Is all going well at The State House? This is the question that many are pondering over and none of Barrow’s aides feel comfortable giving an answer.
A row of senior officials close to President Barrow is being dragged deeper into allegations of being accomplices in former President Jammeh’s diverting of public funds.
According to financial records obtained by the Commission of Inquiry, President Adama Barrow’s Chief of Protocol, Alhagie Ousman Ceesay withdrew at least $3.2 million (D147 million dalasis) for former President Yahya Jammeh.
Ceesay was also the Chief of Protocol to Mr. Jammeh, first serving as a deputy in 2001. Until his promotion to serve Mr. Barrow this year, he was Chief of Protocol for the shopping-loving ex-First Lady Zineb Jammeh.
Ceesay said he does not know what the monies were meant for but insist he had delivered all of them to the former President Jammeh, in most cases, without any witnesses.
He is not the only Barrow top aide to be implicated. Cabinet Secretary Isatou Auber-Faal had signed several checks. She appeared once before the Commission and has not been heard from since.
However, she attended last week and this week’s cabinet meeting at the temporal presidential compound in Fajara, State House sources confirmed.
Jammeh had been sending his senior officials to the banks, including the Central Bank to withdraw millions at a time. The instructions were either verbal or scribbled on a paper.
The country has been dismayed at the total disregard of financial regulations by the ex-president, who had jailed former officials for corruption and economic crimes.
But Jammeh and his staffer’s behavior did not surprise those that have been launching campaigns against his government and calling for his removal.
What has become mind-boggling to probers at the Commission of Inquiry is why Jammeh’s aides carried out the orders despite being fully aware that what they were doing was illegal.