Does the Janneh Commission have the
legal mandate to sell off Jammeh’s assets?
Readers could recall that during the 22 years of Jammeh’s brutal rule, corruption and nepotism were the order of the day. Jammeh now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea after his defeat in the December 2016 polls to the coalition led by Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially accepted defeat but days later took a U-turn which warranted an Ecowas deployment to oust him.
On Thursday, 13 July 2018 President Barrow presided over the swearing-in of four members of the Janneh Commission of Inquiry with a mandate to act on the financial activities of public bodies, enterprises and offices as regards to their dealings with former President, Yahya Jammeh.
The establishment of the Janneh Commission was in line with Section 200 (1) of the 1997 Constitution. This empowers the president to constitute a Commission of Inquiry and appoint one or more commissioners to make inquiry for the public good.
Furthermore, Section 202 (1) empowers a Commission of Inquiry to:
“(a) Make a full and impartial investigation into the matter in respect of which the Commission is established; and
(b) Furnish in writing a report on the results of the inquiry, including a statement of the reasons leading to the conclusions of the Commission.”
Additionally, Section 203 highlighted that “On receipt of the report of a Commission of Inquiry;
(a) The President shall within six months publish the report and his or her comments on the report, together with a statement of any action taken, or the reason for not taking action.
Surprisingly, a public notice on newspapers on 10 January 2018 read: The general public is hereby informed that the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Dealings, Assets, etc of ex-President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, Family Members and Close Associates will commence the auction of trucks and other vehicles.
Let us remember the words of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi: “Good governance with good intentions [should be] the hallmark of government. Implementation with integrity [should be] our core passion.”
Saidina Alieu Jarjou