President Adama Barrow's government is embroiled in a scandalous investigation by the National Assembly for allegedly manipulating the sale of former President Jammeh's properties to favour family members and business friends.
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the Assembly is in the early stages of studying whether some of the former president's properties were sold without following due process as enshrined in the laws of The Gambia.
A prominent member of the committee, Hon. Kumba Jaiteh (nominated), told What's On-Gambia: "We were supposed to meet the committee set up by the executive to sell the properties, but we couldn't because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Members have sent parliamentary questions on the issue too. Hopefully, we will get some answers this coming session, which is starting on the 15th June."
She added: "We are concerned like everyone else about the disposal of the assets."
When asked whether she knows the names of the people who were assigned to sell Jammeh's properties, she responded: "I can't remember the names, but I heard it is chaired by the Minister of Justice."
On the widespread allegation that famous blogger and economist Nyang Njie bought one of the former president's Range Rovers for D100,000, Kumba said: " Well, we all know Range Rovers are worth way more than that for sure. I hope that the allegation is not true."
The former secretary to the Janneh Commission Alhaji Mamadi Kurang, who was sacked after complaining about the unlawful interference of "outsiders" in the activities of the Commission, said he was the first person who was entrusted with organizing the auctions but later pushed aside.
"I sold 10% of the tractors before I was sacked. It was an open auction where everyone was invited to bid. The process was very transparent, and we were able to sell some tractors for more than D1m."
According to Kurang, he was sacked because he refused to allow "outsiders" to manipulate the auctions in favour of their family members and business friends.
"I was removed before they sold the vehicles," he said.
The former secretary revealed Jammeh left behind between 300-400 vehicles, some of them worth millions of Dalasis. "The cars include Rolls-Royce, Bentley and other expensive cars. Go online and check their prices, very expensive."
Quizzed further on allegations that Tourism Minister Hamat Bah bought some of Jammeh's cattle, Mr. Kurang declined to comment saying: "The cattle sale was done by the Sheriff Division at the Ministry of Justice, not the Commission."
Nyang Njie's Range Rover
In a Facebook comment, the outspoken blogger denied buying one of Jammeh’s Range Rovers but said: "Yes, I bought a car that was bought by him using our funds. Maybe I will pick him up at the airport on his arrival."
One of the most outspoken UK-based supporters of the former ruling party, APRC, Bass Sonko argued: "Ba Tambedou and his criminal entity would eventually learn that law does exist and will be applied to the letter. Ignorant loudmouths like Nyang Njie in possession of these assets just to feel better about themselves are part of the ring."
Another APRC supporter, Lamin Tamba warned on Facebook: "If you bought Yaya Jammeh's property, you're on the verge of losing it. Title didn't pass legally, so you're in possession of bad goods. Return them and ask for your money back from Ba Tambedou."
Items from Jammeh’s house in Kanilai
Here are some of former President Jammeh’s ”small items” that were allegedly handed over to one Ramatoulie Sarr:
- Four precious stones from Badari
- One Michael Kors gold plated watch
- Two gold chains
- Two precious metal necklaces
- Two Mont Blanc ink bottles
- Two gold coins
- One golden gun from Saudi Arabia
- UTG gold medal
- Thirty hunting cartridges
- 65 9mm bullets
Announcement by the Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice last week announced the suspension of “all sales" of the former president’s properties. This came shortly after a ruling by the Appeal Court that the Janneh Commission's recommendations cannot be enforced without a court order.