Gambia’s exiled leader ‘virtually emptied’ the coffers in final weeks

Gambia’s outgoing leader, Yahya Jammeh, has been accused of emptying the country’s banks of 500m Gambian dalasis (£9.2m) in the last two weeks of his reign. Mai Ahmed Fatty, one of the coalition’s key leaders and special adviser to the new President, Adama Barrow, said that the country’s coffers had been left 'virtually empty’. He said talks with the country’s Central Bank staff had shown a huge gap in the nation’s finances with evidence that Mr Jammeh had loaded his private jet with millions of Gambian dalasis on his way into exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Within a period of two weeks alone, nearly 500m dalasis were withdrawn by the former President - that’s a lot of money.

Coalition key leader Mai Ahmed Fatty

Mr Fatty went on to urge the thousands of Gambians who fled to safety in neighbouring Senegal to return home. He insisted Mr Barrow was “not an ordinary Gambian any more” by way of explanation about why the newly inaugurated leader was still in the Senegalese capital Dakar under heavy security. Mr Jammeh, who ruled Gambia for 22 years, is believed to have surrounded himself with mercenaries and security service agents in his last few days. Mr Jammeh had at first accepted the results of Gambia’s December election but did an about-turn a few days later, refusing to go after claiming the electoral commission had mishandled the poll.