(JollofNews) – The Government of the Gambia Monday obtained a high court order to freeze the country’s first daily newspaper, the Daily Observer.
The government said the newspaper is owned by the country’s former leader, Yahya Jammeh and the court order is meant to prevent him from liquidating or dissipating it so as not to cause prejudice to the state should there be adverse findings made against him by a court which may require the recovery of assets and money from him.
The newspaper is now put under the management of an accounting firm, Augustus Prom.
The Daily Observer was founded by Kenneth Best in 1990 and is credited for transforming journalism in the Gambia.
Mr Best had previously managed another paper called the Daily Observer in Liberia, until the First Liberian Civil War caused him to relocate with his family to the Gambia.
He was later expelled from the Gambia in October 1994 by the military junta of Yahya Jammeh which took over power a few months earlier.
The paper was later sold to Businessman Amadou Samba, but the Ministry of Justice said it has found paperwork which indicates that the newspaper is owned by Mr Jammeh.
Since the demise of the Jammeh regime, the newspaper’s fallen into serious financial difficulties.
The paper is currently facing a D17 million tax bill from the Gambia Revenue Authority and is also owing tens of thousands of Dalasis to other businesses.