The former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, former Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy, and former Commander of the Republican Guards, General Sulayman Badgie have been banned from holding public offices in The Gambia for the rest of their lives. This revelation has been published in the Gambian government White Paper that was unveiled to the media on Friday by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou.
The trio who served as the most powerful public servants during the time of the 22-year rule of the AFPRC/APRC regime, came on the shores of a special commission instituted by the government of President Adama Barrow in 2017 to look into the financial activities of the former president and his dealings with Public Institutions, Enterprises and Businesses with the country.
The government White Paper charged the former President, Vice President and Commander of the Republican Guards for flagrantly abusing their offices with respect to the code of conduct of their various offices as well as misappropriating millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money without respect to the financial rules and regulations of the country.
In the same vein, the former President Yahya Jammeh has been indicted in the report with allegations that he squandered over one billion dalasis and forcefully grabbed two hundred and eighty one (281) land properties within the length and breadth of the country over his 22-year rule.
“The commission found the former president was engaged in land grabbing and acquired 281 land properties throughout the country. This includes private, residential and commercial properties, islands, forest parks, wildlife reserves and wetlands,” said Abubacarr Tambadou, Gambia’s Justice Minister at a press conference in Banjul.
According to Tambadou, these unlawful acts of the former president was possible due to the prevailing governance system created by the ex-leader, adding that the business community’s relationship with the former president was motivated by greed and opportunism.
“While those who served in the public offices were motivated by a combination of fear and self-preservation,” he said.
Tambadou said the report is accompanied by the cabinet White Paper which contains the government’s objective for the recovery of monies stolen and or misappropriated by the former president, family and close associates.
Apart from Jammeh himself, 38 senior members of his government were also implicated by the report including ex-secretary generals of the civil service, ministers, business partners, top military officers, family members such as his wife Zeinab Souma Jammeh.
He promised that the recommendations of the commission will be implemented.
In 2017, the Gambian government launched the commission of inquiry to investigate the financial dealings of former president Yahya Jammeh and his close associates. Several witnesses have since testified from commercial banks, ministers and business partners.