Yahya Jammeh The Gambia
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh

Disgraced former president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh stands accused of stealing more than 11 million dollars in cash from state coffers before flying into exile at the weekend.

Luxury goods including cars are also said to have been flown out of the country.

An adviser to new President Adama Barrow said that 500 million dalasis ($11.45 million) had been withdrawn by Jammeh in the past two weeks alone.

Speaking to radio station RFM in neighbouring Senegal, where he is waiting to return to Gambia, Barrow said:

“According to information we received, there is no money in the coffers.”

Barrow was sworn into office in Senegal, amid the political standoff that followed his victory in December’s election.

After more than two decades in power in Gambia, Jammeh had refused to accept defeat and only mediation by African leaders as well as the threat of force convinced him to end his iron rule in the impoverished country.

A West African regional military force has entered Gambia’s capital city of Banjul, paving the way for Barrow’s arrival – a prospect that has sparked celebrations in the streets and the return of many of those who had fled amid fears of unrest.

Thousands of Gambians have sought asylum abroad over the years, with their long-time ruler accused by rights groups of jailing, torturing and killing his political opponents while acquiring a vast fortune for himself.

Yahya Jammeh Leaves The Gambia The Trent3
Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh waves to the crowd before flying into exile from Gambia, January 21, 2017. | Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

Yahya Jammeh left the country aboard a private jet owned by All Progressives Congress, APC, national leader, Bola Tinubu.

According to The Nation, a newspaper where Tinubu has significant interest,  the southwestern political bigwig authorized that his private aircraft be used to fly Jammeh out of Banjul.

After refusing to vacate office for several days, Jammeh yielded to last-minute pressure from Guinean President Alpha Conde and his Mauritanian counterpart, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz and stepped down as president.

After agreeing to leave, Jammeh was confronted with the challenge of how to leave the country.


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