EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: Gambia’s Agriculture Minister Omar A Jallow has denied allegation of conniving with a Gambian businessman in the sale of tonnes of expired fertilizer in Senegal and The Gambia and vowed to fight to the end to clear his reputation.
An online Gambian news media Kerr Fatou published last week about the minister in which it was stated that the minister was working with one Modou Dibba; a businessman who has trucked away an estimated twenty-seven thousand plus bags of outdated fertilizer from the government stores in Banjul before he was arrested by the state agents in June last year as he attempted to load ten more trucks.
At a press conference organised at his office in the country’s capital, Banjul, Minister Jallow said the allegation is unfounded, malicious and defamatory, saying as a minister, he has never been involved in such transaction and has never signed a contract nor did he knew when a contract for such transaction was signed.
He said the process of the fertilizer started in 2009 when it was not even imported into the country and found unfit for usage. “Some of the people responsible for the importation were arrested and detained,” he said.
According to the Kerr Fatou article published on Minister Jallow, the Government of The Gambia in 2009, through the Ministry of Agriculture, purchased 9, 500 tons of fertilizer to the tune of D130, 800, 000. Delivered by Modou Ceesay of Tilikon Company, the fertilizer was meant to subsidise Gambian farmers but it was discovered out dated and spoilt.
Minister Jallow said in yesterday’s press conference that, “I could not understand how I can be associated with a process that started in 2014 and as I said I was never contracted or was I aware of the contract.”
He said some eight months ago, the State Intelligence Service (SIS) started an investigation into the saga and when they came to his office, he clearly told them that he was never informed about it nor was he involved in the whole process. “Now I would call on the publishers to come and provide evidence that I signed the contract and evidence for financial gains I received from the contract.”