Former official accused of graft by ex-Gambian dictator becomes oil minister

A former senior government official, whose corruption charges were dropped by state prosecutors last month has been appointed as Gambia’s oil minister.

Gambia’s new leader, President Adama Barrow has appointed Fafa Sanyang as Minister of Petroleum and Energy, a senior government official told SMBC.

Sanyang and eight other officials, including a former oil minister, Sira Wally Ndow were accused by former President Yahya Jammeh of embezzling $12 million by signing a contract with a ‘fake and non-existent’ oil firm in Dubai.

Facts about Sanyang:

BSc in Geology, University of Sierra Leone – 1989, and Mac in Maritime Management, Dalhousie University, Canada, in 1997

Director of Gambia Geological Department – 1993 to 2006

MSc in Engineering Geology from Leeds University, United Kingdom.

Fellow of Geological Society of London, FGS and Member, Geological Society of Africa

A search of the oil company, March Petroleum showed it was a legitimate and legally licensed company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

After Jammeh’s shocking defeat in elections and unceremonious ouster, judicial and oil ministry sources released documents showing the charges against the former officials were ‘fabricated’ to have them jailed.

Sanyang has been the petroleum commissioner of the West African nation since 2006. Oil is being explored in The Gambia and an Australian company has bought exploration rights.

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