By Omar Bah
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice has informed the National Assembly that government might not reveal names of individuals who bought former president Yahya Jammeh’s assets because it could be an infringement on their privacy.
He was responding to a question from the NAM for Foni Kansala, Almamy Gibba, who demanded details of the total sales of Jammeh’s assets, buyers and prices of each asset sold.
His question followed rumours that ministers, senior civil servants and private individuals are among buyers of former president Jammeh’s assets, some at very cheap prices.
But in his response, Minister Dawda Jallow said: “The detailed report of properties and their prices is long and I cannot make an oral answer of that but I can make the hard copy available to this assembly. However, due to privacy reasons, I don’t think we would be able to disclose the names of all the buyers as it may infringe on the private rights of some private individuals.”
He also disclosed that a total of one billion, one hundred and forty eight million, nine hundred and ninety seven thousand and eight-five dalasis was realised from the sale of about 44 assets.
“This include land, shares, derelict vehicles and dividends received from forfeited shares,” he said.
Minister Jallow however said not all the properties sold belonged to Jammeh as assets belonging to his close associates were also forfeited.
Asked how many of Jammeh’s assets are left unsold, Minister Jallow said: “I don’t know the exact number because we are still discovering more assets – so there are a lot of assets that the Janneh Commission didn’t discover, so the discovery is ongoing.”
Reacting to a question on the implementation of the TRRC recommendations, Minister Jallow said a training of security services and stakeholders on forensics in anticipation of the search and exhumation of disappeared persons is in progress.
He said national consultations with victims-led organisations on the development of a framework on the drafting of the Victims Reparations Bill is at an advanced stage.
“The development of a prosecution strategy to guide prosecution of TRRC crimes is completed. Almost all these activities have cost implications but some are less costly than others. We have also carried out a low-hanging fruit assessment that identified 30 less costly activities for immediate implementations pending the finalisation of adequate resources for full implementations,” he added.
Asked whether the government has received any support to pay reparations, Jallow said: “Not yet, we will bring to you very soon the victims bill and in that bill, we intend to setup an agency that would be responsible for reparations and under it we will create the victims fund.”
He said after the creation of a victims fund the government will annually put resources in the fund and then they will invite development partners to support the victims fund which will be administered independent of the government.