The recently ended dictatorial rule of former President Yahaya Jammeh of the Gambia has produced its first installment of scandal, as the ex-dictator has been accused of looting his country’s treasury and leaving with some of the loot on a private jet owned by Nigeria’s All Progressive Congress National Leader, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Unknown to many Nigerians, the super-expensive Falcon Dassault 900X triple engine jet, which was last seen flying Mr. Jammeh out of The Gambia, is owned by the former Lagos State governor until his newspaper, The NATION, published a story revealing that it was used to move Mr. Jammeh out of his country. The newspaper also said the jet had been in the care of President Alpha Conde of Guinea.
Gambians are happy that Mr. Jammeh left the country on Saturday night after leaders of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), supported by the United Nations (UN), got him to commit to an agreement to quit to avoid military action.
They are, however, unhappy with the arrangement that enabled Mr. Jammeh to leave with huge sums of money said to be $11million and luxury items believed to be stolen from his country.
A cargo aircraft provided by the President of Chad, Mr. Idris Deby, was seen ferrying at least seven exotic cars, including Rolls Royce and Sports Utility Vehicles for the exclusive use of Mr. Jammeh, who is now in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, shortly after a brief stop-over in Conakry, Guinea. President Conde of Guinea reportedly disembarked before Mr. Tinubu’s jet headed to Malabo, where Mr. Jammeh will, in the meantime, spend his post-office life as the guest of another sit-tight dictator, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea.
The new Gambian government of President Adama Barrow has not fully disclosed the scale of last-minute looting perpetrated by Jammeh, but Central bank officials are revealing that the former dictator stole at least $20m from Gambians in the last two weeks.