Former minister of the Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty has denied having received bribes from Semlex who wanted to be offered the contract to produce the country’s national ID card and passport.
According to a statement published on his facebook page, Mai fatty states “I vehemently deny receiving any bribes from Semelex. The allegations are concocted and contain no fiber of truth. The alleged meeting and settings were all lies, with no foundation and I challenge them to prove me wrong. It is an orchestrated smear campaign of columny designed to ruin my reputation. I am ready and willing to subject myself to the most expansive, thorough, independent investigation ever in the history of The Gambia on this matter. I am confident that I am innocent.”
Allegations on social media revealed that the former minister of interior was sacked because Semlex a company from Belgium wanted 75% of the contract and Mai Fatty allegedly convinced them to give him D15m to bribe President Barrow who wanted Prestine (a company owned by Gambians) to get the bigger percentage. President Barrow, who was not aware of what transpired between his interior minister and Semlex, invited the Belgian company’s management team to his office to make his government’s position clear.
According still to the allegations on social media Semlex officials were shocked because Mai already gave them the impression that the president has received his D15m. President Barrow then shocked and outraged and to avoid further embarrassment and damage, he decided to relieve Mai immediately.
Officialy no reasons were given but a letter from the Office of the President said it was in accordance with provisions of the country’s constitution.
Mr Fatty, a former human rights lawyer has now been redeployed to the diplomatic service but the government is yet to disclose in what capacity.