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“In one of the publications, it was reported that I signed a contract for the sale of fertilizer for financial gains. I would like to swear here sincerely that this statement is unfounded, malicious, and defamatory. As a Minister, I have never been in fault in this transaction; nor sign any contract with any contractor,” Omar Amadou Jallow, Gambia’s Agriculture Minister told journalists on Monday, during a news conference. Jallow, who is the leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), was reacting to a publication made by the Kerr Fatou website—accusing him of being complicit in the sale of an expired fertilizer to a Senegalese businessman. The online blog reported that over twenty seven thousand bags of expired fertilizer were taken from the government stores in Banjul and sold to one Modou Dibba, a businessman.

OJ has served as Agriculture Minister in the former Jawara administration for 14 years. He has debunked the Kerr Fatou reportage describing it as a pack of concocted lies geared towards soiling his reputation. He has vowed to sue to the blog and its publishers.

“You want to undermine my integrity in the presence of my family, I will never step back this time, I am going to the courts. Let them proof it. It is as simple as that. If they have the proofs let them bring it,” OJ remarked adding, that even president Adama Barrow cannot stop him from exercising his rights to seek redress in the courts.

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OJ told journalists that the Kerr Fatou publication has caused pain, mental anguish, embarrassment, to him, and his family. He called on journalists to be objective and report issues of national interest responsibly.

OJ also said the Kerr Fatou blog fails to accord him with the right to react to the story in tandem with journalistic principles. The paper, he said, hurriedly rushed to press without getting his own side of the story. But Kerr Fatou said it had contacted OJ’s media officer for comment, but the media officer told journalists that Kerr Fatou never heeded to her call to put the story on hold—given it lack of credibility.

Mr. Jallow was on an official mission in China, when the newly launched online blog—Kerr Fatou claimed that he allegedly signed a contract with Modou Dibba for the disposal of the expired fertilizer.

This followed, a news conference convened by the president’s office, this past week to shed light on the matter. State House Press Director Amie Bojang Sissohoko told journalists that the fertilizer case has been referred to the Justice Ministry for an advice for possible criminal charges to be filed against the perpetrators. Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou told this medium in an interview that the fertilizer case was being reviewed by his office. Though, he couldn’t confirm or deny whether Minister Jallow was implicated in the report.

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OJ said the paper lied when it claimed that he signed the contractual agreement which authorized Dibba to dispose the expired fertilizer. He handed reporters with documents to debunk the blogs claims.

The purported contractual documents were reviewed by the Freedom Newspaper, and there was no evidence to suggest that OJ has appended his signature on the contract.

OJ said the expired fertilizer in question were imported into the Gambia, in 2009 and was declared bad and unfit for usage. He said the expired fertilizers poses a threat to wildlife including human beings. Hence, which led to the unanimous agreement by PURA, the National Environmental Agency, and other stakeholders for the fertilizers to be disposed.

Kerr Fatou’s Mustafa K Darboe did only double down on the paper’s reportage during Monday’s press conference, he also accused Jallow and the Gambian government of violating an ECOWAS protocol—prohibiting member states from disposing of toxic waste products to neighboring counties. But OJ dismissed Darboe’s allegations. He said the Gambian government was not in violation of the ECOWAS protocol.


“Fertilizers that have lost their potentials can be reactivated. Fortunately, it is only Senegal, and Mauritania, and Ivory Coast that have it; that is why the Senegalese were buying it; taking it to activate the ingredients in the fertilizer,” OJ said adding, that Senegal had opened its doors for the expired fertilizer to be recycled in their country.

OJ also said if the Gambian state comes up with any evidence linking him to any wrongdoing, he will resign from his post. For now, he said, the onus lies on Kerr Fatou to substantiate what he calls their false and unfounded allegations against his person.

“The president appointed me, and mandated SIS under his preview to come and investigate my Ministry. If he has the report and he read it; and he is convinced that the SIS report is a factual report; what is stopping him from removing me,” OJ said.

From: Freedom Newspaper

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