By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Mr. Amadou Sonko, the acting Chairman of First International Bank (FIBank) Gambia Limited has vehemently debunked recent claims made by the Governor of Central Bank of The Gambia, Buah Saidy, suggesting that the issues involving FIBank have been put to rest. But Mr. Sonko noted that there is no amount of smear campaigns orchestrated by the CBG Governor and his team.
His reactions come barely two weeks after Governor Buah Saidy, disclosed at the recently held Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting press conference hosted by the Central Bank where he said the Central Bank is satisfied with the management and operation of VISTA Bank, adducing that matters surrounding the VISTA Bank have been brought to rest and has been operating (the bank) just like any other bank in the country.
“On the VISTA Bank, as far as we are concerned, Central Bank of The Gambia, there is a bank called VISTA Bank here (The Gambia) and is operating safely and soundly,” Governor Bauh Saidy disclosed at the MPC press conference held on Thursday, 29th August 2022.
However, FIBank Gambia Limited Acting Chairman, Amadou Sonko said Governor Saidy is making a colossal mistake if he thinks that he can continue to mislead the public and the government about facts surrounding the FIBank issues.
Chairman Sonko, said he has never suspected the involvement of Governor Saidy in the whole matter until his recent comments meant to mislead and misinform the public about the operations of VISTA Bank in the country. He alleged that CBG Governor has unmasked himself as an accomplice leading a gang of criminals who are relentlessly attempting to illegally take over FIBank Gambia Limited by lobbying through powerful government officials to back Central Bank of The Gambia’s defiance of court judgments rendered in the matter.
“I was never convinced but his recent statement during the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the Central Bank that was published in The Voice Newspaper edition of Monday 5th September 2022. It is a clear testimony of what I was earlier told about him. I want the Governor and his team of officials to know that I will not expend D22, 800000.00 (twenty-two million eight hundred dalasi) in legal fees to regain the bank just because of a mere desire to spend,” Acting Chairman FIBank Gambia Limited revealed.
He added: “I am not a philanthropist with floating cash to lavishly spend. I mean business. I considered the Governor’s claims as an insult and it is about time Governor Saidy be told the truth.”
The FIBank Acting Chairman continued that The Gambia is a country of law and as far as he is concerned the issue of FIBank has been perused by the courts and all judgments have been delivered in favor of Slock Nigeria Limited the rightful owners of the FIBank Gambia Limited. He emphasised that if Governor Saidy thinks he will continue to mislead the government in this matter, he is making a monumental mistake.
“As a law-abiding citizen, I have diligently pursued my case in courts, and the High Court, Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of the Gambia have all delivered judgment in my favor. Correspondences were consequently issued by the office of the Honorable Sheriff of the High Court calling on the Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia to give effect to the terms of these judgments but Buah Saidy and his predecessors have both deliberately refused to act by the terms of these judgments and correspondences issued in execution of the judgments,” Chairman Sonko explained.
He added: “In fact, legally speaking there is nothing as VISTA Bank, as opposed to the rest of the banks operating in The Gambia, VISTA Bank is created by the Central Bank of The Gambia. It is licensed by the Central Bank and operates at the instance of the Central of the Gambia without obtaining registration with the Government designated authority, the Registrar of Companies (ROC).”
He added that Governor Saidy’s suggestion that the matters surrounding FIBank have been laid to rest is false and misleading and the public should disregard it. More so, all those who matter in the issue rightfully know that FIBank issues have not been rest and sooner or later the truth will prevail.