Government Calls For Immediate Forfeiture of Jammeh’s Assets Worth Billions of Dalasis
On Wednesday, the government announced the immediate forfeiture of former president Yahya Jammeh’s, assets worth billions of dalasis, to the state.
At a press conference in Banjul, the Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambedou said the Janneh Commission which submitted its report to President Adama Barrow, found among other things that the former president either directly or through third parties embezzled over D1 billion (over $300million, over €30million and almost £200million).
He said his ministry is taking all measures to advice the president on the report, adding that Jammeh’s seized assets include both developed and non-developed assets.
“While the ministry of justice is into the review of the report submitted by the commission in order to advice the president on the necessary actions to be taken as well as to implement the recommendation of the commission, the president Adama Barrow has approved and government has taken interim measures to apply the recommendations of the commission,” Tambedou told journalists.
According to him, the measures include the immediate forfeiture to the state of all companies and their respective assets belonging to Jammeh upon the expiration of the freezing order of the high court, the immediate forfeiture to the state of all movable and immovable assets including all developed and undeveloped landed properties owned by the former president, the immediate forfeiture to the state of all movable and immovable assets including the developed and undeveloped landed properties and other acquisition by Muhammed Bazzi, a close associate of the former president, and the immediate forfeiture to the state of all monies in all frozen commercial banks in The Gambia upon the expiration of the 17th June 2019 of the freezing order of the high court.
“All financial institutions in the country especially the commercial banks are hereby advised to take note of this action and announcement which will soon be followed by correspondence specifically addressed to each of the institutions affected,” he said.
Tambedou warned commercial banks not to tamper with the accounts of ex-president or his close associates.
He also announced President Barrow’s approval for the establishment of an inter-ministerial taskforce at both technical and ministerial levels, comprising the ministries of justice, finance, local government and lands, tourism, and agriculture to deal with third parties claiming their properties that were seized clandestinely or forcibly by Jammeh.
“I’m inviting all those persons whose properties were acquired by former president Jammeh through a judicial sale by the Sheriff of the High Court to contact the Solicitor General or the Attorney General at the Ministry of Justice in person or through authorized third parties between 24th and 28th of June 2019. All other persons with claims over any of the properties of former president Jammeh are hereby advised to address their claims in writing to the Ministry of Justice by the 28th June 2019 and to meanwhile desist from interfering with any of the said properties forfeited to the state.”
Tambedou called on the international community with expertise in asset recovery, particularly the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union to assist The Gambia in recovering stolen assets and properties belonging to the state.