Barrow Taking Steps to Act on the OCCRP Corruption Report, Says Amie Bojang-Sissoho
State House said President Adama Barrow has given instruction to his officials to look into a major corruption report implicating former president Yahya Jammeh and associates, including officials in the Barrow administration.
Two weeks ago, the Organized Crime and Corruption Report Project, a global network of investigative journalists published a major report detailing how Jammeh and his associates had looted at least $975m from state-owned enterprises, public finances, pensioners’ monies and donor aid. The startling revelations were based primarily on thousands of leaked documents. The Great Gambia Heist report listed some senior officials in Barrow’s government as Jammeh’s accomplices in the looting.
Last week, the Right 2 Know Coalition-Gambia sent an open letter to Barrow saying it was “saddened and extremely alarmed at the loud silence” from the president and his government over the findings of the corruption investigation by OCCRP.
At a press briefing at State House Wednesday, the Director of Press and Public Relations, Amie Bojang-Sissoho said “the president has been informed about it and he has seen it, and he directed the Secretary General to follow up and get the source of that report so that they can look at it alongside with that of the Janneh Commission.”
“As far as I know up to yesterday, directive has been given regarding that report because we received a letter from a group that is looking at crime and corruption.”
In another development, Mrs. Bojang-Sissoho has defended President Barrow’s constant weekend political rallies at State House, arguing they were no distraction for the president.
“The weekend meetings he has with people from different parts of the country who come to call on him to use the opportunity to discuss their issues that affect them cannot be seen as a distraction.”
However, she said “people have their opinions on this issue but as far as the President is concerned, he would welcome any group of people who want to call on him to be able to discuss issues that are of concern to them as citizens.”
Mrs. Bojang-Sissoho was responding to a question posed by The Chronicle during the press briefing.
“Because of the number of people who would want to come, it is just impossible to accommodate them in the official space that is available. Therefore, some of these courtesy calls are arranged when they realized that people want to come in large numbers at the State House.”
The president has been criticized for constantly holding weekend political rallies at State House, with some critics suggesting he’s more focused on the political rallies and meetings than the national development agenda.