‘The game isn’t over yet’, says Jallow

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Essa Jallow, the spokesperson for opposition Malick Sillah camp for this month’s Gambia Football Federation election has said that the game is not over yet because they will explore all legal options available for them to ensure justice is served.

Mr Jallow made these remarks in an interview with Pointsports yesterday following the rejection of the camp’s 5-appeal case by the appeals committee in the GFF electoral process.

The five candidates who had their nomination rejected are Essa Jallow, Kaba Ceesay, Star Njie, Mariama Jobarteh and Musa K. Jawara. This means only Malick Sillah and his third Vice president candidate Foday Danjo have been nominated.

The Electoral Committee had said their nominations were either not adequately authenticated or provided false information.

Jallow, one of the five who had their appeal rejected said they believe the appeal committee did not do due diligence to their case as they were supposed to, because they raised very important issues adding that all the Appeal Committee did was write to them that they have upheld the decision of the Electoral Committee.

“We think their decision is just a copy and paste and nobody actually worked on the appeal we made”, he stated, adding: “the issues we raised are very serious issues about the whole process of rejecting us’.

He noted that the electoral committee and appeal committee look to be one and the same in terms of how they are arbitrating the situation.

 He further said that the electoral committee should have done a background check, which they never did and rather called some people who asserted whether the signatures were authorized.

He gave examples of the electoral committee calling presidents of certain clubs to ask them whether the signatures by the secretaries should have been there no not.

“What we are saying is there is nowhere in the GFF constitution or the electoral code of conduct that says a particular person supposed to sign,” he went on.

He also accused the electoral committee of not using the same yardstick for the other camp, alleging that when Steve Biko nominated the other side, the electoral committee never contacted the president of the club to verify the signature.

According to him clubs like Bombada also nominated the other side but the electoral committee never contacted them as well.

He highlighted that there is inconsistency on the side of the electoral committee, questioning the decision for not doing the same to the other side.

He pointed out that the electoral code of conduct said a person has to have no criminal background to contest the election but the electoral committee allowed the nomination of Lang Tombong Tamba and Lamin Kabba Bajo who are both under investigation to stand.

“How can people under investigation pass and we who are legitimate condemned from contesting?” he questioned.

Asked if Sillah’s camp stand any chance of winning the election now that it only has two of its nominated members accepted, he replied that winning the elections and being disqualified are two different things because it is not the electoral committee that will vote but rather stakeholders.

He expressed their readiness to challenge the electoral committee and appeal committee to make sure justice is done about their appeal because the GFF is not operating in a boggle of its own but rather under the laws of the Gambia.

He said they expect the committees to use the full force of the law to ensure justice is done and not side with one camp.

“Our team is working very hard in terms of looking at our next action and I can assure you that the game isn’t over yet because we will explore all the legal options at our disposal to win this case”, he remarked.

The veteran journalist said their mission is to glean and manage football as well as make it respond to the needs of the people.

“The GFF cannot continue mismanaging the affairs of football”, he stated, saying: “in the past four years GFF received about five million dollars equivalent to 300 million dalasis from FIFA and nobody can tell you where that money is”.

 “If you also look at what they have achieved in the past four years it boggles your mind as to whether these are serious people”, he said further, adding that, their focus is to tell stakeholders that our football cannot continue like this.

“We cannot entrust our money to people who mismanage it or share it for other purposes”, he concluded. 

Source: Picture: Essa Jallow is one of the five who had their appeal upheld