The Government of President Adama Barrow on Wednesday has decided to take over all assets, companies, and finances associated with the exiled Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh. The government has also launched an appeal to the international community to help The Gambia to recover stolen assets by Jammeh and are believed to be hidden overseas.
Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou on Wednesday addressed a news conference in Banjul, where he announced the government’s decision to forfeit Jammeh’s assets. Tambadou says the order will come into force on June 17th.
The government’s decision followed a commission of inquiry that was set up to probe into the financial activities of dictator Jammeh and his government.
The Janneh Commission has cited Jammeh for stealing over one billion dalasis, which is equivalent to three hundred million dollars. Jammeh was also linked to illegal land grabbing among others.
Tambadou says the government has set up an inter-ministerial task force that would investigate lands stolen by Jammeh belonging to private Gambian citizens. Landowners who are victims of Jammeh’s land grabbing have been asked to meet with the government task force.
He says The Gambian state is desperately in need of the assets stolen by Jammeh. Hence, he calls for an international assistance to help recover the stolen assets.
Jammeh is living in exile in Equatorial Guinea. He was forced to surrender power amid a month-long political impasse, which had gripped the impoverished West African country. He rescinded his concession election defeat statement, which subsequently plunged the West African nation into a political impasse.
The sub-regional bloc-ECOWAS had to intervene to protect the wishes of The Gambian electorate.
The government has also seized all assets belongings to Muhammed Bazzi, a Lebanese businessman. Bazzi’s finances were also seized.
Bazzi was recently designated by the US government as a Hezbollah financier. He has an international arrest warrant hanging on his head.
The Justice Ministry has also placed Gambia’s banking industry on notice about the government move to seize Jammeh and Bazzi’s assets. Tambadou says his Ministry will formally inform the relevant financial institutions to comply with the government’s announcement.