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By Sidiq Asemota and Sanna Jawara

October  17, 2011

The Commission of Inquiry into Fertilizer Procurement and Distribution in The Gambia, chaired by Justice Emmanuel Nkea, commenced sitting last Friday, 14th October 2011 at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

The first witness, 57-year-old Bakary Trawally from Kololi, presently a consultant on Pest Management, who is an ex-permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture; and the second witness, Dr. Amadou Sowe, a 53-year-old who works presently as a freelance Agricultural economist, testified at the start of the sitting of the Commission on Friday.

On the hand, the third witness, Momodou Ceesay, a businessman and native of Kinteh-Kunda Marong Kunda in Badibou, North Bank Region, gave his evidence before the Commission on Saturday.

Trawally was the permanent secretary (PS) at the Department of State for Agriculture in January 2008 and in March 2008, he was appointed permanent secretary No. 1; in November 2008 he was demoted to PS No. 2. On the 30th of April 2009 his service was terminated but was reappointed as PS No.1 on the 26th of May 2009 and Seedy Jarjue was made PS No. 2 of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

On the 29th of May 2009, Seedy Jarjue was dismissed from MOA whilst Bakary Trawally was dismissed from service on the 5th of January 2010 but was reinstated as PS No. 1 on the 25th of January 2011 and then dismissed again from service on the 14th of March 2011.

In his testimony, ex-PS Bakary Trawally told the Commission that he was the PS that executed the fertilizer contract but had never bothered himself to read or make any reference to executing the contractRead more.