Libyan PM Implicated in a Conflict of Interest

For someone sanctioned for corruption as a public servant during the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Abdulhamid Daibaba made a pretty good comeback.

Abdul Hamid DbeibehAbdulhamid Daibaba (Photo: Government of the Russian Federation, Wikimedia, License)Now Libya’s interim Prime Minister, Daibaba ran a state-owned construction company but was sanctioned by the transitional government for corruption and for being close to the overthrown dictator not long after Gadaffi’s regime fell.

Unable to achieve much at the hostile domestic political scene, he moved to Portugal in 2014 and just a year later his wife bought a villa in coastal Porto for about US$1.7 million.

But then came the U.N.-facilitated peace talks in 2021, at which Daibaba was chosen by a panel of 75 U.N.-selected Libyan representatives to head the government towards elections. His choice was overshadowed by U.N. claims that he had bribed the representatives to vote for him.

Nevertheless, Daibaba returned to Tripoli and appointed his former business partners to the board of the state-owned oil company, according to an investigation by OCCRP’s Tunisian partner AlQatiba.

Tawfiq Mohamed Emhemed and Sedig Aoun Hamida were appointed to direct the state-owned Oil Investment Holding Company. The two sat together with Daibaba at the board of the Portuguese conglomerate GFH-SGPS.

Upon his return to Libya, Daibaba initiated a process that resulted in the lifting of the sanctions against him and while he was at it, also against his cousin Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba who under Gaddafi headed a company handling public infrastructure contracts and who was accused of having embezzled billions of dollars with the use of Credit Suisse accounts and offshore companies in Cyprus.

According to the original U.N. plan, Dabaiba’s mandate was supposed to end in December 2021, but the parliamentary election has been postponed several times and it is not yet clear how long Dabaiba will stay in power.