By Landing Ceesay
In the ongoing civil lawsuit initiated by Mr. Abdoulaye Thiam against Mrs. Aisha Fatty, three foreign exchange dealers—Amadou Muctarr Jallow, Abdul Qudus Jallow, and Yankuba Jallow—appeared as witnesses, shedding light on intricate financial dealings involving the plaintiff and defendant.
Amadou Muctarr Jallow, the first witness (PW1), revealed in his court testimony that he operates the United Forex Bureau at Senegambia Junction, specializing in foreign exchange and money transfers. He outlined a business relationship with Mr. Thiam, spanning approximately two years, during which Thiam engaged his services for various financial transactions.
According to PW1, Mr. Thiam authorized payments on his behalf to individuals in The Gambia, notably Aisha Fatty, without the need for ID verification or receipts. Jallow disclosed a substantial payment of €100,000, €50,000, and D20,000,000 (Twenty Million Dalasi) made to Aisha Fatty, the first defendant in the case.
“Mr. Abdoulaye Thiam once asked me whether I can be making payments on his behalf to people here in The Gambia, and he will be settling the bill later, which I have agreed to. Once I pay on his instructions in The Gambia, he will give an equivalent amount to my partner in Senegal. The first transaction was when he (Abdoulaye Thiam) asked me to receive money from his Lawyer and Yankuba Dibba to keep it for him, as he would inform me who to pay the said money.
“I received about D400,000 (Four Hundred Thousand Dalasi) from the Lawyer, which I later paid to other people on the instructions of Mr. Thiam. I can fully remember that Mr. Thiam asked me to pay money to several people, namely; Aisha Fatty, Fatou Fatty, Essa Hydara, and others. The highest amount I paid to anyone on the instruction of Mr. Thiam was paid to Aisha Fatty which was €100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Euros), €50,000 (Fifty Thousand Euros), and D20,000,000 (Twenty Million Dalasi) from my bureau,” Amadou Muctarr Jallow told the court.
PW1 reported that a total sum of D20,000,000 (Twenty Million Dalasi) was disbursed to Aisha Fatty (1st defendant) in two separate transactions: D11,000,000 (Eleven Million Dalasi) and D9,000,000 (Nine Million Dalasi).
According to his testimony, PW1 mentioned that the plaintiff, Abdoulaye Thiam, instructed him to make the payment to Aisha Fatty without requiring her to provide an ID card or issue a receipt, a departure from their usual practice.
Mr. Jallow clarified that, typically, when Aisha Fatty comes to collect money from his bureau, he verifies the transaction with the plaintiff over the phone before processing the payment to her.
Regarding Euro payments made to Aisha Fatty, Mr. Jallow noted that there are receipts with her signature acknowledging the receipt of those specific amounts.
However, he disclosed that for the substantial GMD20 million payment, there was no accompanying receipt. Aisha Fatty reportedly contacted Abdoulaye Thiam to express concern, and Thiam instructed Mr. Jallow to proceed with the payment without specifying the purpose of the funds. To ensure transparency, the transaction was conducted in the presence of Mr. Jallow’s employees, who assisted in confirming the amount and loading the funds into Aisha Fatty’s vehicle.
“As for the GMD20 million payment, there was no receipt as Aisha Fatty called and complained to Abdoulaye Thiam and Thiam asked me to go ahead and make the payment to her. I had no idea what the money was meant for. However, as this amount was huge, it was done in the presence of my workers. My workers helped me to confirm the amount and to help load/ carry the bags into Aisha Fatty’s vehicle,” Mr. Jallow told the court. Mr. Jallow further informed the court that the 1st defendant typically collects money from his bureau in the evening, and the aforementioned transactions occurred when she came to collect €50,000 and GMD20 million from his Senegambia bureau.
It is the testimony of the witness that Mr. Thiam (the plaintiff) once told him that he had had projects in The Gambia and was constructing a hotel in The Gambia, but he did not know any of the plaintiff’s projects or business in the Gambia.
“I did not know the nature of the relationship between Mr. Thiam and Aisha Fatty. AIl I know was I was instructed to pay monies to her on the instructions of Mr. Thiam,” he said.
During cross-examination, Mr. Jallow asserted that he had no understanding of the nature of the relationship between Abdoulaye Thiam and Aisha Fatty. Additionally, he stated that he was unaware of the amount of money Abdoulaye Thiam had transferred to Aisha Fatty.
Despite his familiarity with the parties involved, Mr. Jallow maintained that he lacked knowledge about the financial transactions between the plaintiff and the first defendant.
Abdul Qudus Jallow (PW2), testified in court that he had worked with Amadou Muctarr Jallow (PW1) at his Senegambia Forex Bureau.
“One day I was asked by Amadou Muctarr to help in loading monies into the vehicle of Aisha Fatty. The money was in bags. I carried two and another guy, a driver called Babagaleh also carried two, and we loaded it in the vehicle she came with. It was a white car. This took place in the evening around 7 pm onwards,” Abdul Qudus Jallow told the court.
Under cross-examination by Counsel LS Camara, the Lawyer representing Aisha Fatty, Abdul Qudus Jallow said he used to see the 1st defendant at their office, but he didn’t know her.
“You alleged in your witness statement that you were asked by Amadou Muctarr Jallow to load monies into the vehicle of Aisha Fatty’s. Do you remember what date was that?” Counsel LS Camara asked the witness.
“I forgot the exact date, but I know it was in the afternoon,” the witness responded to Counsel LS Camara’s question.
“Do you remember what year it was?” Counsel LS Camara asked the witness again.
“It was at the end of last year, 2022,” the witness responded.
Counsel MB Sowe, the Senior State Lawyer representing the Inspector General of Police (2nd Defendant), informed the court that he had no questions for the witness.
Following the court’s discharge of PW2, Counsel Lamin A. Ceesay, the lawyer representing Abdoulaye Thiam (Plaintiff), promptly called another witness.
Yankuba Jallow (PW3) informed the court that he was acquainted with Amadou Muctarr Jallow (PW1) and had worked alongside him for two and a half years at the Senegambia office of the United Forex Bureau. Mr. Jallow specified that he used to work the night shift, from 6 pm to 3 am.
Mr. Jallow also revealed that he assisted Mrs. Aisha Fatty (1st Defendant) in loading bags of money into her vehicle, noting that the currency involved was in Gambian Dalasis.
“It was a white vehicle, and this happened in the evening during my working hours. At the time, Amadou Muctarr was in the bureau together with Aisha. She personally came to pick up the money and I helped her to load it in the vehicle. I cannot remember the date this took place, but it took place at the Bureau in Senegambia, which is United Forex Bureau,” he said.
During the cross-examination led by Counsel LS Camara, Mr. Jallow asserted that he had no prior acquaintance with Mrs. Aisha Fatty (1st Defendant) until the day he purportedly assisted in loading money into her vehicle.
Mr. Jallow further stated that he was unable to recall the specific date or year when he allegedly aided in loading money into Mrs. Aisha Fatty’s vehicle.
The proceedings have been adjourned, and the continuation of the cross-examination of PW4 is scheduled for December 6, 2023.
Background of the Case
Abdoulaye Thiam, the plaintiff, is suing Fatty, his former fiancée, for allegedly breaching their engagement promise. He claims that the breach has caused him emotional distress and embarrassment. Thiam is also suing the Inspector General of Police, Abdoulie Sanyang, who is the second defendant in the civil suit.