Gambia’s security minister is being accused of abusing his powers, refusing to give approval for a political adversary to set up a private security firm.
Minister of Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty has allegedly refused to sign the final documents for a retired Lt. Col. Lamin Gano to start his Frontline Security company.
According to Gano, “Fatty’s decision to drag his feet in signing my license is not based on any professional, ethical or legitimate reasons. Rather, it is politically motivated and based on ill will, score-settling, and witch-hunting.”
Gano, a former military aide to former President Yahya Jammeh returned to the West African nation from Canada after Jammeh’s ouster.
He was interviewed by the police and screened by the State Intelligence Services. A letter from the Ministry of Interior seen by SMBC entitles Gano to “own and manage Frontline Security Company with immediate effect.”
Authorities said in a letter that nothing adverse was found on the retired lieutenant colonel that could pose a threat to national security as the government poaches Jammeh’s loyalists from the army.
However, it is awaiting the final approval of Minister Fatty, which has been pending. However, a former police officer aligned with the unity government has been given approval by the minister.
“I went ahead to start setting up Frontline Security by entering into several agreements including renting of an office complex, insurance for the company, recruitment of staff, preparation of brochures and adverts, ordering of uniforms, a vehicle, motorbikes and other equipment for the company,” Gano said.
Lt. Col. Gano supported a former MP Mama Kandeh during Gambia’s fiercely contested presidential elections that show Jammeh handed a shocking defeat.
Kandeh had refused to join the coalition, which Fatty was part of. Kandeh’s preposition was openly supported by Gano, who is a strong critique of Fatty and questions his ability as security minister since his appointment by President Adama Barrow.