A Gambian National resident in the United Kingdom, has accused her lawyer in the Gambia of allegedly scamming and robbing her hard-earned money, after the lawyer failed to secure her and her husband a holiday property worth over one million dalasis, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Salimatou Ngum, made the accusations on Thursday during Freedom Radio Gambia’s Civic Education program. Her retained lawyer Mam Amie Jobe, a member of The Gambia Female Lawyers Association (FLAG), has been accused of allegedly pocketing Ms. Ngum’s funds after she (Amie) told her that she was able to buy a property for the couple in the Greater Banjul area. Ms. Ngum went on to further narrate her story in this written deposition below:
To her chagrin, Ms. Ngum said there was no such property as claimed by her Lawyer. She discovered that Amie Jobe, and one Assan Drammeh, a Real Estate agent ate her money. She has made frantic efforts to compel Lawyer Jobe to produce the lease documents associated with the property without much success. She said Jobe even allegedly falsified a public document purporting that the sale of the property in question existed.
Ms. Ngum was introduced to Lawyer Jobe, who also doubles as a police Law trainer by Mr. Assan Drammeh. She transferred funds to Ms. Jobe’s account at ECOBank on two different occasions from the UK. She also made similar transfers to Mr. Drammeh’s account, who was the middleman between her and Amie Jobe. Overall, Ms. Ngum has transferred over one million dalasi to the duo. She and her husband saved the money so that they can buy a holiday home in the Gambia.
Concerned by the conflicting stories her lawyer was giving her, Ms. Ngum flew to the Gambia to verify the veracity of Ms. Jobe’s claims. She was shocked upon arrival. She was told that the property in question was never sold to her, and the owner was still looking for a prospective buyer. The owners travelled to Nigeria at the time of her visit. They were being represented by lawyer Amie Bensouda.
Frustrated by lawyer Jobe’s inconsistent stories, she decided to engage the services of two different lawyers. Both Lawyer Patrick and Badou Conteh dealt with her case during her efforts to reclaim her supposed property purportedly bought for her by her attorney Amie Jobe.
The legal attempts to recover the property failed. She resorted to filing a criminal complaint against Lawyer Amie Jobe. Detectives at the Serious Crime Division of the police headquarters in Banjul took up the case. Ms. Jobe was invited to the station for questioning. The police at the time lacked fuel and car to fetch for the accused person Ms. Jobe. Ms. Ngum’s representative one Bakary Bojang said he used his own vehicle to transport the officers to Ms. Jobe’s law offices. Ms. Jobe drove in her own car to the station, where she was interviewed by detectives.
According to Ms. Salimatou Ngum, the detective officer in charge of Ms. Jobe’s case one Sanusi Darboe, advised her to reach a settlement deal with Ms. Jobe saying if the matter goes to court Ms. Jobe risked being jailed for forging a public document and also obtaining money by false pretense. That Ms. Jobe could also risked losing her law practice license.
“I was advised by officer Darboe of the Serious Crimes to reach a payment deal with Ms. Jobe. He told me that if the matter goes to court it might take up to three years to adjudicate it. He said she can also bribe magistrates to dismiss the case. That we are better off by reaching a settlement deal with her than going to court. This was how I was convinced to concentrate on the proposed settlement. Ms. Jobe first made a payment of D50,000 dalasi to me. The second payment was D70,000 dalasi. She asked the police to release the lease documents she presented at the police so that she can use it to obtain a loan from the bank to pay the remaining money. She never paid the remaining money. The police never pick up my calls now. I felt I have been duped,” she said.
Ms. Ngum tells Freedom Radio Gambia that overall, she has received a payment of D230,000 dalasi. She said out of the one million dalasi, she paid for the purported house, D300,000 dalasis goes into the pockets of Assan Drammeh, while the remaining amount was allegedly squandered by Ms. Jobe.
Ms. Ngum’s marriage is about to collapse thanks to her attorney’s conduct. She said her husband has started having issues with her because he thought that this was a conspiracy to rob him.
“When we discussed the issue of buying a holiday home in the Gambia, my husband asked me on three different occasions as to whether I trusted our agent Assan Drammeh, and I replied in the affirmative. It turns out that Assan Drammeh, has introduced me to a dubious lawyer. We are yet to recover our funds. We also do not secure the property that my lawyer Amie Jobe claimed to have bought for us. I really need help. I felt being robbed,” she said.
Also speaking to Freedom Radio Gambia, was Bakary Bojang, AKA Barry. Mr. Bojang said he had to give the police a ride to fetch for the accused lawyer Amie Jobe, because in his own words: “ the police told me that they lacked fuel to pick the accused.”
Mr. Bojang confirmed that officer Darboe suggested to the complainant Salimatou Ngum to accept a payment plan with the accused Ms. Jobe.
“As we speak, Ms. Ngum is yet to be paid. She is owed money by Amie Jobe. This is not something normal. She is a lawyer. She ought to know better. She even lied to me at some point that she was in court in Banjul, when she was at her chambers. Amie has credibility issues,” he alleged.
Numerous phone calls were placed on Ms. Amie Jobe’s cellular phone, but she wouldn’t pick up the phone.
A Gambian Lawyer, who wished not to be named said: ” It’s ironic that her work is centered on defending the rights of women and children and she turns around to make a poor woman a victim of a situation she would be expected to take her off.”
“The story is disturbing, but I want to tell you that she was not schooled in the University of the Gambia, Faculty of Law. She is one of the Lawyers for the Female Lawyers Association of the Gambia (Flag),” he added.
During a meeting with members of Gambia’s Bench on Thursday, in which Chief Justice Assan Jallow, was in attendance, President Adama Barrow said: “I call on each and every one of you to honestly contribute your quota to the advancement and the strengthening of our judicial system necessary to rebuild its lost image. This is critical for the judiciary to regain public confidence which is an important benchmark for attracting investments both locally and globally. As you are all aware, the private and public sector investment including foreign direct investments is the foundation for rapid socio economic development for any nation.”