By Landing Ceesay
The Operations Manager of Petro Gas Ebrima Jaiteh on Wednesday testified in the Gam Petroleum Corruption scandal trial at the High Court of the Gambia.
In giving his testimony, Mr. Jaiteh told the court that Petro Gas sourced their petroleum products from International Traders such as Addax, Trafigura and others.
He added that he does not deal with marketing, but it is his Managing Director Abdou Rahman Barrow who helps in the facilitation and obtaining of petroleum products.
The 10th Prosecution Witness (PW 10) said his primary responsibility is operations by uplifting petroleum products from Gam Petroleum depot to their petrol stations across the country, and said they prepare orders on a daily basis from the depot.
The Petro Gas Operations Manager said they were having petroleum products at Gam Petroleum between October 2021 to November 2021, but they were unable to receive any from the depot.
“Gam Petroleum at some point was not having petroleum products, as a result, Petro Gas could not be supplied. We were informed that there was no product at that moment for loading. I went to the Managing Director (Abdou Rahman Barrow) to inform him about the unavailability of products from Gam Petroleum. He then informed me that we were supposed to have some products with Gam Petroleum,” he told the court.
PW 10 said he personally did not find out why there was fuel shortage at the depot but asked one of his staff.
He said the fuel shortage took them less than a week and they had products for their business.
The witness told the court that he was personally involved in the investigation at Gam Petroleum when the shortage hit the depot.
“I was called to the police headquarters in Banjul regarding the stock situation at the depot to confirm the balance to the police,” he said.
Mr. Jaiteh said he was then called to make a statement after the reconciliation that took place at the police station together with the 2nd accused.
He told the court that Petro Gas did uplift petroleum products from Gam Petroleum on a negative balance. He said at the end of July 2021, Petro Gas was on a negative balance of 1,029 litres for Gas Oil.
Jaiteh appeared in Court as the Tenth Prosecution Witness (PW10) in the trial at the High Court of the Gambia involving two staff of Gam Petroleum.
The 2 staff namely Saihou Drammeh (1st accused), former Managing Director and Lamin Gassama (2nd accused), former Operations Manager of the institution are charged with 8 counts (3 counts of economic crimes and 5 other counts) in the alleged corruption scandal.
The eight counts are levelled against the two in their maiden court appearance at the High Court in Banjul on 4th April 2022 presided over by Justice Haddy Roche.
Their appearance in court followed their arrest regarding their alleged involvement in the alleged corruption, malpractices and the missing of fuel products worth USD 20 million at the depot.
Lawyer Abdul Aziz Saho represented the State, while lawyers Christopher E. Mene, B. S. Conteh, S. Akimbo, Bakurin Pauline, and Sasum Sillah represented the 1st accused and 2nd accused persons in the hearing.
Hearing continues today at the High Court in Banjul.