Amadou Samba has been found criminally liable for the ‘stolen’ public funds used to purchase the now defunct Daily Observer

Business tycoon, Amadou Samba, has been found to have bought the now defunct Daily Observer for USD265,000 of ‘stolen’ public funds, according to the release Janneh Commission Report.

Mr Samba ‘bought’ the Daily Observer from the proprietors and owners, Kenneth Best and his wife, on May 1999. The Daily Observer under Kenneth Best ownership was a fierce critic of the Jammeh regime and the best read newspaper in the country. After the Amadou Samba the editorial stance of the Paper changes as many critical and independent minded journalists were purged. It became a propaganda piece for the Jammeh regime.

The Offices of the now defunct Daily Observer

The Janneh Commission Report, which was released on Friday, has shed light on the true ownership of the Paper and the source of funds for its purchase.

The report said the money Amadou Samba used for the purchase was ‘stolen’ from the Central Bank without authorisation.

“Mr Samba bought the shares of the Observer Company Ltd which owned the Daily Observer from Kenneth Best and his wife for USD265,000. Samba negotiated the purchase with Mr. Kenneth Best. The shares were transferred to him on May 7th, 1999. The share transfer was registered and duly signed by Samba as buyer,” the Report said.

“The source of funds for USD268,000 was the Central Bank Special Deposit 3M Account. The Observer Newspaper has been shown to be now attached by the Sheriff pursuant to a judgment debt in favour of GRA.”

The Commission held that the actions of Mr. Samba and former president Yahya Jammeh were illegal and held them criminally responsible for the illegal purchase.

“There is probable cause for holding that the sum of USD268,000 was stolen from the CBG within the meaning of section 245(1) of the Criminal Code by the Ex-President (who proved to be the ultimate beneficiary of the theft) and Mr. Amadou Samba.

“The Ex-President and Amadou Samba are jointly and severally liable for the restitution of the sum of USD268,000.”

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