Commission of Inquiry: Former Secretary General Sabally “I did not have the courage to ask Jammeh questions” on illegal Orders

A nation neither belongs to a single family nor a clan of individuals deliberately defying every standard of ethical operations and governing laws of the land. A leader who often declared ZERO tolerance for corruption hired select individuals who were willing to bend backwards to carry out orders illegal or not to satisfy the desires of the leader. His power got so entrenched and so comfortable he told the whole World he owned the country (Degabe Maa Ko Mom). He became so arrogant he played God to the Gambian people and people believed him and paid unquestionable loyalty to him whether what he was doing was right or wrong.

This false prophesy of former dictator Yahya Jammeh was showcased this week at the commission of inquiry into the assets and financial operations of the former President. The commission is probing into illegal operations of the former President through his financial dealings, government operations and criminalization of government officials into taking orders to turn the country into his personal property. It was painful to listen to foreign nationals and citizens who could never have gotten close to any government contracts by virtue of their qualifications, lack of skills and or sense of responsibility give accounts of businesses they were assigned to operate on behalf of the President. They narrated laundry lists of fake businesses they created through the approval and instruction of the ‘the most patriotic’ President so as to have access to the country’s meager resources. They opened businesses and partnered with the President and dishonest citizens to loot our tiny nation of its much needed resources. They shamelessly lied in front of the whole nation failing to tell the commission the truth which was evidence in a lot of their dealings through signatures and backroom deals. The revelation of the foreign nationals were just the tip of the iceberg.

Fast forward to the testimony of Momodou Sabally, Momodou A. Sallah and others who were appointed to one of the most important office as Secretary General and head of the Civil Service. The Secretary General is the head of Civil Service and gateway keeper to the highest office of the land – the office of the President. This person(s) should be of highest moral character and professionalism who doesn’t only protect the integrity of the President’s office but a role model to thousands of citizens serving in the civil service. How anybody appointed to this noble office with sense of right and wrong could allow themselves to be used as a tool to rob the nation of it’s ethics and integrity is beyond comprehension. Mr. Sabally in his testimony told the commission he “Did not have the courage to question the President” on his orders. “He was too powerful and I needed to be careful”. Yet this was the same Momodou Sabally who stood in front of Gambians and arrogantly questioned their patriotism and reason for challenging Jammeh’s brutal government. Mr. Sabally tried to hide behind inexperience in “handling such a huge responsibility”.

Sabally served as a Budget Director at the ministry of Finance prior to being appointed as Secretary General. He was an Economist for ten (10) years at the Central Bank and was openly uncomfortable for seeing illegal accounts opened by the President’s office. Sabally is not a stupid man, far from it! He knew exactly what he was getting into and yet he willfully signed off and courageously defended the President’s illegal transactions. How was a Secretary General of the Office of the President become the Accountant and Finance Manager of the Office of the President? Became a signatory to numerous illegal accounts that were openly designed to defraud the tax payers’ money into enriching the President and his clan of unpatriotic citizens. Mr. Sabally and those before him did not have the courage and moral fiber to apologize to the Gambian people before the commission for violating their oath of office, but he had the audacity to tell Gambians that he wasn’t brave enough to question the President on anything. Clearly, Sabally and all those former Secretary Generals and Secretary to the Cabinet etc, violated the law and professional conduct governing their mode of operations and professional training. They must be held to account and a strong example must be set to these citizens from not only violating the law but ever holding higher office again in the Gambia. If you knew your actions were unethical, unpatriotic, and violates the law and no one held a gun at your neck you must pay for your failures. No one forced anybody to take a position at any time, they took the jobs willfully and enjoyed every moment of it.

What the commission of inquiry is bringing out so far is exactly what Gambian citizens have been fighting for two decades. That Jammeh was aided at every level by citizens who ought to know better in destroying our country. History will hold this government accountable if these citizens are not held to account for their blatant actions to help destroy the country by robbing the nation of it’s meager resources. At the very least, Sabally and others must pay for every illegal signature, bank transfer and or violation of their oath of office.

As one of the commission members mentioned, this commission is not a joke and it is costing tax payers hundreds of thousands of Dalasis in finding the truth. Gambians are not interested in the drama we witnessed when Yahya Jammeh took over power in 1994. Those Algali commissions were only designed to justify the junta’s illegal actions to overthrow an elected government. The Barrow Government is put to notice that conscious Gambians will not sit idle and watch citizens who were entrusted with the soul of the nation display their deliberate failures and violations of their duties and walk around free in Gambia. Gambians must be warned including the Director of GRTS that Momodou Sabally and anybody who openly confessed to knowingly violating the laws of the Gambia must not be rewarded with lucrative contracts only to continue to mock the nation. Certainly, such people cannot be the moral inspiration of our youths, neither can any Gambian excuse such failure at the highest immoral behavior in running a public office. Gambians have a duty to continue to monitor the commission and identify all those who aided the president into running down the government. Justice and accountability must be delivered for our country to move forward.

By Demba Baldeh Associate editor
Source : GAINAKO

  1. Saja Sanneh

    This is the height of ‘Wallakaana’.

    Yet, they parade themselves as educated, cultured and even as pious ones.

    They have iota of moral integrity.

    They have no cause bigger than themselves.

    What an ignominy! What opprobrium!

    These unscrupulous miscreants, not only aided and abetted the big thief Jammeh, but must have also had their share, in whatever form or manner, of these ill-gotten gains.

    These so-called public officers should be probed individually and severally.

    These so-called civil servants, who lack all form of civility or civilization, should be held accountable, charged with economic crimes and barred from public office for life.

    I just feel ashamed as a Gambian, for lack of words.

  2. Saja Sanneh

    This is the height of ‘Wallakaana’.

    Yet, they parade themselves as educated, cultured and even as pious ones.

    They have no iota of moral integrity.

    They have no cause bigger than themselves.

    What an ignominy! What opprobrium!

    These unscrupulous miscreants, not only aided and abetted the big thief Jammeh, but must have also had their share, in whatever form or manner, of these ill-gotten gains.

    These so-called public officers should be probed individually and severally.

    These so-called civil servants, who lack all form of civility or civilization, should be held accountable, charged with economic crimes and barred from public office for life.

    I just feel ashamed as a Gambian, for lack of words.

  3. Anonyme

    It is sad, when confronted by GoD and yaya jammeh, some people will chise to please yaya jammeh, evev if it means ofendind GOD.

  4. Malick Njie

    The mistake, in the first place, is giving such JJCs and inexperienced empty barrels high calibre positions of this nature.
    Oooo
    This is the result of having nincompoops and nonentities running the affairs of our country.

  5. Joe Colley

    Absolutely right.

    The practice (inherited from the colonial service) used to be that the Secretary General/Head of the Civil Sevice was appointed from the most senior permanent secretary i.e. the most senior person in the civil service.

    Of course, the position became politicized. We then gradually moved from the most senior civil servant to the most “doggo doggo boyboy jaam” with a slave mentality.

  6. Matar Jarju

    When will the Commission invite the likes of Tarik Musa, Mohamed Bazzi and Amadou Samba? Former Jammeh enablers or not?

    Perhaps, they are considered as “sacred cows” or have they become “enablers” of the new regime?

  7. Suntu Touray

    NEVER

  8. Suntu Touray

    What about the former Vice President, Isatou Njie Saidy, being invited to both Commissions (Financial and Truth & Reconciliation)?.

    She can really help with ongoing investigations

    Or is she also one of the “sacred cows” (like Samba, Bazzi and Co)?

    What about those (former Embassy staf and former government officials) who effected the sale of Gambian properties overseas (our Embassy offices and residences) purchased by the Jawara government from tax payers monies?

    Where are the proceeds of the sale?

    Perhaps these individuals are “untouchables”?

    Let us avoid double standards.

    If we want to be taken as serious people, then let us start acting seriously.

  9. Suntu Touray

    What about the former Vice President, Isatou Njie Saidy, being invited to both Commissions (Financial and Truth & Reconciliation)?.

    She can really help with ongoing investigations

    Or is she also one of the “sacred cows” (like Samba, Bazzi and Co)?

    What about those (former Embassy staff and former government officials) who effected the sale of Gambian properties overseas (our Embassy offices and residences) purchased by the Jawara government from tax payers monies?

    Where are the proceeds of the sale?

    Perhaps these individuals are “untouchables”?

    Let us avoid double standards.

    If we want to be taken as serious people, then let us start acting seriously.

  10. Matar Jarju

    Suntu

    The sacred cows and the untouchabless (former Jammeh enablers: Ministers, Ambassadors, Embassy staff, business tycoons) are all presently in the Gambia.

    Some have perhaps even succeeded in securing positions or are busy currying favours in the new dispensation.

    If we do not act seriously, we will never be taken seriously.

    We hope and pray that the end of the transition will bring an end to all what is going on.

  11. Momodou Kujabi

    The line Minister and Embassy staff at the time of the sale of the Embassy properties in both London and Dakar are all in Banjul.

    We need to know where are the proceeds of the sale these government overseas properties which were purchased from tax payers monies.

    We understand that these unscrupulous and corrupt public officers are making all efforts to infiltrate the Barrow government.

    But let them being warned that we will also never relent our efforts until they tell us where are our tax payers monies accrued from the sale of all these government overseas properties.

    Let the Financial Commission members rise up to the demands of the job for which they have been paid from tax payers monies.

  12. Saja Sanneh

    Mr Kujabi

    This is exactly what we have repeatedly been asking for.

    As a tax payers, we believe we have a right to know where our monies are.

    In Jammeh’s pockets or in the pocketss of his enablers (line Minister and Embassy staffs)?

    The Financial Commission must seriously look into this serious matter.

  13. Saja Sanneh

    Mr Kujabi

    This is exactly what we have repeatedly been asking for.

    As tax payers, we believe we have a right to know where our monies are.

    In Jammeh’s pockets or in the pockets of his enablers (line Minister and Embassy staffs)?

    The Financial Commission must seriously look into this serious matter.

  14. Sambujang Kinteh

    The work of the Financial Commission will not be fair, judicious or complete without without probing the sale of Gambian overseas properties by Jammeh and his enablers (line Minister and Embassy staff).

    These properties were bought from Government coofers with tax payers monies and the proceeds of their sale must ipso facto be returned to Government coffers.

    Public accountability must be upheld and indeed enforced.

  15. Sambujang Kinteh

    The work of the Financial Commission will not be fair, judicious or complete without probing the sale of Gambian State overseas properties by Jammeh and his enablers (line Minister and Embassy staff).

    These properties were bought from Government coffers with Gambian tax payers monies and the proceeds from their sale must ipso facto be returned to Government coffers.

    Public accountability must be upheld and indeed enforced.

  16. AMIE JOBE

    Agreed, Mr Kinteh.

  17. Sambujang Kinteh

    When will the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission convene?

    We would like to see the likes of Doctor Mbowe et al appear before suc Commission to shed light on the Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme which has caused the death of many innocent and gullible Gambians.

    If those who were involved in the dubious sale of Gambian overseas propertis (in the stealing of millions of dollars of Gambian tax payers monies) as well as those involved in the Jammeh Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme are not summoned to appear before the Financial and Truth Commissions, we will make sure that the Barrow government answers for it in the subsequent and after-Barrow Commissions.

    Public accountability and the rule of law must be seen to be enforced at all and any cost!

    Impunity has no place in a democratic dispensation.

  18. Sambujang Kinteh

    When will the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission convene?

    We would like to see the likes of Doctor Mbowe et al appear before such Commission to shed light on the Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme which has caused the death of many innocent and gullible Gambians.

    If those who were involved in the dubious sale of Gambian overseas propertis (in the stealing of millions of dollars of Gambian tax payers monies) as well as those involved in the Jammeh Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme are not summoned to appear before the Financial and Truth Commissions, we will make sure that the Barrow government answers for it in the subsequent and after-Barrow Commissions.

    Public accountability and the rule of law must be seen to be enforced at all and any cost!

    Impunity has no place in a democratic dispensation.

  19. Joe Colley

    Mr Kinteh

    We have taken due note for future action, as and if necessary.

    Thanks

  20. Nyancho

    Seconded.

  21. AMIE JOBE

    Those who were also involved in that paganistic and uncivilized so-called “witch hunt” ordered by Jammeh, which caused the death and embarrassment of many families and their elders, must now be hunted down, investigated and brought before the law for crimes against humanity.

    We will never again be seen to condone impunity.

    Never again!

  22. Momodou Kujabi

    The millions of dollars of tax payers monies accrued from the sale o Gambian overseas Embassy properties (in London, Dakar and elsewhere) which have never been accounted for and instead were stolen by corrupt and unscrupolous public servants (including “Ali Baba” Jammeh) must be investigated by a Barrow administration Commission of Inquiry accordingly.

    The rule of law and public accountability must be upheld at all and any cost.

    Once the necessary investigations are initiated and the work of the Commission starts in earnest, vital and revealing information will be provided by the general public when necessary and as appropriate.

    Gambian tax payers monies must not be squandered and misappropriated with impunity.

  23. Momodou Kujabi

    When will the other former Jammeh Secretary Generals/Ministers of Presidential Affairs be invited to the Commission?

    When will the former Jammeh Foreign Ministers be invited to the Commission?

    When will the principal Jammeh financial enablers, the likes of Mr Samba et al, be invited to the Commission?

    When will the former Embassy staff, involved in the sale of Gambian overseas Embassy properties, be invited to the Commission?

    When will Gambian tax payers know the TRUTH?

    Perhaps NEVER!

  24. Malick Njie

    Animal Farm?

    Selective Justice?

    Why is the Commission’s mandate only covering the period starting from 2014?

    Why is the Commission’s mandate not covering the period from 1994 to 2014?

    What is basis or criteria for the selection of the period the Commission is mandated to cover?

    Was Jammeh not the Head of State from 1994 to 2016?

    Strange! Bizarre!

  25. John Goode

    We were expecting that the Commission would be mandated to probe dictatator Yaya Jammeh’s entire tenure of office (1994-2016) and all persons associated with his tenure and in whatever capacity.

    It is, however, now quite clear that there are some “sacred cows”, especially those who worked in the Jammeh despotic government and who, like chameleons, are now embedded in the Barrow “democratic” government.

    In Owel’s Animal Farm, some animals “are more equal than others”.

    Let us also hope that all and sundry involved in the Commission are “above board”.

    We wait and see, while at the same time we brace up for a rude awakening.

    People know a lot!

  26. AMIE JOBE

    Mr Goode,

    Once again, you are absolutely right.

    Why did people stay away from the Gambia, including those who are now in power, until Jammeh had left the country?

    Why should there be some “sacred cows” in this Inquiry?

    Why is this Commission only mandated to cover only a “specified period” of Jammeh’s tenure of office?

    Lastly,as you rightly pointed out, we hope all involved in this Inquiry are “above board”.

    People know a lot.

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