Fatoumatta: The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has to open the proverbial pandora box or look into the recent Pandora Papers leaks to determine whether any presidential candidates had any hidden offshore accounts and investments. During nominations, the IEC must diligently be scrutinizing all nomination papers and asset and liability declarations of candidates. Any meaningful inquiry into the use of State power to illegally amass wealth must start from presidential candidates. There Gambian are politicians and business persons with offshore accounts and investments. These offshore investments can potentially impact our local liquidity, deny us tax, export jobs, hide profits, hide illicit funds, etc.
Why should a politician or a business person and his family maintain offshore investments? Where did they make money in those investments? Is it clean money? Are there other secret foreign investments? Does the Gambian o prohibit holding of a bank account abroad by our leaders?
Fatoumatta: So, in my view, on the face of it, there is a case for comprehensive and independent investigations into the possibility of economic crimes through these offshore investments. It must go beyond a PR press statement or in political rallies. So we have a case for an independent commission of inquiry.