The attorney general and minister of Justice, Abubacarr B. Tambadou on Friday disclosed that The Gambia government has placed lien on the properties of 14 of former President Yahya Jammeh’s close associates and institutions.
Justice Minister Tambadou made this announcement at a press briefing held at his chambers while releasing the 93-page report of the Commission of Inquiry, which was coined by the press as the Janneh Commission.
The Janneh Commission was established by President Adama Barrow in July 2017 to probe into the financial activities of public bodies, enterprises and offices as regards to their dealings with former President Yahya Jammeh.
“The Commission submitted its Report in nine (9) volumes totaling one thousand and six hundred pages (1,600) to the president on 29 March 2019,” Mr. Tambadou recalled.
Following a review of the commission’s report, and in accordance with Section 203 of the Constitution, Minister Tambadou stated that “President Barrow has decided to publish his reaction to the report in the form of a White Paper to be published here today together with the full report of the commission.”
“Because of its voluminous size, we can only share a few complimentary copies of the report with the media today and encourage the general public to obtain copies from the GPPC in Kanifing,” he encouraged.
“You will recall that upon the installation of the Barrow administration in 2017, preliminary reports received from, inter alia, the Central Bank of The Gambia, Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), Gambia Telecommunications Company Limited (GAMTEL), National Water and Electricity Company Limited (NAWEC), Assets Management and Recovery Corporation (AMRC), Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and other public institutions and government agencies, indicated that substantial funds were, either directly or indirectly withdrawn,” he said.
He added that they were paid out or expended on instructions or directives received from the Office of the President during the tenure of former President Jammeh, sometimes for unknown purposes.
The attorney general further narrated that it was discovered that bank accounts were opened into which funds paid by members of the public and intended for the state were directly controlled and expended by former President Jammeh or on his instructions.
“It was also discovered that former President Jammeh, during his tenure in office, had accumulated at least 131 known landed properties registered in his name or in companies and foundations in which he has shares or an interest; and that he operated at least 89 private bank accounts directly or through the aforesaid companies or foundations,” he revealed.
He also declared that the government had also taken into account the fact that The Gambia is currently going through a fragile political transition to democratic rule after over two decades of dictatorship. “Consequently, the government’s main objective, as reflected in the White Paper, is the recovery of monies stolen and/or misappropriated from the state by former President Jammeh, his family members and close associates.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Justice minister made it clear that the White Paper does not and neither is it intended to reflect all the findings and recommendations of the Commission. “It only contains the key findings and recommendations that the government wishes to highlight from the report, and mirrors the findings and recommendations against the list of individuals identified in Volume 9 of the report.”
Author: Fatou B. Cham