EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia Government has begun official spending of proceeds from assets of former president Yahya Jammeh, with allocation of fifty million dalasi as contribution to reparation funds initiated by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.
Attoney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambedou, who made this announcement during a press conference on Monday said government has chosen to use Jammeh’s wealth to compensate his victims. “Government deems it most fitting and just, that reparations for his victims should be granted directly from his wealth and assets. payment of this 50 million dalasi comes from the proceeds of sales of his assets,” he said.
The exiled former president has been condemned as economic criminal by Commission of Inquiry into his Financial Activities for the twenty-two years he ruled the Gambia.
Based on the commission’s recommendation in June, the government announced the forfeiture of Jammeh’s assets worth billions of dalasis for having “directly or through third parties, embezzled over 1 billion dalasi,” which is over $300 million.
The spending of income generated from the Jammeh properties is coming about two weeks after leaders of the Jammeh APRC party questioned government on the whereabouts of his assets or proceeds from it.
“We challenge Barrow to come out with a comprehensive list of articles and properties sold, to whom they are sold to and how much because Gambians have right to know,” party leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta posited before journalists. He alleged that valuable properties of the former president must have been sold at “give away prices” to friends of the government.
Chairman of the TRRC, Dr Lamin J Ceesay described the fifty million dalasi contribution as a splendid contribution to the reparations fund to assist in the healing, the reconciliation and hopefully, bringing justice in the whole process.
“The 50m coming from the government is the first step to bring about the healing, bring about reconciliation”, he said.
He said the contribution will help the commission to move the process of reparations in a very uniquely Gambian way.
Preliminary reparations features fund raising campaigns both in the Gambia and in the diaspora, payment of medical and travel bills, allocation of gifts to victims of the twenty-two year rule of the APRC government.