Apparently, journalists are supposed to exercise due diligence before publishing a story. You need to verify, vet and double check before doing a publication. These are not Nderry Mbai’s best journalistic practices. He doesn’t mind to distort, misrepresent or change facts to lies just to satisfy his readership or to be the first person to break the news. This goes against the ethics of the profession that he continues to practice.
Pa Nderry, every service has a chain of command to follow and before you go to your superiors with a story you must fist establish the facts and basis to rely on. It’s different from ordering pizza from a restaurant or making Afra as you always do.
Your figures were out of order and therefore don’t represent the whole facts but smidgen of it. I have followed the Seaports immigration malpratices case with ardent keen interest and was privy to what exactly transpired and it goes as thus:-
A Dutch cruise ship anchored in Banjul on the 23/04/2018 with 724 passenger tourists of which 434 tourists paid visas each paid D3,000. When you multiply 434 by D3,00 you get D1,302,000.
D700,000 check was directly addressed to the Central Bank of the Gambia while the remaining D602,000 was fraudulently shared amongst 30 Personnel of the Gambia Immigration Department at the Banjul Seaports headed by Superintendent Sulayman Colley, Assistant Superintendent Momomodou Jammeh and Cocommissioner Omar Badjie of Internal Audit and Statistics unit at Headquarters.
There was no bag of money given to Seedy M. Touray, the deputy Director of Immigration as these were corroborated in both Sambujang Badgie and his orderly’s statements to a five-man investigation team headed by Ebou Correa.
Deputy Commissioner Chief Superintendent Omar Badjie was given D180,000 by a cashier Omar Ceesay alias O.J at the Buffer Zone junction. This amount was meant to be shared by the heads at the Headquarters.
D50,000 was given to Omar Badjie and his unit Staff as their share.
D30,000 was given to Commissioner of Banjul Division Sambujang Badjie.
D40,000 was given to Director General Buba Sagnia.
D40,000 was given to Sambujang Badjie’s orderly called first class Sarjo Kongira for onward delivery to Seedy Touray.
However, according to the report Seedy Touray did not only reject the cash but also chased Sarjo Kongira from his office, advising him to return the money to Deputy Commissioner, Chief Superintendent Omar Badjie who was at the University of the Gambia. Kongira instead gave the money to his his Commissioner Sambujang Badgie.
D20,000 was also given to Commissioner of Operations Lamin Jatta.
DDGI Seedy M. Touray who is cognizant of the Civil Service Regulations, the General Orders and also premised on administrative procedures, decided to officially report the matter to his Boss- Director General of Immigration Mr. Buba Sagnia on 10th, April without knowing Mr Sagnia himself benefited from the money.
Buba Sagnia instantly lamented that the money in question was quite substantial and feared it may be difficult for officers to repay it back.
DDGI Seedy M. Touray replied that “well – you are the DG and it’s my duty as your principal deputy to inform you of any matter pertaining to Gambia immigration department before it gets out of hand”.
DG Sagnia directed that Mr Touray should call the senior officers at seaport and discuss the issue with them. To Mr Touray’s disappointment but certainly not surprised, DG Sagnia assigned the same task to Commissioner of Operations Lamin Jatta and briefed him that things have leaked and that he needs to ensure that Seaports personnel be on the same voice/page before the investigation takes a different turn.
An officer at the Seaports tipped Seedy Touray regarding what Director Sagnia has said to Commissioner Lamin Jatta to convey to them. As all the junior officers were very angry since their officer commanding gave them an insignificant amount of the money from the whole lot.
This made Mr Touray to recused himself from his intended wish of calling the affected officers since the matter was suspiciously re-assigned to Mr Jatta.
DDGI SEEDY M. TOURAY’S DISCUSSIONS WITH OMAR BADJIE
Ebou Correa’s investigation has established that on Tuesday April 3rd, 2018 at precisely about 10.05 a.m. Deputy Commissioner Omar Badjie [OC Internal Audit and Statistics] walked into Mr Touray’s office at Gambia immigration Head quarters.
Initially Mr Touray thought it was the routine normal greetings between superior and subordinate officers. Thereafter, he narrated to him that a tourist cruise boat had docked at Banjul seaport and after the usual profiling by immigration officers, visa fees were paid and they successively deposited D750, 000 into Government coffers at Central Bank.
Furthermore, he mentioned to Mr Touray that he has enveloped D40, 000 as his own share, D40, 000 for his Statistics office and D20, 000 for GID officers deployed at Seaport. According to Mr Badgie he proposed to go to his office to collect the money(D40,000) for onward delivery to him.
According to the report, Mr Touray advised that he was stepping out for a meeting and shall call him upon return. Around mid- afternoon, Mr Touray summoned officer Omar Badjie to his office and requested to know how many number of visas were actually paid.
This, he confirmed not knowing. Mr Touray then instructed Omar Badgie to go to Seaport and have audience with Chief Superintendent Sulayman Colley – OC so as to solicit the information and revert back to him before close of business.
Officer Omar Badjie flatly refused to obey DDGI Touray’s instructions and proceeded to UTG for classes. When he called his phone, he confirmed his presence at the university.
Mr Touray immediately alerted the Commissioners for Administration, National Identity Card and Irregular Migration respectively to be in the picture.
He also separately share the information with Commissioner Ebrima Bah of GPF who together with the three GID Commissioners agreed with his decision of not receiving the money from Deputy Commissioner Omar Badgie. Interior Ministry was similarly notified verbally.
Subsequently, Mr Touray summoned Commissioner Samboujang Badjie to his office and requested him to dialogue with Officer Omar Badjie with a view to revealing the truth regarding the actual amount of Visa money collected from the cruiseship. He was advised to report back to him before noon the following day.
Therefore, On 3rd, April 2018, Commissioner Samboujang Badgie escorted officer Omar Badgie to DDGI Touray’s office and appealed that he should consider his personal relationship with him [Omar] and just relinquished whatever investigation he had commenced.
Mr Touray responded that he will only grant their request only when all the money collected and shared were being paid to the Central Bank. They (Sambujang Badgie and Omar Badgie) left visibly frustrated and frightened.
On 11th, April 22018, DDGI Touray decided to officially write to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior copying Director General Sagnia, imploring a probe into the matter.
DDGI SEEDY TOURAY’S CONVERSATION WITH FIRST CLASS SARJO KONGIRA
EBOU Correa and his investigating team came to know that on Monday 16th, April 2018, a junior officer by the name Sarjo Kongira walked into Mr Touray’s office and introduced himself as Orderly to Commissioner Saboujang Badjie. He was offered a seat and Mr Touray asked what the purpose of his visit was all about at that early hours- 09.30 a.m. Mr Kongira pointed out that Deputy Commissioner Omar Badjie gave him a package and when Mr Touray enquired about the contents, he mentioned that it was money. Mr Touray ordered Mr Kongira to get out and vehemently told him to further tell Omar Badgie that he doesn’t need such kind of money.
PS Interior wrote to immigration DG to constitute an investigation into the matter. This was the time when Ebou Correa and his team started investigating the matter.
Since the matter had been leaked, Sambujang Badgie decided to return the D100,000 to the cashier.
Commissioner Correa’s investigation team has revealed that Seedy Touray has not taken the purported money and this was corroborated by Commissioner Sambujang Badgie and his Orderly’s statements to investigators contrary to what had been reported by Pa Nderry M’bai.
It was later discovered that D122, 000 was shared amongst Superintendent Sulayman Kolley, Assistant Superintendent Momodou Jammeh, and the rest of the junior staffers at Seaports (30 Personnel).
Also, the the D750,000 that Omar Badgie said was paid to the Central Bank of the Gambia turned out to be false. Ebou Correa’s investigation revealed a cheque of D700,000 that was paid to Central Bank. It was DDGI Touray’s reluctant that brought out the remaining balances of the money.
The D602,000 was shared on a 50/50 basis between Seaports immigration personnel and shipping agency in the area. The rationale behind this 50/50 shared basis was said to have been a long bullcrap tradition that happened at Seaports for the past half a century if they have such a deal (dubious).
Would this be called corruption? Absolutely yes, corruption to the core. Any money collected from both Sea and Airports respectively are considered to be state resources and therefore should be used in the best judicious way.
Immigration Department has so many pressing needs that required money and fixing than financial malpractices amongst all the ranks and files of this noble institution. They have obsolete computers, printers and horrible staff offices in the provinces and low staff morals. These moneys could have been used for used for those purposes than sharing it amongst themselves.
As of 04/24/2018, the Minister of interior has invited the police to come in and do their own independent investigation surrounding the immigration Seaports scandal.
The police investigation team has again exonerated Deputy Director General Seedy M. Touray of any financial malpractices or wrong doing. You can do your homework to get that finding too.
Relatedly, it is imperative for you to know that Seedy M. Touray was contracted with the UN until June 2018 but he decided to resign due to National call.
He has headed the Immigration and Border Security Section of United Nations Peace Keeping Missions in Liberia (UNPOL) for several years and was the first African to man that position and was very successful with huge benefits.
Gambia immigration department needs a Director General who would think outside the box and be innovative. I have not seen any meaningful changes to the GID since I had left the institution 11yrs ago. The Barrow government made a huge mistake for bringing back Buba Sagnia (Zeal) as DG if they actually know how empty he is.
This man act so holy during day time but turns Lucifer under the cover of darkness. I know he is to retire before end of this year which would open this noble institution into a gate of paradise where capacity building would not be hindered or saying goodbye to promoting wrong people for the job based on pledging loyalty to him.
Barrow government should be firmer to set an example not only to Gambia Immigration but to all the Service sectors as well as the Civil Service. We cannot afford to wallow into retardation just because few elements of our institutions see self before country.
ENSA A.B CEESAY
EX- CADET INSPECTOR
GAMBIA IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT