Jammeh’s former cabinet secretary, whom he jailed has surrendered a stout amount of files documenting Jammeh’s directives and corruption in the ex-leader’s executive office.
Nuha Touray apparently gave the Commission probing Jammeh’s illicit financial activities new leads uncovering dozens of other activities that are undone to investigators.
Touray knew that the day of reckoning would come and in order to protect himself, discreetly made copies of some of Jammeh’s orders and transactions.
He has nearly three decades of experience in the public service and the career civil servant said he would not be leaving behind his benefits and experience because of Jammeh’s disregard of regulations.
Jammeh made Touray the signatory to some of the secret bank accounts he stashes stolen state funds in. Touray and many of Jammeh’s aides said they could not question the ex-president’s orders fearing he would have them jailed and if lucky fired.
“I know that if I ask questions what the president’s orders were meant for, I’ll face the consequences but I also knew a day of reckoning will come,” said Touray, who is now the Executive Vice President of ECOWAS Commission Vice President, Edward Singhateh.
Nuha did not know that it was going to come this soon. No one thought Jammeh, who by the way tried to crown himself a king, would be defeated in an election and forced to flee.
Touray had gone to the various banks, including the Central Bank to collect millions for Jammeh, which he said, were handed over to the State House Chief Protocol to hand over to ousted leader.
Touray has so far been the most cooperative with the Commission, voluntarily handing over the substantial amount of evidence showing Jammeh’s abuse of power and looting of Gambian taxpayers.
He can consider himself lucky. If Jammeh or his spies at the State House had any idea that Touray was making converted copies of the transactions, he could have been sentenced to death for espionage and treason.
They were one of Jammeh’s favorite crimes to charge his perceived enemies with, especially his former staffers who fell out of favor with him.
Another former senior State House official, Momodou Sabally said they sometimes wrote memos to Jammeh for to notify him that his instructions were carried out as a way to keep some paper trail when possible.
But when Jammeh was fleeing The Gambia, he took some documents, destroyed thousands of files and vandalized the presidential compound. It is not clear if there are any relevant documents left there.
At the Central Bank and other government agencies, files are disappearing as some people desperately try to cover up transactions that may cause them to be subpoenaed to testify before the Commission of Inquiry.
Jammeh had arrested and held Touray in jail for allegedly destroying a document that was needed to incriminate a former oil minister, Sira Wally Ndow, who was entangled in a web of corruption accusations.
In control of the judiciary, Jammeh compelled the courts to repeatedly deny Touray bail. He was held in a detention facility on the outskirts of Banjul until Jammeh’s defeat in last year’s elections.
The Adama Barrow in January took over power in January and released political prisoners, including Touray. The Justice Department dropped charges against him.
The Barrow government has since sent Touray to as Executive Assistant to the ECOWAS Commission Vice President Edward Singhateh in Abuja, Nigeria, who helped Jammeh seize power and later became his Vice President and Foreign Secretary.