Startling revelation at the Tax Commission
Monday, March 26, 2012
A businessman and resident of Latrikunda German last Friday, 23rd March 2012 told the Tax Commission, chaired by Justice Mama Fatima Singhateh that he bought two properties from one Ebrima Njie of Latrikunda for the sum of D13.3M in 2005 at Kotu, near Palma Rima Hotel in the Senegambia area.
Bacamara Sumbundu made these revelations last Friday whilst giving evidence in connection to the transaction he had with the said Ebrima Njie (the vendor), a resident of Latrikunda before the Tax Commission.
In the transaction between the said Bacamara Sumbundu and Ebrima Njie in respect of a property measuring 150m X 42m X 157.50m X 42m, held under SRN K54/1987, in which the deed of assignment disclosed that the said property was sold for D700, 000 and the conveyance was Lawyer O.D Mbye, the witness, Bacamara Sumbundu disclosed that he bought the said property for D4.8M.
In the transaction between the parties in respect of a property measuring 35m X 194.90m X 86m X 100.20m X 25m X 76.50m with SRN 352/2005 Vol 68KD in which the deed of assignment stated that the said property was for D900, 000 and the conveyance was Lawyer O.D Mbye, Bacamara Sumbundu told the Commission that he bought the said property for D8.5M in June 2005. He adduced that the said properties were empty plots at the time he bought the them from the vendor, Ebrima Njie.
Sumbundu further adduced that he is now in possession of one of the properties, i.e. the one he bought for D8.5M, adding that he lost the property for D4.8M to Arab Gambian Islamic Bank (AGIB) as a result of some financial problems he has with the said bank. Sumbundu said at the time of purchasing the properties, the vendor, Ebrima Njie agreed to pay all the necessary taxes in connection to both transactions. He pointed out that the copy of capital gains tax, copies of assessment and the permit to assign the said properties were given to him by the vendor, Ebrima Njie.
Regarding the property he bought for D8.5M, and the assignment stating the sum of D900, 000, Sumbundu disclosed that the vendor pleaded with him to sign the deed of assignment, adding that the vendor informed him that he would declare D900, 000 to the state (GRA) so as he could pay less income tax. Sumbundu however revealed that he has an outstanding balance of D3.350M.
In his evidence, the vendor, Ebrima Njie told the Commission that he sold only one property to Bacamara Sumbundu for D8.5M, adding that the buyer, Bacamara Sumbundu had not completed payment for the said property. Njie told the Commission he was illiterate, said he acquired the property long time ago from the state. He further said he had charged Sumbundu D15M for the said property but Sumbundu agreed to pay the sum of D8.5M.
The vendor asserted that at the time of purchase, he asked Sumbundu if he would pay the income tax and other related taxes and the buyer replied in the affirmative. Njie revealed that the buyer had paid him D700, 000 and was paying the balance on installment basis, noting that there is an outstanding balance of D1.850M.
When asked prior to his sale of the property if he had applied for consent from the state to sell the plot, Njie replied in the positive.
Asked how much he told the state was the value of the said property, Njie said he told the state that the value of the property was D850, 000. He noted that Sumbundu paid the sum of D85, 000 as capital gains tax and not him.
He alleged that Bacamara Sumbundu stole from the state and himself, adding that the said property is present a subject matter of litigation before Justice B.V.P Mahoney at the High Court.
Njie, who was evading several questions from both the state counsel Maurice Agiah and the Commission members told the Commission that he has 24 children with several in overseas and that his eldest one is about 50 years old. He said some of his children in the country are educated and were aware of his transaction with Bacamara Sumbundu.
He further said he signed an agreement with Bacamara Sumbundu, adding that the said agreement was among the bundle of documents presented to the state counsel, Agiah for scrutiny.
When given a document and asked what was the term of agreement in the said document, Njie again told the Commission that he is an illiterate.
He told the Commission that Bacamara Sumbundu forged all the documents relating to the properties,that Sumbundu wasn’t the owner of the property, now in AGIB’s possession.
Asked how many properties he had sold in the past, prior to the transaction he had with Bacamara Sumbundu, Njie said he had never sold any property in the past. “Sumbundu did not complete the payment for plot A, how can I sell another to him,” Njie queried.
Meanwhile, the Commission’s chairperson, Justice Mama Fatima Singhateh ordered that Lawyer O.D Mbye, the conveyance to appear before the Commission on the 28th March 2012 to explain his role in the transaction between the vendor, Ebrima Njie and Bacamara Sumbundu.
The Commission further ordered that one A.M Jarboh of GRA to also appear before the said Commission on the 28th March 2012 to explain the role he played in the assessment of the said properties.
In the transaction between Boule Financial Services of Kotu and Momodou Salieu Jallow of Nemakunku, the buyer, Momodou Salieu Jallow told the Commission that he bought a plot of land measuring 4m X 7m from the said financial services on the 30th April 2009 for D150, 000.
Copies of a lease document dated February 2009, a deed of assignment dated 30th April 2009, notice of assessment and a receipt evidence payment of capital gains tax, and original receipt evidencing payment of D150, 000 by the buyer, Momodou Salieu Jallow were tendered and admitted as MSJ1.
Jallow however revealed that Boule Financial Services paid for the capital gains tax.
In his evidence, Shawbel El-hage, a resident in Kerr Serign, who is also the managing director of Boule Financial Services said he acquired the said property from the Ministry of Local Government and Lands for the purpose of erecting a Bureau de Change Office in the area in February 2009. El-hage asserted that he sold the said property for D150, 000 and he paid D30, 000 as capital gains tax.
Asked how came they were assessed at D120, 000, Shawbel El-hage pointed out that the sum of D30, 000 covered the cost of development of the structure he put up at the said property. Asked whether he produced documentation to GRA for the cost of development, El-hage replied in the negative, but that he relayed the information orally to the GRA.
Shawbel El-hage disclosed that the said property was assessed in October 2008 and was making blocks in preparation for the construction of the structure in the property and the said property was finally allocated to him in February 2009, where the construction was made.
In the transaction between Winston Emmanuel Eisenhower Able-Thomas of Fajara, South Atlantic and one Lagame Touray of Bundung and property located at Manjai Kunda, held under lease SRN K259/1995 sold for D100, 000 and assignment made on the 7th June 2009 with SRN 496/2009 Vol 72KD and Lawyer M.K Krubally as the conveyance, the vendor, Able Thomas, a farmer, told the Commission that he bought the said property for about D6, 000 but could not remember the name of the person he bought the said property from and that he did buy the said property in 19 something something…
Asked to produce document showing he bought the said property from the person he could not remember his/her name, Thomas said he had not got any document with him.
Asked about the dimension of the said property, Thomas told the Commission he could notremember.
Thomas told the Commission that he had an agreement with the buyer, whom he said is resident abroad and didn’t know his address in The Gambia. Thomas further told the Commission that he knew the buyer through one late Ousman Njie, whom he receives of payment of tax from.
Meanwhile, copies of assessment and receipts of relevant taxes paid in connection to the transaction of the said property with unknown dimension to the vendor and the Commission were tendered and admitted as WAT1.
The Commission’s chairperson, Justice Mama Fatima Singhateh however ordered a security officer to accompany the witness, Winston Able Thomas to the location of the said property at Manjai Kunda.
However after two hours, the said security officer, Muda Ndure returned with the witness, Winston Able Thomas and testified that the said property located at Manjai Kunda is fenced with no permanent structures. Ndure however disclosed that they found herds of cattle inside the said property. After Ndure’s testimony, Able Thomas was then discharged.
In the transaction between Sulayman Momodou Biran Fye of Fajara Booster Station and Burama Dampha of Spain by his agent Dembo Dampha of New Jeshwang, property situated at Kanifing measuring 27m X 23m X 23m X 26m sold for D200, 000 and assignment made on the 3rd September 2009 and registered with SRN 1011/2009 Vol 72KD and conveyance Lawyer Borry Touray, the vendor, Sulayman Momodou Biran Fye, a senior lecturer at the University of The Gambia, told the Commission he sold the said property for D200, 000 and acquired it from the state as lease land in 1982.
Fye could not produce a copy of the lease document at the time but promised to do so.
However, copies of payment of capital gains tax and notice of assessment were tendered and admitted as SMBF1.
After perusing the document, state counsel Binga D disclosed that the sum of D45, 000 was paid as capital gains tax and the assessment evidenced a notice of D300, 000.
Asked why the disparity in the figures at the assignment and the notice of assessment. Fye disclosed that the gentleman (name unknown) who did the assessment gave the figure at D300, 000 because there were a lot of trees, grasses and sand dunes at the site.
Fye further disclosed that he incurred a lot of expenses in respect of demolition of the trees, clearing of grasses and removal of sand dunes amongst other things on the site. He was however ordered to produce the leasehold document of the said property on the 26th March 2012.
In the transaction between Kebba Nyimasata Dabo of Sukuta Village and Lamin Touray by his agent Alagie Momodou Touray of 76 Hagan Street, Banjul, three properties situated at Bakoteh with lease SRN as follows: K118/1999 measuring 35.40m X 5m X 17.10m X 26.40m; K119/1999 measuring 15.33m X 35.40m X 13.66m X 35.40m; and KN120/1999 measuring 15.33m X 35.40m X 13.66m X35.40m sold for D1, 000, 000, assignment registered with SRN 965/2009 Vol 72KD made on the 24th June 2009 and the conveyance Lawyer Amie Bensouda, the vendor, Kebba Nyimasata Darbo of Sukuta Village said he sold the three properties combined for D1M and paid the capital gains tax.
The witness disclosed that he was assessed at D550, 000, that he declared a million Dalasis at the assignment but the development he initiated (implemented) at the said property cost him about D450, 000 and was then assessed at D550, 000.
Asked how he got the said property, the vendor, Kebba told the Commission that his mother gave the said property to him and he gave his mother the sum of D20, 000 as a gift.
He pointed out that his mother got the said property from the alkalo of Bakoteh. Kebba said he had lease documents in respect of the said property (-ies) at the time of selling the properties.
Meanwhile, three copies of lease documents in respect of the said properties were tendered and admitted as KND1.
The Commission however ordered one Alasan Touray to appear before the said Commission on the 26th March 2012, with one Mohammed Touray, the agent who signed the agreement on behalf of Lamin Touray.
The Commission warned that failure for Mohammed Touray and Alasan Touray not to appear before the Commission on the 26th March 2012 would be at their own peril, as warrant would be issued for the arrest of Mohammed Touray and the said Alasan Touray would be cited for contempt.
The Commission’s decision followed the testimonies given by the said Alasan Touray, whose testimony was considered by the Commission as inconsistent and not the proper witness to testify before the Commission.
Alasan Touray had indicated that the said Mohammed Touray was in the country.EndFragment
Author: by Sidiq Asemota