Former Director General of Immigration Services Buba Sanyang has been reinstated by President Adama Barrow on Thursday, according to the presidency.
Sanyang was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency in 2013 on the orders of former President Yahya Jammeh on charges of abuse of office.
Sanyang allegedly abused the authority of his office as director general by issuing an entry clearance to Ali Chahin, a Syrian national, and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without following the appropriate immigration procedures.
He is firing was said to be politically motivated and had been put on trial for years before a judge threw the case out of court.
Sanyang was first appointed to the job in 2009 and had joined The Gambia’s security services in 1977. He was a military observer in Eritrea and Ethiopia for a joint UN/AU mission.
Gambia’s immigration department has been accused of giving passports to non-citizens, especially to mainland China citizens, who are trying to enter Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has revoked the visa waiver program for The Gambia as the allegations that Chinese citizens were paying thousands of dollars of Gambian passports became rife.
Gambia’s government has placed restrictions on issuing passports and national identity cards to overhaul the system.
The former government was aware of this, according to a senior official, with the ex-president benefiting directly from the profits and preventing authorities from stopping the practice.
The Homeland Security Department is probing the issuance of Gambian passport to non-citizens and will be one of the most serious issues that Sanyang has to address.