A former State House Chief of Staff, Dr. Kalilou Bayo had refused to become a signatory to one of the discreet bank accounts being operated by erstwhile President Yahya Jammeh.
Bayo declined to sign the documents but was forced to do so by Mr. Jammeh, whose requests were regarded as law, according to former Cabinet Secretary Nuha Touray.
“We had no option. Jammeh was in total control and he would force anyone to sign. Ordinarily, Secretary to the Cabinet should not be a signatory to accounts but we did not have a choice,” said Touray.
Bayo was appointed as Jammeh’s Secretary General and Minister for Presidential Affairs in 2014 but was replaced during Jammeh’s second cabinet reshuffle after dissident soldiers attempted to seize power.
Bayo had replaced Momodou Sabally, who said Jammeh’s orders could not be flaunted and those that worked in his regime had to use “subtle nudges” to sometimes convince ex-authoritarian ruler to change positions on some of his decisions that contravene government’s financial guidelines.
Jammeh replaced Kalilou Bayo with Lamin Nyabally, who later became the country’s fisheries minister until Jammeh’s shocking defeat in last year’s presidential polls.
Jammeh’s aides are the main witnesses subpoenaed by a Commission of Inquiry investigating his financial crimes and business dealings with his close associates.