An Open Letter to His Excellency-ON GAMBIA GOVERNMENT ASSET RECOVERY/ANTI CORRUPTION EFFORTS

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Anti-Corruption Coalition (Gambia)

9 Kofi Anna Street, Ocean Bay Office Complex, Cape Point, The Gambia,

Tel: 2300499/2059924/7555962

Open Letter to His Excellency

HE President Adama Barrow                                                                                             Date: May 2, 2019

Office of The President

State House

Banjul, The Gambia

Your Excellency,

President of The Republic of The Gambia

ON GAMBIA GOVERNMENT ASSET RECOVERY/ANTI CORRUPTION EFFORTS

Anti-Corruption Coalition (Gambia) – (ACCG) is a group of civil society organisations, establish in 2018 as an anti-corruption coalition to address corruption and corrupt practices in The Gambia. One of the principal objectives of the coalition is to work closely with government, the public and the private sectors to achieve a thriving open and trusted government, and a society free from corruption and corrupt practices.

Your Excellency, the coalition take note of the political maturity of your government in the first place to put in place the Janneh Commission that looked into the businesses of former President and his close associates. The coalition also wish to acknowledge further swift action taken by your government to digest and respond appropriately to the recent revelation from the publication of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the seriousness with which your government handle the report of the Attorney General on how Jammeh and his cronies looted US$1 billion (50 billion dalasis) of state assets.  This is equivalent to one-year GDP of your government and twice The Gambia’s external debt. It is worrying situation to say the least.

Your Excellency, President of The Gambia, the Coalition is appreciative of your governments’ recent pronouncement to take appropriate measures and corresponding initiative to recovery the stolen assets that rightfully belongs to the peoples and government of The Gambia.

Anti-Corruption Coalition (Gambia) is also apprehensive to contribute to the fight against corruption in The Gambia and endorsed the work undertaken by your government and your efforts to pursue asset recovery of allegedly state funds looted by the former President from state pension fund, the use of the Central Bank as his private checking account, the collaboration with terrorist financiers to launder millions and the undervalued state assets, and the stole millions in foreign aid as well as Gambia as a gateway for international timber smuggling.

Your Excellency, the Coalition is however, deeply concern about how this laudable initiative could be achieved without the your government providing appropriate responses to numerous issues raised in the recent publication: “Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption – Review of Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption – Ref: CAC/COSP/IRG/1/4/1/Add.62” under agreement The Government of The Gambia’s assertion to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The Coalition is also concern about the mechanism (Head of the Civil Service engagement to head the recovery process) that your government wish to put in place for the purpose of asset recovery. The Coalition have further taken note that your government recently received processed from sales of asset by the Janneh Commission and that these proceeds where allegedly paid to national treasury. Furthermore, the Coalition is concern about the lukewarm responses your government gave to a recent report by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on “Jammeh’s Taiwanese Alliance and the Hezbollah Laundromat”

Your Excellency, President of the Republic of The Gambia, the Coalition strongly wish to call on your administration to take necessary measures to address issues on Gambia anti-corruption efforts by:

  1. Responding to issues raised in the First Cycle report on The Gambia: “Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption” refer to above.
  2. Table before the National Assemble the Anti-Corruption Bill which is pending for the past eighteen months
  3. Take appropriate measure to response to OCCRP on issues raised in its recent report on the Taiwanese 100 million aid to The Gambia for a period of nineteen years and misappropriation of foreign aid to The Gambia.
  4. Clarify your administration stand on corruption by putting in place measure that meets the Gambia’s obligation under the UNCAC
  5. Establish the National Anti-Corruption Commission to implement an efficient and effective asset recovery programme and to initiate extradition treaties with friendly countries globally as well supervise compliance mechanism that The Gambia Anti-Corruption legislation contains.

Finally, Your Excellency, the Coalition urgently call on your government to refocus on key institutional reforms in the public sectors and enact new smart laws to ensure that confiscated assets can be returned to citizens, and not to state treasuries susceptible to corruption.

Furthermore, the Coalition call on the government of The Gambia to build on the significant Anti-Corruption gains and to do its utmost to ensure that, Civil Societies be an important part on fight against corruption in The Gambia and to increase is efforts to fight corruption in both public and private sectors.

While looking forward to build on the anti-corruption gains, please accept, Your Excellency, President of the Republic of The Gambia, the Coalition’s renewed assurances of highest consideration.

Chairman

Abdoulie Jadama

Cc. ACCG file

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