Gambia’s Justice Department will enforce Janneh Commission resolutions

Gambia’s Justice Department will enforce Janneh Commission resolutions

Attorney General Aboubacarr Ba Tambadou said the Justice Department will enforce the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into former President Yahya Jammeh’s assets.

The ex-leader is accused of siphoning hundreds of millions from state coffers, mostly for personal use. Jammeh is currently in Equatorial Guinea in exile.

“We will enforce to the fullest all recommendations from the Janneh commission,” Tambadou said, an indication that the government will go to any length to recover as much as possible.

The Justice Department in May seized Jammeh’s assets after authorities say he fled the country with at least $50 million, a figure disputed by some.

At least 178 landed properties, 95 bank accounts, and 18 companies have been seized to date. Parliament has been informed that three aircrafts, belonging to the ex-president would be sold to help recover some of the nation’s stolen wealth.

More than a dozen people have appeared before the Commission providing material evidence against Jammeh and his close associates.

The country’s Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh told Parliament that Jammeh spent at least $147 million in the last three years of his rule and the Commission has found that at least $250 million has been spent just between 2011 and 2014.

Jammeh came to power as a junior army officer accusing the regime of Dawda Jawara of corruption. He enjoyed much support during the first five years of his rule but started to become autocratic.

He survived about a dozen coup attempts, some of which are said to be made up to prosecute his perceived enemies in the military, including former army chief, Lt. Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba.

Jammeh’s farms and a presidential compound in his native home of Kanilai is now under government control. It is apparent that the properties would be seized after the Commission finishes its findings.

Jammeh’s supporters say the seizing of his properties contravened an agreement between ECOWAS and the coalition government not to freeze his assets when he cedes power and leaves to Equatorial Guinea.

The government denies that such an agreement was signed and vows to recover money stolen by the former president. The World has Bank pledged to support the country to recover some of the loot.

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