Daily Observer Possibly Traded Illegally Since It Was Taken From Baba Jobe!
Dear Pa Mbai,
Condolences Mary Mendy and Daughter
A few points about the Daily Observer shut-down, but first a word of heartfelt condolences to the family of Mary Mendy and her daughter who died in the tragic fire here in Notting Hill. A very respectful, very responsible and god-fearing lady she was, and she worked hard to develop her children here and her family at home (she recently told me she had built a compound in Brusubi). I first met her in the 1990s when she brought her young daughter to my Saturday School and the daughter went on to university. It is heartbreaking, and I wish them all Allah’s blessings. RiP.
You did your “Interview of the Year” in 2008 when I left the Daily Observer (wasn’t “sacked” but refused to remain after demotion as MD). You will know that there was a fight with Amadou from day one about the financial situation at the Observer Company.
Tax: I was shown payment for 2007 of a mere (50,000 dalasis) by my Deputy and Financial Controller Andrew Dacosta. Whether that tax was correct I do not know as Observer had an annual turnover of over 10,000,000 dalasis. Of course my tenure was brief (thank God) and I was not there long enough to assess any tax payment to GRA.
Company Registration and ownership: Amadou and I had some tape recorded arguments over this. He denied owning it and asked me to remove his name (taped). The Board Chairman, Neneh, said Samba was acting for Jammeh as “proprietor”(taped). I demanded Company Registration documents from Amadou to know who owned it and he referred me to Mrs. Jallow at Attorney General’s Chambers Company Registration (taped). I could not get anything from Mrs. Jallow (NOT taped). I was removed as MD soon after asking these questions – and I refused the “order” (brought to me by my friend and a very good man IGP Benedict Jammeh – NOT taped). When I refused the post of Editor-in-Chief, and IGP Benedict Jammeh failed to arrest me, he too was sacked the next day and I was detained for 14 days. So, during my time, the very legality of Daily Observer trading as a company, let alone the tax issue, was in doubt.
Baba Jobe ownership: It is my understanding that, at the height of his power, Baba Jobe assigned 99% of the shares of the Daily Observer to himself – and Amadou owned the other 1%. Baba Jobe, I understand, registered the company properly at the Attorney General’s Chambers. After Baba Jobe was arrested, Yaya Jammeh delegated Amadou Samba to “manage” for Jammeh everything Baba Jobe “managed”. I think Amadou may not have bothered to regularise the registration documents at the Attorney General’s Chambers – in spite of the fact that Amadou was listed as the “proprietor”.
IN SHORT, BESIDES THE GRA TAX ISSUE, THE DAILY OBSERVER MAY HAVE BEEN TRADING ILLEGALLY AS AN UN-REGISTERED COMPANY.
Notting Hill, UK.