Face 2 Face Africa

by , at 10:00 am, May 25, 2017, Politics

Gambian Authorities Seize Ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s Assets

Yahya Jammeh
Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh with his wife Zineb Jammeh at the White House in the U.S. Photo Credit: The Atlantic

Gambian authorities have seized various assets belonging to the exiled former President Yahya Jammeh, including 86 bank accounts and 131 properties.

This seizure, which was announced Monday by Justice Minister Aboubacarr Tambedou, is part of the ongoing investigation in to Jammeh’s alleged misdeeds when he was in office, reports Reuters.

 

At least 14 companies registered in Jammeh’s name, including KGI International, as well as luxury cars and livestock have been seized.

Gambian Solicitor General Cherno Marenah added that a special commission of inquiry will be set up to decide the fate of the assets.

The current administration led by President Adama Barrow, a former security officer, has accused Jammeh of draining public coffers during his 22-year rule.

“The government has obtained a court order to freeze and place temporary hold on all of Jammeh’s known assets and companies directly linked to him,” said Mr. Tambedou.

Disgraceful Departure  

Weeks after his defeat in the December election, Jammeh attempted to hold on to power, prompting Senegal to send troops to the border for fear of a civil war.

 

Presidents from several other West African countries, such as Guinea and Mauritania, spent hours at the Gambian State House urging Jammeh to step down, with countries like Nigeria and Morocco offering him asylum if he agreed to leave the country.

But some reports indicate that Jammeh wished to remain in the country after he left office. He was also reported to have asked for amnesty for the crimes he committed during his tenure, a request that was rejected.

The standoff saw tens of thousands of Gambians flee to neighboring countries.

Less than 24 hours after he stepped down, though, the embattled ex-president went in to exile in Equatorial Guinea, with most refugees returning home days after Jammeh’s departure.

Shortly after he fled the country, the United Nations, African Union and the West African regional block ECOWAS issued a statement promising that any country offering him and his family asylum will not be punished.

A Stained Legacy

During his two-decade rule, Jammeh, who recently released photos of himself in exile, was accused of numerous crimes, including massive corruption, dictatorship, and human rights abuses.

Jammeh is also accused of stealing $1 billion from public coffers days before he went in to exile.

It is still not clear if the Gambian government will open criminal charges against Jammeh.