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Governor Saidy Describes As ‘Madness’ To Allege D155M Entered Central Bank

Buah Saidy
Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia

By Buba Gagigo

The Governor of The Central Bank of The Gambia, Buah Saidy has described it as ‘madness’ to allege that D155M has entered the bank.

“For anybody to allege that this quantum of money has entered this building is madness. D155m! The way money is deposited to the Central Bank is- we have bags that contain only D200 notes, we don’t mix them, those are in red bags. Where D100 notes are put in, are blue bags, the D50 notes are put in black bags, and the D200 [notes] bags, what can fit in [it] is ten million, what can fit in the D100 note bag is Five million and what can fit in the D50 note bag is 2.5M. 

“D155m in D200we’re talking about 15 and a half bags of D200 notes, D100 notes is 31 bags and D50 notes is 62bags. Even if one argues or is not all at one time over one year, how can you bring 50.5 bags here? Even if you are bringing [a] half bag or one bag, my friend somebody must have seen this thing,” he explained.

In response to why the Central Bank did not act on the letter that was written to them on 10th February 2022, The Central Bank Governor said he was not in the country at the time.

“When I came back, I immediately acted on this [the letter]. We issued a press release and we wrote to Abdou to explain. The flash drive was sent to the Inspector General of police to act on it and conduct an investigation. Thereafter I called a board meeting. I’m the chairman of the board. We deliberated on these issues.  Admin order was issued to department heads. The First Deputy Governor was copied, I was copied and department heads and the Director of HR. The Director of HR was instructed through that admin order to send Abdou on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation,” Governor Saidy added.

Further responding to the letter written to the Bank from Ansumana’s Lawyer, the Central Bank Governor debunked most of the information in the letter.

“Let me also clarify, in March (2021), the alleged Abdou Ceesay was not posted at the currency department. At that time, [the] currency department was not a department, it was [a] currency and banking department. And the director there was Karamo Jawara. [It] is now separated to two because we restructured the bank; and have currently, management department, Banking and payment system department. 

“[On] 1st September 2021, that’s when the board moved Abdou Ceesay from foreign department, he was deputy director there working under Madam Rohey Khan who was the director. He was moved from foreign department to Currency management as officer in-charge. But on or around March 31st up to August end [2021], Abdou was at the foreign department. So never before was one Mr Jarju, Abdou’s boss,” he said.

The Governor also said that the Central Bank does not have any staff called Sylvester Gomez, and an intelligence unit as mentioned in the letter.

“Now this vault custodian! Sylvester Gomez has never worked in the Central Bank. The people who were in charge of the vault, since I joined the bank were Mr. Bengas, Mr Alieu Gaye, Buba Koita, Mr. Momodou Lamin Sanneh and now Abdou Ceesay. Never ever in the history of this bank was any Sylvester Gomez there, and head of intelligence one Basiru Janneh. We don’t have [a] head of intelligence unit here. There is no Basiru Janneh here. At no point do we have 9 security guards here. We have soldiers with guns and at most four security guards at night or two,” he concluded. 

The said letter written to The Central Bank of The Gambia by a lawyer alleged that a staff of the Central Bank of The Gambia was given bank notes amounting to D155 million by his client to change into new notes; and the demanded D11, 100, 000.00 in exchange for the service, which was never rendered.

However, the Gambia Police Force preliminary investigation into the matter said Ansumana Bah on whose behalf the lawyer wrote to the bank was scammed.

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