Assets of senior aide to Gambia’s ex-president seized

Assets of senior aide to Gambia’s ex-president seized

Gambian authorities have put a freeze on the assets of Sanna Jarju, an assistant to the country’s former absolute ruler, Yahya Jammeh, who is exiled in Equatorial Guinea.

Jarju was Jammeh’s longest-serving Chief of Protocol, a job he left and resettled in the U.S. city of Seattle, Washington. Jarju left Gambia last year after weeks in hiding. He fell out of favor with Jammeh, who ordered his arrest.

The freeze was put in place by a Commission that is probing the financial activities of Mr. Jammeh, who is alleged to have ransacked the country’s treasury and presidential palace, and his associates.

Gambian authorities are accusing Jarju of being an accomplice in the ex-ruler’s mismanagement of billions. Sanna Jarju has used written notes to withdraw at least $25 million under one year from the country’s reserves bank.

Jammeh’s former chiefs of staff, military aides, and central bank officials have named Mr. Jarju as the person who either collected money or given money to for handing over to ex-President Jammeh.

The Commission has also seized the assets of three former close associates of Mr. Jammeh. Muhammed Bazi, Fadi George Magazi and Amadou Samba are restricted from liquidating their assets.

Fadi and Magazi have filed complaints in court against the Commission hoping to have them restrained from imposing such sanctions and having their decision reversed.

Jammeh disregarded financial regulations to take billions from government departments and agencies but his aides are also suspecting of using their positions to take money without his authority.

Jarju has not said anything about his work for Jammeh since the Commission started hearing, even with the allegations against him.

He had asked Jammeh to step down from power after losing elections, recognizing new President Adama Barrow saying that we cannot let political conflict to divide us and urging the army not to oppose the wishes of the people.

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