NYC refutes covering up corruption allegation at GYCC
By Sulayman Waan
The National Youth Council (NYC) has refuted allegations that the Council and National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) had covered up a corruption scandal involving the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC), Baboucarr Kebbeh.
On Tuesday, mamos media published a story with the caption “Row at GYCC as Board accuses NYC, NEDI of covering up corruption scandals.’’ However, NYC has refuted the allegation.
“The claim of covering up corruption is unfounded and untrue. The audit exercise conducted never indicated any such allegation/claim,” Alhagie Jarju, executive director of NYC, refuted the allegation of GYCC Board.
He added: “The audit exercise is not completed, as the final report is yet to be submitted by the auditor. The audit draft report was presented by the auditor and the secretariat has provided a management response. The final report is yet to be signed and submitted by the audit firm.
“The draft report never mentioned any mismanagement of any fund, as alleged by Mr Sambou, not to talk of the D4.4 million he highlighted. Therefore, Ismaila should therefore come and substantiate these claims in the Audit Report. The Audit exercise is accompanied by a Management letter which provides explanations of all queries on the Management, and the alleged 4.4 million claimed was nowhere to be seen.”
Mr Jarju further said NYC, NEDI, and stakeholders had consulted partners of GYCC who provided funding for the management to implement project activities, adding that none of the project funders had complained of project failure, misuse of the fund, or default in the retirement.
“NYC and NEDI wish to assure the general public and all stakeholders that we will never condone or cover up any form of corruption or malpractice by any of our structures or organizations that we coordinate,” ED Jarju pledged.
In the previous publication of The Point, Mr Sambou said: “The GYCC as any other Chamber of Commerce is a Private Non-Profit organization as registered with the Registrar General’s office under the Ministry of Justice hence it is not allied, under the support or umbrella of any Government entity, the NYC inclusive.” He added that the GYCC is a private sector membership-based organization.
However, in response to that, Jarju said: “Contrary to the Information provided by Mr Ismaila Sambou to the newspapers, the NYC and NEDI spearheaded the establishment of the GYCC in 2016 and appointed Mr Ismaila Sambou as Board President and six others to serve as an Interim Board members and provide oversight function to the GYCC Secretariat. One of the key tasks of the Interim Board was to formalize GYCC and go to AGM to conduct an elective congress and have a full-fledged Board answerable to its members where NYC and NEDI will serve in an advisory role.”
In a subsequent press statement dated 2nd August 2023, it was stated that GYCC Board had further dismissed Baboucarr Kebbeh, CEO of GYCC, from his duties.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the GYCC, the Public is hereby informed that its CEO, in the name of Mr Baboucarr Kebbeh, has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect dated today 02nd of August 2023,” Ismaila Sambou said in press statement sent to this medium.
“All partners, members and the public are hereby advised to desist from any communications or interaction with the said person on behalf of the Chamber, inclusive of all information emanating from our social media handles which are in current possession of the former CEO.”
He urged all members of the Chamber to correspond with the Board of Directors through the Board President on all enquiries regarding membership affairs.
He also assured that amicable solution shall be taken to address the matter with due process in line with the GYCC Constitution.