Features: Exposing the shady dealings surrounding the sale of former president Jammeh’s properties
The investigation lead by Sulayman Ben Suwareh.
EXPOSING THE SHADY DEALINGS SURROUNDING THE D1 BILLION RECOVERED FROM THE SALE OF JAMMEH'S PROPERTIES
After hearing the testimony given by the Justice Minister, Mr Abubakar Tambadou, to the National Assembly regarding the one billion Dalasis recovered from the sale of former President Jammeh’s assets and the unreasonable and unjustified 10% fees representing one hundred million Dalasis that was paid to ALPHA KAPITAL for conducting the sale, I became curious and decided to investigate further the dealings between the Justice minister and ALPHA KAPITAL.
It did not take me long to find facts that point to possible corruption and conflict of interest. Here are some of the key facts I discovered and the questions they raised. They reveal a disturbing lack of transparency and again show the corruption that is prevalent in this government.
The Ministry of Finance, and not the Ministry of Justice, should have spearheaded the effort to dispose of the assets seized from Jammeh. The Ministry of Finance is the authorised and competent ministry to handle all Government finances, and the baton should have been handed to them as soon as the Janneh Commission report was finalized.
However, I learnt that the Justice Minister fought hard to maintain control of the disposition of the seized assets. I am not a great fan of Mambury Njie, but to be fair to him, I understand he did advocate to have the assets transferred to his ministry, which could have been managed by the Asset Management and Recovery Corporation (AMRC). According to my sources, the Justice Minister, with the approval of President Barrow, prevailed over the Finance Minister and maintained control of the seized assets. Now it’s becoming clear why Baa Tambadu fought to keep the assets under his control.
The Justice Minister appointed ALPHA KAPITAL to manage the disposal of the assets for an unjustified and extortionate commissions of 10%. A lady by the name of Binta Ceesay, a close friend of the Justice Minister, has also been linked to the transaction. But it is not clear in what capacity she is working with ALPHA KAPITAL.
Why a contract of such magnitude was awarded without a transparent bidding process raises a number of questions about corruption and favoritism.
Our investigation further revealed that
Augustus Prom who was appointed as receiver for West Wood by the Janneh Commission charged a 10% fee which was queried by the commission. The commission set a rate of 3% and sent a recommendation to the justice ministry for the minister to take legal action and recover the overcharge fees from Augustus Prom. The 3% in effect became the standard rate, to, therefore, pay a 10% commission to ALPHA KAPITAL on the proceeds from the sale of Jammeh’s assets is unjustified and extortionate, and we DEMAND a refund of the 7% excess payment.
Gambians should come out and ask the government to investigate the allegations of corruption in this report and recover the unreasonable and unjustified commission from ALPHA KAPITAL. The Justice minister should be investigated and be charged if found wanting. The government should transparently administer all future asset sales.
The Justice Minister should resign immediately to give the investigation integrity and to help clear his name.
Editor’s note: The Justice Minister Tambedou has resigned today, 25 June at the time of the publication of this piece.