Mr. M. L. Gibba who is related to the Gambian dictator rose up the ranks at the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) to become its Managing Director. He built a reputation as an incorruptible public servant – a reputation that was constantly being tested by one of Africa’s most corrupt leaders.
Despite his familial ties to Jammeh – he mentored Jammeh – and his appetite for engaging in corrupt practices, much to the chagrin of Mr. Gibba, he maintained his reputation at the risk of going to Mile II prisons.
Ousman Jammeh was Secretary general when the “Barajally” ferry was forcibly taken away from GPA and handed over to the Gam-Petroleum Corporation. According to the public testimony of Mr. M. L. Gibba, the instructions came from State House to hand over the ferry to Amadou Samba and Mohammed Bazzi after he refused to comply with their request.
Secretary General Jammeh, recognizing the gravity of having to permanently withdraw the ferry from service, thus denying the people of CRR the use of a public asset, insisted that the instruction must be documented. A letter was then drafted and signed on behalf of the Secretary General by one Ebrima J.T. Kujabi, a close aid to both the then Secretary General and Yaya Jammeh, a source said.
Neither Jammeh nor his two close business associates liked the idea of a letter being issued to that effect documenting such a politically sensitive which would prevent them from plausibly denying they took such action.
We have seen Bazzi arguing before the Commission that the ferry was worthless, drawing, and rightfully so, the scorn of Mrs. Bensouda, Counsel to the Commission for blaming M. L. Gibba for all of Euro-Africa Group’s troubles being experienced with their investments in both at Gamb-Petroleum and Banjul Milling Corporation. We are glad that Mr. Gibba will be invited back to face the Commission to respond to Bazzi’s claims that the ferry “Barajally” was worthless junk.
All is not lost, however. There were, and still are, honorable men and women who did not allow themselves to be used by corrupt leaders like Yaya Jammeh and who stood up to the piranhas who preyed on a weak and vulnerable state that has been pushed to the boundaries of a failed state.