Credible sources have informed The Fatu Network that Abdoulie Jammeh, Director General of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority and four others have been released Thursday night, August 4, 2016. Abdoulie, Saul Njie, Ebrima Sallah and Abdoulie Trawally were all dismissed from their jobs, arrested and detained at The National Intelligence Headquarters in Banjul. They received their dismissal letters on the afternoon of June 28, 2016 after which they were all escorted by officials of The NIA to their headquarters in Banjul. After almost two months in detention, the gentlemen were released and not charged with any offense.
Abdoulie’s dismissal came after dictator Yahya Jammeh blamed his office for not making sure that his aircrafts are properly maintained. One of the aircrafts in question is an old Boeing 727 100 which was built in the 1960s. The problem started when The First Lady, Zineb Jammeh’s planned ‘Umra’ trip to Saudi Arabia could not take place on time and she is said to have been on standby since last week with a delegation of fifty-five people, including her hairdresser and manicurist.
Dictator Jammeh’s aircrafts are usually maintained at the tune of over $150, 000 which the GCAA can no longer afford due to the financial constraints. Presenting her institution’s 2014 annual report before members of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprise committees of The National Assembly, Catherine Nying, the Deputy Director General, who is now Acting Director General, revealed that the authority only recorded less than 4,000 aircraft movements in 2014. She said there were 2,000 regional aircraft movements, 1,500 European and about 400 other aircraft movements. This, according to her, shows a decrease of 1,500 aircraft movements or 28% compared to a total of 5, 298 aircraft movements for the same period in 2013. (Aircraft movements represent the number of aircraft landing and departing at Banjul International Airport (BIA) in a given period). GCAA derives its income mainly from these landing and departure fees.
There are reports that GCAA now has difficulties in paying staff salaries – water supply and internet connection are all said to have been disconnected. It is because of this dire financial situation the institution is faced with, that it has not been able to afford these maintenance fees of over $150,000 for dictator Jammeh’s aircrafts.
Abdoulie was released together with aircraft engineer, Lamin Fatty, Abdoulie Trawally, senior human resource Director of The Gambia International Airlines, Saul Njie Air Traffic Manager and Ebrima Sallah, Finance director.