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Janneh Commission Presents Report: Will the President Act?

The commission of inquiry set up to look into the financial and other business related activities of former president Yahya Jammeh and allies Friday presented its report to President Adama Barrow.  

The Commission dubbed Janneh Commission submitted the report two years after launching public hearings. The more than 1600-page report was submitted to the president by the commission’s chairman and veteran lawyer, Surahata Janneh.

Though the content of the report hasn’t been disclosed, it made recommendations for implementation by the president.

Janneh said the investigations have uncovered numerous bank accounts belonging to the former president and his companies such as Kanilai Family Farm and Kanilai Group Investment which were created at Central Bank and other commercial banks.

“Volume 3 A deals with Jammeh’s landed properties located throughout the length and breadth of The Gambia. 3 B General deals with Sulayman Badgie’s properties in the Kombos. Volume 4 deals with ex-president Jammeh’s companies, including Kairaba Beach Hotel, Daily Observer  newspaper, Green Industries etc. Volume 5 concerns government loans, grants and donation – how obtained and whether they were profitably used, squandered or stolen. Volume 6 deals with state owned enterprises. And Volume 7 concerns government procurement of things like petroleum products and vehicles.”

He said it is worth setting up the Commission in financial terms because of the millions of Dollars, Euros, Pounds and Dalasi which were already recovered and would be recovered against the expenditure.

Surahata Janneh

“Let me say that anybody who is aggrieved by this report can appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal.” He clarified that the conclusion of the finding does not made any person guilty.

Outlining the figures that were already recovered so far, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou said, “from Jammeh alone, more than one billion with several millions in dalasi, over 304 million in dollar, over 29 million in Euro. This is against total expenditures covering hotel rent, payment of commissioners and other officials etc. all amounting to Fifty million nine hundred and sixty-one thousand dalasis.

“His Kanilai assets alone are one billion four hundred million dalasis. We now have legal basis for recovering other monies.”

According to Tambadou, the Janneh Commission exposes former president’s financial institutions, including his money laundering with his allies, adding that it was money he used to satisfy his “delusional life style.”

Receiving the report, President Adama Barrow described the commission as a lesson for him and members of his administration, warning that he would not condone mismanagement of public funds.” “I assure that the recommendations will be implemented without fear or favour. We must now allow any form of dictatorship.”   

Justice Minister Tambadou (left) and President Barrow pose with members of the Janneh Commission

Barrow also emphasized that his administration would stand to promote principle of good governance as a practice in various institutions and not just to create structures without practice.   

Barrow now has not more than six months to review the report and make the content public.

The Janneh Commission was established on the 12th July 2017 to conduct investigations into Jammeh and his allies’ financial dealings and assets. It has renewed its mandate many times after the expiration of the original six months. 

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