MA Kharafi & Sons’ Gambia Coordinator Cross Examined On Sale Of Kairaba Hotel

By Dawda Faye

Following his evidence on the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel which he claimed that Amadou Samba, a Gambian business tycoon was involved, the country’s coordinator of MA Kharafi and Sons, Momodou Lamin Sonko, was yesterday cross-examined by the lawyer representing Mr. Samba, Sheriff Tambadou before the Janneh Commission.

Amadou Samba

Mr Sonko in his evidence told the commission that Amadou Samba and his sister, Marie Samba, were initially involved in the sale of the hotel. He explained the various roles played by Mr Samba and Marie Samba who also doubles as his lawyer.
Under cross-examination yesterday, Mr Sonko confirmed that he was called by MA Kharafi who was in Cairo, Egypt, at the time for the sale of the hotel to former President Yahya Jammeh.
He said no formal receipt was given to him after the payment of US$10,000,000 at the Standard Chartered Bank after an agreement was reached.
Mr Sonko further explained that although the document contained the name of Edward A Gomez, it was not stated that the document was prepared by him rather it was prepared by Marie Samba.
He added that he could not remember whether he incorporated any business name called “Millennium” in the name of his business when asked by counsel Tambadou, lawyer for Mr Samba.
Asked who were the shareholders of Millennium Africo Water and Electricity Power Company Ltd, after a careful perusal of a document given to him, he said the shareholders were himself and Kanilai Family Farm.
Barrister Tambadou at that point applied to tender the memorandum and article of association and business registration of the company as exhibits.
Counsel for Mr Sonko, Combeh Gaye, however raised an objection on the basis that it was irrelevant to the subject matter before the commission which his client was summoned to testify.
The document notwithstanding was admitted in evidence as exhibit after the Commission Chairman, Sourahata Janneh weighted it admissibility.
Mr Sonko, the proprietor of Boto Construction refuted that the said documents does not mean that he was engaged in business with Jammeh rather the former president verbally offered him 20% share  after he introduced a company to him which he vested interest.
He insisted that Mr Samba signed a document during the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel on behalf of former President Jammeh but he has not got the documents which Mr Samba signed, adding that the documents which Mr Samba signed was rejected and could not produce.
KPMG report on the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel was requested by Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda and urged the witness to liaise with MA Kharafi to make it available to the commission.

Sitting continues.

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