Our today’s lead story is disturbing to say the least. The credibility and integrity of the Janneh Commission is at stake—given the damning revelations about the Commission’s Lead Counsel Amie Drammeh Bensouda, who has been linked to colluding with the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) Directorate to illegally loan Social Security Funds in the sum of one hundred and eighteen million dalasis to the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC). The funds came from the SSHFC workers Federated Pensioners Scheme. Mrs. Bensouda was the retained lawyer for the SSHFC at the time of the the loan agreement. She took part in the transactions. Granted the borrowed funds have been repaid, but the bottom line is that pensioners funds are not meant for parastatals.
The entire proceedings of the Janneh Commission have been tainted. Mrs. Bensouda has no moral authority to hold the likes of Edward Graham, Tumbul Danso, Njogu Bah, Momodou Sabally, and co to book. She is complicit to some of the issues being discussed before the Commission. Check the paper trail below.
It is dishonest on her part to confront former and present SSHFC officials about the issue of misusing pensioners funds, when Bensouda herself drafted the pensioners loan contractual agreement between NAWEC and the SSHFC. This is sheer hypocrisy.
Mrs. Bensouda should resign from the Commission in the interest of justice. She is not fit to lead witnesses into evidence before the Janneh Commission–given her complicity into some of the financial alleged crimes which had taken place at the SSHFC.
Interestingly, and sadly, Mrs. Bensouda is a beneficiary of the former Jammeh government. She represented the discredited SSHFC, where the major economic crimes have been perpetrated while she was the Corporation’s retained lawyer.
As a retained lawyer for the SSHFC, she never advised the institution to staying away from the grand theft of pensioners funds taking place at the SSHFC. She instead facilitated the issuance of one hundred and eighteen million dalasis SSHFC funds loan to NAWEC. This is the woman trying to make us believe that it is illegal for Graham, Danso, Njogu Bah, Sabally, and co to help Jammeh to use pensioners funds for his own personal aggrandizement.
A case in point was when both Sabally and Njogu adduced in evidence before the Commission that SSHFC funds were used to buy Tobaski ram to loan it to Civil Servants. The duo said they were acting under Jammeh’s instructions.
Mrs. Bensouda categorically said it was unlawful for Pensioners Funds to be used to serve Jammeh or State House functions. She even referenced the retirement contributions usually made by Civil Servants through the Treasury Department or Accountant General’s office to justify her position on the matter.
We hope Mrs. Bensouda will employ good judgment in handling this major ethical malpractice on her part. Resigning will help shape the direction of the Janneh Commission. Failure of which, she would reduce the Commission’s mission as a misplaced priority.
It is also alleged that Bensouda used to be Bazzi’s lawyer. If it is true that Bazzi was her former client, it would be unethical on her part to engage Bazzi in the Commission.
Another conflicted Commission member is Mrs. George. Both Fadi and Bazzi have called her out during the proceedings. She used to be their Accountant. She was aware of the financial malpractices taking place at Euro-Africa Group. But she chose to ignore it as the company’s Accountant.
Folks, the purpose of the Janneh Commission would be defeated unless some of the unethical issues facing the Commission are resolved. The people appearing before the Commission had one way or the way dealt with the Commission members or its lead counsel.
In as much as Mr. Saine is doing a good job by taking the witnesses to task, it is also imperative to note that his Dad Lamin Saine used to be the head of the NIA. It is a known fact that some of the witnesses Saine occasionally chastised for failing to do the right thing while in office, feared to be taken to his Daddy’s presided NIA torture and murder chamber while they were asked by Jammeh to execute those illegal instructions.
We got to be honest in this new Gambia. Momodou Sabally was put in chains and humiliated in the streets of Banjul by the NIA, after he parted company with Jammeh. Sabally has no excuse for executing Jammeh’s illegal instructions.
On the same vain, Bai Saine will also agree with us that had been that Sabally refused to execute Jammeh’s instructions or orders he would have been arrested, tortured, or at worse killed by the dictator’s agents hosted by the NIA. His Dad used to head that killing minefield of Jammeh called the NIA. His own Dad never defied Jammeh’s illegal orders.
We need a Commission of an un-conflicted membership. As it appears, there are certain members of the Commission, who have been either one way the other, wittingly or unwittingly colluded with the former Jammeh dictatorship.
Once again, we are calling on Mrs. Bensouda to resign for heaven sake to help safeguard the reputation of the commission. We rest our case.