: (I.E) him having the desire to buy Megabank Gambia Limited.
Governor Amadou Colley, and his Deputy Mr. Njie were among the officials present at the meeting. Mr. Waggeh was informed by the bank governors about the procedures stipulated as to how a liquidated bank is to be disposed of. The Bank governors told him that before any sale can be done, Megabank Gambia Limited, must be advertised so that prospective investors can bid for the sale.
Waggeh, who appeared increasingly inpatient at the meeting, according to our source, told the Bank governors that he doesn’t have time for any endless talks. He then asked the governors to give him a price for the bank, or else he will leave. The talks abruptly ended, as Waggeh, and the two guys accompanying him left the bank.
Days later, the Barrow State House decided to fire Governor Amadou Colley and three officials of the bank. The impression earlier given by the administration that their firings had to do with the massive looting of the Gamtel gateway call termination proceeds by Jammeh with the help of the CBG Executives, was not the only reason for their removals. Their refusal to sell Megabank to Waggeh, was the main reason for their dismissals.
President Barrow’s choice for Governor was Saikou Jabbi, the former Director of Micro Finance Department at the CBG. Jabbi, and Barrow are close buddies school days. Interior Minister Mai Fatty, also wanted Jabbi to be the Governor of the CBG.
Mr. Jabbi is a relative of Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe. His mum is Darboe’s sister.
Given Jabbi’s position at the Bank, sources said Barrow was advised to reconsider his decision and appoint Bakary Jammeh, the former Director of Research as Governor. Jabbi was appointed First Deputy Governor. He is virtually in charge of the bank—given his close ties with Barrow and Mai Fatty. He is the one firing the shots at the CBG, our source said.
Mr. Saikou Jabbi, has been tasked by Barrow to oversee the sale of the Megabank Gambia Limited. Plans are afoot to replace the current management of Megabank Gambia. Jabbi, has since started an in house cleansing at the Megabank Gambia Limited. The bank will eventually be sold to Kallilou Waggeh. We are keenly monitoring developments as it unfolds. Stay tuned.
The Barrow State House could not be reached for comment. Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo, was contacted earlier on, but he said he was on board a plane flying to Banjul.
Written By A Staff Writer