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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2020 :  13:18:53  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Investigation by MALAGEN. Saturday, October 10, 2020
BREAKING NEWS

VERY long article so I have just include the link

https://malagen.com/investigations/this-one-ill-share-with-my-minister-fresh-bribery-scandal-hits-fisheries-ministry/

‘This one I’ll share with my minister’: Fresh bribery scandal hits Fisheries Ministry

After two months of investigations, Malagen has gained access to secretly recorded tapes and official correspondences. The medium has also conducted interviews with deep-throat informants and confronted key players at the Ministry of Fisheries, including minister James Gomez and permanent secretary Dr Bamba Banja both of whom are named in a bribery scandal....

Malagen: OCTOBER 9, 2020


According to our informant, Dr Bamba Banja was visited by 3 Chinese staff from Golden Lead and we reconstructed the scene based on his description @T Keita.
In briefs

Money has many times changed hands between Golden Lead, a scandal-ridden Chinese owned fish meal company and top officials of the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, a former staff turned informant told Malagen.
One such alleged encounter was captured in an audio clip where a voice, purportedly of Dr Bamba Banja, the permanent secretary, could be heard saying ‘This one I will share with my minister.’ However, Dr Banja and the Minister, James Gomez, have both denied ever receiving bribe from the company. “You think I am cheap?” the Minister says.
Meanwhile, in three years – from 2018 to 2020 – the authorities have arrested at least 32 vessels found illegally fishing in the Gambian waters. However, none of these cases were brought before the courts.
Instead, the Ministry of Fisheries has established an out-of-court mechanism in the form of a committee comprising representatives from various government entities. Here, deals are struck with offenders for payment of fines that, officially, are far lower than what the law dictates. “That law does not make sense,” says Dr Banja, referring to a Jammeh-era minimum fine of D5 million stipulated in the Fisheries Act for infringements on foreign vessels.
As the Fisheries Ministry blatantly disregards the law even when the country is incapable of policing the waters, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is reported to be at an unprecedented rate, emptying the seas of resources with attendant risk of food insecurity in the country.
Golden Lead is often alleged of constantly bribing their way out of trouble. The company also stands alleged of forging a certificate for purposes of exporting fish products and, more – a waste water treatment plant feigned?

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2020 :  14:22:58  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

https://standard.gm/assembly-vows-to-investigate-fisheries-bribery-scandal/

Assembly vows to investigate Fisheries bribery scandal

The Standard: OCTOBER 13, 2020


By Alagie Manneh



The National Assembly will open a probe into the alleged bribery scandal that has hit the fisheries ministry, the chairman of its select committee on environment said yesterday.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, Dr Bamba Banja is at the centre of grim allegations of corruption after an audio linking him to a bribery transaction was leaked and covered in the media

In the audio, a voice purported to be Dr Banja’s was heard in a telephone conversation with an unnamed minister in the alleged discussion. Dr Banja’s however strongly rejected any suggestions that he was the one in the audio.

Gambians online and elsewhere have severely condemned the alleged corrupt practices and called on the authorities to investigate the matter.

“Make no mistake, the NA committee on environment will do its level best and make sure no stone is left unturned in this issue,” committee chairman Sainey Touray said.

He added however that the committee’s work will not be premised on mere “speculations” adding it must first initiate its own findings and summon the concern individuals to “clear the doubts”.

“We will also invite the whistle blower because this has to do with corruption and, in a democracy, we cannot condone such practices,” the Jarra East lawmaker told The Standard.

He said his committee is working “very hard” on its motto which is declaring “war on corruption”.

“Fighting corruption is not an easy task, but we will never waiver in our efforts. We must pursue those found wanting, or suspected of corruption,” Mr Touray vowed.

Touray said he was “seriously flabbergasted” having watched and read the investigative piece.

“This is corruption on grand scale,” he admitted. “This is highly unprecedented but, unless and until we establish all the facts, I don’t want to put the cart before horse.”

Mr Touray urged all Gambians to allow natural justice to dictate their proceedings and not to “jump the gun”.

“Due process and diligence must be followed”, he urged.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2020 :  20:26:41  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/fisheries-ps-dr-banja-suspended-after-alleged-bribery-scandal

Fisheries PS Dr Banja suspended after alleged bribery scandal

The Point: Oct 14, 2020
By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko


The permanent secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, Dr. Bamba Banja, has been sent on administrative leave (suspended) after his alleged involvement in a bribery scandal.

The scandal was unraveled by Malagen newspaper with an audio alleged to be the voice of the embattled permanent secretary who was recorded saying “this one I’ll share with my minister”

The permanent secretary Dr. Banja and his boss Minister Gomez are accused of involving in a bribery scandal involving Golden Lead Factory – a Chinese fishing firm.

According to the Information Minister Ebrahim Sillah, Dr. Banja has left for leave.

“I reached out to the Honourable Minister of Fisheries and he informed me last night that the permanent secretary Dr. Banja has proceeded on leave to allow possible investigations and he would make himself available to any body set up to investigate the alleged issue.”

Dr Banja’s administrative leave was also confirmed by government spokesperson Ebrahim Sankareh.

“He is on leave. I just got the report actually from the office of the IGP. So effectively, he has proceeded on administrative leave.”

“The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries Dr. Banja proceeds on administrative leave as the minister suggested, yes today.

“In this saga the process to start police investigation is also on the way from the Office of the IGP”

According to Malagen’s investigations, in an article written by Investigative Journalist Mustapha K. Darboe, Dr Banja has received at least five payments of D100, 000 each between 2018 and 2020.

The investigations further revealed that “two of the payments were connected to the lifting of the ban on night fishing.”

Another “was made as recently as April 10, 2020, to allow the company to operate during Covid-19.”

Accordingly, it was revealed that the other payments, according to the reporter’s source were made on September 27, 2018, October 13, 2018, October 23, 2018 and October 31, 2018.

Malagen obtained purported audios of Dr. Banja saying: “I will share with my minister. “I will give him half and I take half.”

According to Malagen online newspaper, both the Fisheries Minister Gomez and his permanent secretary have denied the allegations.

Permanent Secretary Dr. Bajan claimed the audio was “manipulated while his boss minister denied the allegation saying he is not cheap.

The alleged bribery took place after Golden Lead’s vessel was found guilty of breach of the Fisheries Act. The company officials opted for out of court settlement and to gain favour of the top brass at the Fisheries Ministry, decided to bribe the minister and permanent secretary.

Accordingly, a decision was taken by the Ministry to fine Golden Lead D1 million instead of the mandatory D5 million according to Malagen.

According to the investigation between “2018 and July 2020 the authorities have arrested at least 32 fishing trawlers for infringements in the waters,” but surprisingly “none of the cases was taken to court.”

Punishment for breaching the conditions of licence vessels ranges from D5 million to D25 million.

Fisheries officials are arguably causing revenue loss of millions of dalasis for failing to take these cases to court where appropriate fines will be issued to wrongdoers.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2020 :  14:33:20  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://foroyaa.net/government-spokesperson-says-dr-banja-has-been-sent-on-administrative-leave/

Government Spokesperson says Dr Banja has been sent on administrative leave

Foroyaa: October 15, 2020


Ebrima G. Sankareh, Spokesperson of the government of The Gambia, said Thursday the Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries, Dr. Bamba Banja, has been sent on administrative leave.

The decision to send Banja on administrative leave came on the heels of an alleged bribery scandal involving some Chinese nationals and staff of the Ministry of Fisheries.

Sankareh said Banja is helping the police to separate the chaff from the grain over the alleged bribery scandal.

He added further information would be communicated to the public as investigation proceeds.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2020 :  17:10:28  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is the further information as promised from October 16th referrred to in the posting above'
++++++++++

SNIPPET:
Sankareh though did not go into details of the full report, failed to inform the public how exactly the fire incident caused by electrical surge occurred.

He said investigations into the corrupt allegation involving the permanent secretary Dr. Bamba Banja are completed.

Sankareh said: “About the permanent secretary, last week I told you that his file has also transitioned and was being analysed.”

++++++++++


https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/police-blame-electrical-surge-for-fisheries-fire-outbreak

Police blame electrical surge for Fisheries fire outbreak
The Point: Dec 2, 2020
By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko


Police investigations into the fire outbreak that gutted the entire Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources found no foul play in the act, while blaming electrical surge for the incident.

The Spokesperson of the Government of the Gambia, Ebrima Sankareh confirmed the report to West Coast Radio on Tuesday, claiming there was no act of arson referencing the police report.

In December 2019, the Fisheries Ministry was gutted by a fire outbreak that burnt the entire building to the ground leading to the loss of important documents.

The ministry is currently facing numerous accusations including corruption from sections of the public.

It is alleged that key among the burnt documents during the outbreak included contracts between the government and the European Union on fishing and a host of other important documents, which according to some might have proven the alleged corrupt practices that took place at the ministry.

In fact it is alleged that the fire outbreak was premeditated to destroy possible evidence at the said ministry.

However, the police investigations have proven otherwise blaming electrification for the disaster.

“The conclusion is that it was not foul play that it was as a consequence of may be massive electrical surge. So electricity actually is blamed based on my conversation with the IGP last night,” the government spokesperson said.

He emphasised: “So the fisheries fire accident actually was as a consequence of electrical surge.”

Sankareh though did not go into details of the full report, failed to inform the public how exactly the fire incident caused by electrical surge occurred.

He said investigations into the corrupt allegation involving the permanent secretary Dr. Bamba Banja are completed.

Sankareh said: “About the permanent secretary, last week I told you that his file has also transitioned and was being analysed.”

“The legal opinion has been rendered, it is now on the table of the Attorney General and he told me yesterday that before Friday he would have made a final decision on the opinions that have been provided on investigations surrounding the circumstances of the corruption allegations of Dr. Bamba Banja.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  11:25:20  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/justice-minister-returns-dr-banjas-alleged-corruption-file-to-igps-office

Justice Minister Returns Dr. Banja’s alleged corruption file to IGP’s office

The Point: Dec 23, 2020
By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko


The Minister of Justice Dawda Jallow has returned the police report on the alleged corruption case involving the permanent secretary of Fisheries and Water Resources, Dr. Bamba Banja to the office of the Inspector General of Police for further review.

An investigation into alleged corruption involving the top government official was conducted by the police and a report was sent to the Justice Ministry upon completion for advice to the government.

It is expected that the government -that claims not to be condoning any act of corruption-makes a decision on the matter. However, the authorities seem to be delaying the decision even though investigation had been completed by the police.

The Government Spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh on Tuesday told West Coast Radio that the report has in fact been sent back to the police for further scrutiny.

“The justice minister finally reviewed the case file and they feel there are some gaps that needed to be filled and they have been returned file back to the Inspector General of Police’s desk for further review and resubmission to the Justice Ministry,” Ebrima said.

Dr. Bamba Banja has been accused of corruption including accepting bribery.

He has been sent on administrative leave by the government since the allegations emerged recently.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
10547 Posts

Posted - 24 Feb 2021 :  11:00:21  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Police urged to produce PS Banja investigation report

The Point: Feb 23, 2021

By: Alagie Baba


https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/police-urged-to-produce-ps-banja-investigation-report

Top political analyst, Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, who also is the leader of the opposition Citizen Alliance Party (CA) has urged The Gambia Police Force (GPF) to produce the investigation report on Dr. Bamba Banja, erstwhile permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources.

The PS is currently on administrative leave (suspended) after his alleged involvement in a bribery scandal. The scandal was unravelled by Malagen Online Newspaper with an audio alleged to be the voice of the embattled permanent secretary who was recorded as saying: “this one I’ll share with my minister.” Dr. Banja has since denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, government spokesperson, Ebrima Sankareh, once confirmed that police have completed investigation into the alleged corruption involving Dr. Banja.

Dr. Ceesay, who was speaking to reporters on Friday during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Kanifing, also recalled: “NAWEC gave notification in September 2020 of their intention to award a multi-million dollar project TBEA, a Chinese company under its Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project. However, coincidentally, the same company deposited $35 million into the First Lady's account and a couple of months later, the same company won the contract with NAWEC."

He added: “In October last year, an audio was circulating around the social media on how the money was being received by officials at the Ministry of Fisheries. Therefore, the police need to produce the report of their investigation.”

The political scientist said funds were disbursed in the fight against Covid-19 but there was no “transparency in the whole process”. “The government has refused to transparently reveal the breakdown of the expenditures," he said, adding; “The government needs to provide the public with the breakdown of the expenditures instead of the bulk expenditures. Even with this bulk expenditure there are discrepancies in the report. It made us think the government is hiding something.”

Dr. Ceesay maintained that the purpose of the transition was to reform public institutions in order to make them more transparent, to make them more accountable and to fight corruption.

“But what we have seen so far, instead of reforming institutions, people are busy reforming themselves and that is the tragedy. There is high level corruption in this country. We want the government to expedite the Anti-Corruption Bill so that the country has an Anti-Corruption Commission as soon as possible.”

He called on government to expedite the Access to Information Bill so that people including journalists and politicians could access information without hindrance. Ceesay opined that the government should “appoint prosecuting officers for corruption whose principal function is to do prosecution as it regards to corruption cases.”

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10547 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  22:39:35  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AG files corruption charges against former PS Dr Banja

Malagen: 05 Oct 2021
Mustaph K. Darboe


Attorney General has filed charges of economic crimes and official corruption against former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries, Dr Bamba Banja.

Dr Banja was accused of collecting bribes from officials of a Chinese fish meal company, Golden Lead. Golden Lead operates Gambia’s biggest fish meal factory on the shores of Gunjur, Kombo South.

In 2018, the Gambian navy arrested 2 fishing trawlers the Company used to operate to get a steady supply of fish to their factory.

A day before the consultative committee, an out-of-court mechanism hosted by the Fisheries Ministry, sat over the case, Dr Banja allegedly collected bribe from the company to lessen their charges…..

For more on the story, click on:
https://malagen.gm/Coverstory/Coverstorydetails/AG-files-corruption-charges-against-former-PS-Dr-Banja_46

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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  11:18:46  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WOW !!! Under 1 year for a decision to be made by a political office in The Gambia,times certainly have changed, there will be another wait before a Court date can be fixed and the lawyers can start work in ernest sometime in the future.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2021 :  14:30:42  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



==========
https://standard.gm/court-remands-fisheries-p-s/
==========




By Bruce Asemota October 14, 2021

Dr Bamba Banja, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, was yesterday afternoon arraigned at the Banjul High Court charged with three counts of economic crime and ordered him remanded in prison.

Appearing before Justice Babatunde Bakre, Dr Banja denied the charges preferred against him.

Justice Bakre then adjourned the matter to Friday, 15th October for the court to hear the bail application for Dr Banja.

Although the particulars of offence of the economic crimes slammed against him were not made available to our reporter, Dr Banja’s current legal woes are believed to be related to alleged solicitation and receipt of bribes from a Chinese investor. The scoop was investigated by the online investigative journal Malagen which led to the interdiction of Dr Banja a year to the month.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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