High Court orders extension of seizure of Ex-President Jammeh’s properties

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Justice Amina Saho-Ceasay has further extended the order of seizure of Ex-President Yahya Jammeh for another period of 180 days.

Justice Amina Saho-Ceasay made this order on Monday, 28th May, 2018 in a ruling anchored on an application filed by the Attorney General and minister of Justice against the former president, Yahya Jammeh before the court.

According to a press release from the State law office, the Attorney General and minister of Justice filed a suit before the High Court of applying for an extension of another period of 180 days.

In the suit, the Attorney General prayed the court for an extension of restraining orders of seizure dated 17 of November 2017 that placed an injunction on properties owned by the former president in The Gambia and abroad.

Upon reading the sworn affidavit by a litigation clerk at the Attorney General’s Chambers dated 28 of May 2018 together with the document exhibited and marked as “AJ1”, the trial judge disclosed that she was satisfied that there were reasonable grounds to make the said order.

Accordingly, the court ordered and directed pursuant to section 55(2) of the Anti-money laundering and combating of Terrorist Financing Act, 2012 and Schedule 1 order 3 Rule 5(d) of the rules the High Court as amended that:

1. The validity of the order of the said court dated the 17th November 2017, is extended for a further period of 180 days from its date of expiry;

2. That the Respondent, Yahya Jammeh be served with the said order of the court by substituted means by way of publication in two of the national newspapers of wide circulation within the jurisdiction for a period of three consecutive days;

3.That the Respondent (Yahya Jammeh) is at liberty to apply before the said court to discharge or vary this order upon giving seven (7) days notice to the Applicant (Attorney General).

The case was then adjourned to Thursday, 29 November 2018 for hearing.

It could be recalled that after December 2016 Presidential Election of 2016, the High Court of the Gambia ordered the seizure of a long list of properties owned by the former president subject to a restraining order.

The properties were confiscated due to alleged illicit enrichment, money laundering and other related offences that were brought as charges against Yahya Jammeh by the Attorney General in 2017.

The charges of money laundering and terrorist financing and other related offences against the former president Yaya Jammeh is the first illicit enrichment charges to be brought against a former head of state of the Gambia.

Author: M.O. Davies and Bruce Asemota