Former Gambia President, Yahya Jammeh who is now in exile in Equatorial Guinea has reportedly taken the decision to seize his assets and businesses in good faith.
This month the government of Gambia announced that it will be seizing all assets belonging to its former leader.
The country’s Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambedou revealed that the government has order to seize Jammeh’s properties both home and abroad worth over $20 million (a billion of Gambian dalasi.)
A commission of inquiry set up to advice on what to do with assets belonging to the former leader completed its work weeks ago.
But Jammeh’s political party Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) has said that the seizure decision by the government was made in a haste.
Dodou Jah, the spokesperson of the party told Africa Feeds that the report from the commission of inquiry was yet to be published.
He questioned why the government can’t wait and carefully review the decision to freeze Jammeh’s assets.
“As a party we feel it (the decision) is done hastily because the high court gave the go ahead of freezing his (Jammeh) assets, and when the commission concluded it’s report, it is given to the government for review,” Jah said.
He argued that the government announced seizure of the assets because a court order imposing a freeze on Jammeh’s assets was about expiring.
“We feel they should go back to the high court to extend the freezing of the assets while government looks into the report and decide before they forfeited these assets.
So we feel it is illegal, it is malicious and we strongly denounce it” Jah told Africa Feeds.
When Jah was asked whether the APRC communicated the news of the seizure of the assets to Jammeh, the spokesperson said the former Gambian leader “was aware of everything that happened in the country”.
Jah said Jammeh’s family members informed him and he himself monitors what happens in the Gambia through digital media.
But the Jah revealed when the party informed Jammeh, the news did not to him as surprise, instead he “took it in good faith”.
Meanwhile, Jammeh’s party is alleging that the Adama Barrow government is breaching the 14 point agreement between United Nation, ECOWAS, Africa Union, Yaya Jammeh and the Gambian government which led to him going into exile.
Jah said per the agreement “Jammeh’s and his close associates, family members and party militant’s Assets” where not to be touch or seized.
The spokesperson accused the Barrow government of selective justice.
‘’A lot of people went to the commission but only Jammeh and Bazzi’s assets are seized and we feel that it is selective Justice”, Jah said.
Reconciliation commission hearing
A Truth Reconciliation Reparation Commission is currently sitting in the Gambia, receiving evidence from witnesses to human rights abuses under Yahya Jammeh.
The commission is probing human rights violation committed between 1994 and 2017 while Jammeh was in power.
The spokesperson of Jammeh’s party said the setting up of the commission was illegal per the Gambian’s constitution.
Jah claims the work of the commission instead of uniting the people will divide Gambians.
According to Jah many witnesses have been disallowed from giving testimonies as witness.
‘’The 1997 constitution makes the TRRC illegal and the issue of it is dividing Gambians. I don’t know the tail end of it but so far, witch hunting, yes it is witch hunting, it is all gear towards President Jammeh, the Military Junta, now they coming down to APRC’’ Dodou Jah said.
The opposition party spokesperson also rejected the decision to redesign the Gambian currency with the purpose of removing Jammeh’s portraits from the currency.
The central Bank of the Gambia however said the re-design was meant to make the currency more secured and representative of the Gambian society.
Jammeh went into exile in 2017 after refusing to concede defeat in the 2016 presidential elections.
The election was won by current President Adama Barrow. There have been calls for Jammeh to be sent back to Gambia to face justice.
His party however claims the former Gambian leader will be back in the Gambia anytime from exile in Equatorial Guinea because he is a citizen of the country.