Should the National Assembly or the Attorney General Decides How Yahya Jammeh Loot Be Spent?
Alagi Yorro Jallow
Mamudu: The Gambia government announced recently that through the sale of former President Yahya Jammeh looted assets that it has recovered and returned funds of Yahya Jammeh loot, kept in a special account at the Central Bank. Is Yahya Jammeh contesting the final findings of the government White Paper?
In the absence of any evidence that Yahya Jammeh stole the money from the statutory allocation to the then Government (now defunct) after the sharing of the revenue accruing to the government as a whole, it, rightly, can be assumed that the money belonged to the Gambia. Since Yahya Jammeh stole the money from the Gambia, and not from the government alone, is the money not that of the Gambia? Is it the exclusive property of the government? If the answer is in the negative, can the Gambia government, acting alone, spend the money? Shouldn’t the money be paid into the distributable pool in the government Account and shared in accordance with the extant revenue allocation formula amongst the three tiers of government?
Mamudu: The argument that the money could be stolen at the states level, like the “Paris Club refund “is not a valid reason for short circuiting the restitution process. The money was stolen from the Gambia. It should return to the Gambia. And the government of the Gambia is not the Justice department.
Mamudu: The reparation from Yahya Jammeh’s loot announced by the Attorney General for Yahya Jammeh’s torture survivors and victims is stepping aside directive should have emanated from the National Assembly. Not the President and not from the Justice Minister. The directive has full moral grounding but is patently unconstitutional. We have a very liberal constitution that guarantees procedural and substantive rights to even the devil himself. The bottom line: – everyone is entitled to due process.
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