Contrary to reports that The Gambia’s former president is living in a “seven star hotel,” The Standard has been informed that Jammeh is in fact staying in a government allocated house in the Island city of Mongoba.
An independent journalist in Equatorial Guinea who was contacted by The Standard said Jammeh was still staying in a heavily-guarded government house boxed by a high perimeter fence and other security installations that make it difficult to access him.
Our source who is a veteran investigative journalist said he has made several requests through the Ministry of the Interior of Equatorial Guinea to interview Yahya Jammeh without success. “All my requests were declined,” he said.
A human rights lawyer from Equatorial Guinea who attended a just-concluded conclave in Banjul told the press that the former president was staying in a “seven star hotel” while his victims are wallowing in misery.
But our source said the former president “is deeply isolated and is restricted” in many ways. “My sources within the ministries of the Interior and National Security have confirmed to me that the former dictator is constantly monitored and is not even allowed to move out of his government allocated residence without prior notice.
“Also, all the officers that accompanied him to Equatorial Guinea have been separated from him making him,” said the investigative journalist source in Malabo. “Most of these officers, perhaps because of their low educational background, are finding it extremely difficult to survive in Equatorial Guinea. In addition, the language difference also greatly contributes to their difficulty.”
Our source also revealed that Jammeh did not enter Equatorial Guinea with the limousines that were carted on board a chartered flight when he was leaving The Gambia. The vehicles, according to our source, were left in Guinea Conakry where Jammeh had a brief stopover.
Our source said the government of Equatorial Guinea had backed out of an earlier commitment to fly in Jammeh’s limos in a chartered plane from Conakry.
Although some Gambians are with the belief that Jammeh could destabilise The Gambia from his base in Equatorial Guinea, our source said that appears very unlikely “because at the moment, all of Jammeh’s domestic accounts are blocked and he is confined to either his house or the farm that the government allocated him where he is farming cacao, plantain and other crops.”
The president of Equatorial Guinea in a statement at the last African Union Summit, said his country granted asylum to Jammeh purely on the principles of pan-Africanism. Jammeh’s asylum in Equatorial Guinea is premised on the fact he does not in any way meddle in the internal affairs of The Gambia. According to our source, any indication that Jammeh is involved in anything that breaches his asylum condition would lead to it being revoked.
Also, pressure is building on Jammeh by international human rights groups to bring him to justice over allegations of various forms of right violations. Commenting on the case of one of Jammeh’s most trusted lieutenants General Saul Badjie, our source claimed the former president is no longer staying in the same facility with the general.
He said Jammeh is said to have “personal problems“ with General Badjie when the two had a feud some two months ago. “My sources have told me that the former president has expressed dismay that monies were withdrawn in his name from the Gambian central bank. Although I am not very clear about this particular issue, but my sources in the government of Equatorial Guinea have told me that the general was withdrawing money from the Central Bank,” he told The Standard.