Commission of Inquiry into Gambia’s ex-leader’s assets starts hearing

Commission of Inquiry into Gambia’s ex-leader’s assets starts hearing

A Commission set up by Gambian authorities to probe assets acquired by the country’s ousted ruler, Yahya Jammeh has started hearing on Thursday.

At least five people have so far been subpoenaed to appear before the Commission, most of them Jammeh’s close associates and business partners.

Jammeh, who was defeated in last year’s election by the opposition coalition candidate, Adama Barrow is accused of corruption and theft.

Preliminary findings indicated he fled the country with at least $50 million (D2.9 billion dalasis) following months of standoff sparked by his refusal to cede power.

The country’s finance minister, Amadou Sanneh told Parliament that the former strongman spent at least $147 million (D5.89 billion dalasis) in the last three years of his rule.

Jammeh is suspected of siphoning an estimated $7 million, factoring in the fact that most of his transactions were done by cash and off government records.

A court order has seen at least 184 landed properties, 95 bank accounts and 17 companies belonging to or associated to the Jammeh seized.

The exiled leader had also taken total control of mining activities in the country’s eastern provincial region of Basse, where unspecified minerals were mined.

Jammeh had total control of the government and a monopoly of businesses. He had forcefully taken businesses and properties from dozens of people, scaring away foreign investors.

He is worth an estimated $1.9 billion (D76 million dalasis), equivalent to the impoverished country’s unserviceable international and domestic debts.

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