After six months of studying its content, Gambian authorities have finally released the findings of the much-talked about Janneh Commission. The report — formally presented to President Adama Barrow in late March 2019 — made several recommendations. The government upheld some of the recommendations but disagreed with others, opening room for speculation that selective justice is at work.
The inquiry commission looked into the financial malpractices of former President Yahya Jammeh and his cronies. During his 22a-year rule, Mr. Jammeh squandered billions of state resources as well as perpetuated state-sponsored terror on Gambians.
The report has place ban on several former top government officials indicted by the Janneh Commission from holding public office. Among these officials are the former Secretary Generals Momodou Sabally, Dr Njogou Bah and former Governor of central bank Amadou Colley. Both Mr. Colley and deputy Governor Basiru Njie must not serve any public office again or appointed as Director of any state owned enterprise for at least 10 years.
“Mr Amadou Colley is hereby banned from holding public office for the remainder of his life. He is also banned from holding any director positions in any state-owned enterprises in the Gambia for 20 years from the date of publication of this White Paper…,” the government said.
Dr. Njogou Bah and Momodou Sabally are banned from holding public office for the remainders of their lives. Both men are equally banned from being appointed as Director of any state-owned enterprise for 10 years. The former Director of Social Security and Gambia Ports Authority was also banned from holding public office for life. A former minister of Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, Momodou A. Bayo, is slapped with 15-year public office ban.
The cabinet also agreed to terminate the services of Abdoulie Cham, the Finance Director of Social Security.
“As the longest serving member of former President Jammeh’s Cabinet and given her position as Vice President of the republic, Dr Isatou Saidy’s conduct fell far short of the standards expected of an occupier of the Office of the Vice President of the Republic. Consequently, Dr Isatou Njie Saidy is hereby banned from holding public office for five years from date of publication of this White Paper,” the Barrow government said.
However, the government has not agreed with the Commission’s recommendation to fire the Chief of Protocol Alhagie Ousman Ceesay for “aiding and abetting” the looting of state funds by Yahya Jammeh.
The release of the report is widely applauded by Gambians who want their government to go beyond publication. They want the Janneh Commission’s recommendations be implemented without delay.