“I was not honestly happy about the ruling of the Appeal Court, but I was pleased that we now have a government, particularly a president, who respects and accepts the rulings of our courts and independence of the judiciary and legislature compared with the Yahya Jammeh regime,” he said.
He, however, blasted the APRC leadership for their claims to Jammeh’s property.
The former leader of the PPP was speaking in an exclusive interview with The Point on Sunday 14 June 2020.
The leadership of the APRC leadership during a press conference last week accused the government of selling Yahya Jammeh’s seized properties clandestinely and at give-away-prices for themselves.
O.J. said that the Barrow government respects the rule of law and the constitution compared with the former president, Yahya Jammeh.
“Yahya Jammeh during such cases would arrest the judges, judiciaries, and dismiss them and put them in jail.”
The PPP former leader noted that it was a shame for him to hear the leadership of the APRC complaining against the sales of Jammeh’s properties, adding that during Jammeh’s time, all of the PPP properties and that of their ministers were seized and sold without taking or following due process.
“I was a minister for 14 years under Sir Dawda Jawara, and I only had one property that was seized and sold. Lamin Jallow Sonko, who was one of the most unfortunate Gambians served as minister for Local Governments for many years under Jawara, had two properties which were seized and sold by Jammeh without due process and rule of law,” he said.
According to him, after their government was overthrown, Yahya Jammeh’s government established three commissions in which Sir Dawda and all of his ministers were taken before the commission for 11 months.
He added that the Decree 11 of the commission explicitly stated that the commission will sit in public and the report of the commission will be made public. Decree Number 25 states that before the commission publishes its final report, the draft should be given to each person who appeared before the commission for them to raise possible objections.
“Until today, nobody has seen the report of the Bamfo Commission being published, and even before the conclusion of the report, Yahya Jammeh went ahead to seize all our properties,” he said. He added that “former President Jammeh seized the properties of Sir Dawda, myself, Bakary Bunja Dabo, Saihou Sabally, Lamin Jallow Sonko, Member Jatta and most of the cabinet ministers and some of those who worked with us in that government.”
“When I heard Fabakary Tombong Jatta saying that Yahya Jammeh had containers with things worth billions of dalasis, I asked where did he get those billions from to buy those containers, mansions, to own properties and businesses and also giving out millions to people.”
O.J. added that he had one time served as guarantor for Yahya Jammeh in the sum of D1,500 through a Trust Bank account, Bakau branch.
He added that after Yahya Jammeh became president, he later claimed to have billions of dalasis with 50 cars to his name, while Sir Dawda Jammeh, who ruled for 29 years, had only four cars under him at State House.
“Yahya Jammeh used his powers irrespective of rule of law. He never respected the constitution or the rule of law but now we have seen a government and a president who is respecting the rule of law and the decisions of the other two organs of government – the legislature and judiciary.”