By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has vowed to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the financial dealings of former President Jammeh and his close associates with due diligence.
“My Government will stand firm in implementing the recommendations of the commission without fear or favor. I hope that their report contains the findings of their investigation and provide useful recommendation on how the country avoids the reoccurrence,” said President Barrow as he received the report Friday. The report is yet to be made public though.
The president said he and his team are committed to implementing the right policies that will install and cement financial discipline among public servants and institutions.
“We cannot continue to condone the mismanagement of public funds as a norm. We hope the findings of the report will further promote accountability, transparency and protection of public and national funds,” he added.
The justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou said the report has discovered that former President Yahya Jammeh has stolen D18, 002, 868, 789 ($362, 204, 008), in addition, amassing millions worth of properties and businesses in and outside of The Gambia.
Minister Tambadou said the report also established that Jammeh laid claims to 281 landed properties in the country and also a number of assets outside the country including his Potomac residence frozen by US authorities.
He said the investigation has found out that Jammeh’s assets at his home village of Kanilai alone are worth over D1 billion ($28,247,333).
“In foreign currencies it has now been established that the former President alone pilfered at least $21,427,254; $304, 718, 071; 29, 475, 269 Euros; and 2,250,000 Pounds Sterling. This is a staggering amount of money that could have had significant impact on the lives of the ordinary people of this country. Instead, it was money used to satisfy the pretentious and delusional lifestyle of an egotistic megalomaniac; acts that were both unconscionable and criminal,” said Tambadou.
Tambadou added that efforts are in place to recover monies stolen by the former President Jammeh.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Commission, Sourahata Janneh said: “In terms of accountability, the commission has disclosed a great number of weaknesses and flaws in managing government monies in the Treasury, Central Bank and other financial institutions. In terms of good governance we hope many eyes shall be opened to the dangers we have exposed of failure to comply with regulations and best practice in running a public organisation.”
“We believe that the report will show the scale of the financial and economic damage caused by ex-president Jammeh, his close associates, family members and other corrupt and negligent citizens and foreigners. We also trust the remedies and recommendations suggested by us will be carried in due course,” he asserted.
He further observed that anybody who is aggrieved by the report can appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal, adding that the conclusion of the finding does not made any person guilty.
Janneh said the investigations have uncovered numerous bank accounts belonging to the former president and his companies such as Kanilai Family Farm and Kanilai Group Investment which were created at Central Bank and other commercial banks.
“Volume 3 A deals with Jammeh’s landed properties located throughout the length and breadth of The Gambia. 3 B deals with Sulayman Badgie’s properties in the Kombos. Volume 4 deals with ex-president Jammeh’s companies, including Kairaba Beach Hotel, Daily Observer Newspaper, Green Industries etc. Volume 5 concerns government loans, grants and donation – how obtained and whether they were profitably used, squandered or stolen. Volume 6 deals with state owned enterprises. And Volume 7 concerns government procurement of things like petroleum products.”