Corruption: The Gambia Bans Former Vice President and Others for Life…

Following the release of the Janneh Commission’s report yesterday, the Government of The Gambia make public its decision on the findings and recommendations of the Commission, which was set up in 4 July 2017 to probe into the financial dealings of former president, Yahya Jammeh. 

Until the confirmation of the Commission, released on Friday, 13 of August 2019, Yahya Jammeh was already widely believed to have engaged in gross embezzlement and mismanagement of state’s resources.

Former president Jammeh was force out of power following a crucial election dispute in December 2016. 

The government of The Gambia in its official reaction to the Commission’s report, published a white paper that saw former top government officials and associates of the former president banned for life, asked sanctioned to pay back monies, and some of the serving government officials relieved off their duties.

Among those banned from holding public official includes The Gambia’s longest serving Vice President, Isatou Njie Saidy, Amadou Colley, Basiru Njie and Oumie Samba who are all staff of the Bank of The Gambia. Muhamed Bazzi, Mr Fadi George Mazegi, and Tony Ghattas all Lebanese origins, are banned from entering The Gambia and ordered to paid various amount of monies as the Commission found them liable, among others.

However, the banned from the government gained much attention for the inclusion of outspoken former Secretary General and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally alongside his compatriot in the portfolio, Mr Njogou Bah who are all banned from holding any public office for their lifetime effect from yesterday.

The 1600 pages report found inter alia, that Ex-President Jammeh own up to 131 properties registered under his name and 89 private bank accounts, all of which are seized by The Gambian government pending efforts to recover billions of US dollar allegedly embezzled by the former dictator currently in exile in Equatorial Guinea. 

The international community particularly, The United States through its office in Banjul has since then commended the government of The Gambia for the bold steps to release both the Commission’s report and its intended actions.

The report has widely been welcomed by the Gambians not without some dissentient by others, who felt the government is selective in its bit to punish some of the persons found wanting by the Commission.