By: Kebba AF Touray
Gambia Government will generate nearly one billion dalasi from the sale of assets forfeited to the State as a result of recommendation made by the Janneh Commission.
The Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambedou
made this statement on Friday in a press conference on the white paper released by the Gambia Government in reaction to the report prepared by the Janneh Commission.
“Based on the recommendations of the Commission, the actions taken by the Government are expected to generate nearly a Billion dalasis from the assets forfeited to the State and to be sold” he said.
The commission was established to investigate into the financial dealings of the former president Jammeh, his close associates and family members.
He clarified “the Commission was also meant to expose the level of corruption and the extent of reckless disregard for fiscal discipline and safeguards against abuses”.
He said: “The Commission underscored that the damage former President Jammeh has caused to Government institutions, public resources and State Owned Enterprises is of such serious nature that the Government ought to introduce a motion before the National Assembly for charges to be brought against him for theft, economic crimes and corruption.”
Consequently, he stressed, 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.
“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”, he told journalists.
He said some of the key findings of the commission indicate that Ex-President Jammeh, acquired 281 landed properties throughout the country. These include private residential and commercial properties, islands, forest parks, wild life reserves and wetlands.
He said “the Commission also found that disproportionate amounts of resources were wasted, misappropriated and diverted by former President Jammeh amounting to at least D1,065,012,512 (one billion and sixty-five million, and twelve thousand dalasi)”.
He added “the meager resources at the disposal of the country were managed at former President Jammeh’s whim and caprices without regard to the structures and processes in place to ensure coherence and accountability”.
He also said at least D3, 330,046.60 (three million, and three hundred and thirty thousand, and forty-six Dalasis); $1,858,367 (one million, and eight hundred and fifty-eight thousand, and three hundred and sixty-seven Dollars); and GBP6, 618.41 (six thousand, and six hundred and eighteen Pounds Sterling), mostly in cash, was improperly authorized and directly transferred for use by Zineb Jammeh from various accounts in the country.
The Commission found that former President Jammeh’s financial dealings and/or activities were at all stages facilitated, assisted or even guided by a number of people.
He added that the Commission has identified seventeen persons as close associates of former President Jammeh based on the evidence before it.
These he revealed, include military officers who left with him into exile, private individuals and companies that had business dealings with him either directly or indirectly through companies in which former President Jammeh had an interest.
Apart from persons who fall in the said category, Tambedou further said the Commission also found that there were others who worked with former President Jammeh by virtue of the offices they held, many of whom were also involved in his financial dealings and or activities.
He said “therefore, the Commission has made a number of policy recommendations in order to improve on these safeguards”.