The private jet used to ferry the disgraced former president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, was a chartered plane leased by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
A source close to Mr. Tinubu told PREMIUM TIMES that the VP-CBT Falcon Jet had been with Alpha Conde, the Guinean president, who is a close friend of the APC leader, before it was placed at Mr. Jammeh’s disposal.
“It was a chartered plane on lease used by Asiwaju (Mr. Tinubu), and it has been with his friend (Mr. Conde),” the source, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said.
“It flew to Guinea (from Banjul), then to Equatorial Guinea with five people on board – Mr. Jammeh, his wife, mother, and son; and Mr. Conde.”
Reports emerged on Monday that the private jet used by Mr. Jammeh belonged to Mr. Tinubu.
According to The Nation newspaper, Mr. Jammeh was met with the problem of how to leave The Gambia after agreeing to relinquish power.
”The leaders reached out to All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who authorised his private aircraft to be used to fly Jammeh out of Banjul,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying.
“He reportedly gave a condition: it should only be used ‘if it will facilitate the quick exit of Jammeh and lead to the restoration of peace and democracy in The Gambia.'”
When contacted, Tunde Rahman, Mr. Tinubu’s spokesperson, declined to confirm or deny his principal’s ownership of the plane.
“We have no response to that,” Mr. Rahman told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Jammeh, 51, who ruled The Gambia for 22 years had been embroiled in a power tussle after refusing to concede defeat – despite initially congratulating the winner – to Adama Barrow in a December 1 presidential election.
He eventually bowed to pressure and flew into exile on Saturday night.