The assets of Gambia’s biggest newspaper, The Daily Observer will be auctioned off to the highest bidder following a court injunction to shut down the country’s first daily paper.
More than 100 employees have been evicted from the office by the Sheriff of the Justice Department on Wednesday, in what became a shocking take over for the staffers.
“This one came as a surprise to everyone because it happened at a time we are really working very hard to restore the company to its normalcy. In fact, already the government is in charge of everything, including the operations,” a senior staffer said.
Sheriff Tabally has distanced the latest seizure from stalled talks the company has been having with revenue authorities over tax arrears amounting to $440,000 (D17 million dalasis).
The company is among former President Yahya Jammeh’s assets that have been transferred to the accounting firm, Augustus Prom by the High Court.
Facing financial difficulties since Jammeh’s ouster, the paper was unable to pay its staff for the past three months. It’s Managing Director, Pa Modou Mbowe has been canned following a revolt by reporters.
Gambian authorities have not clarified how the companies assets will be liquidated but whoever may be interested in the company is sure to spend at least $1.25 million (D50 million dalasis) to pay tax arrears and own all of its properties.