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3 councils face lawsuit threat

Feb 17, 2020, 2:41 PM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

The National Assembly Select Committee on Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports on Friday threatened to file a lawsuit against Banjul City Council (BCC), Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and Brikama Area Council (BAC) for failure to honour their invitation for scrutiny.

Sunkary Badjie, the acting chairperson of the committee and Foni Berefet lawmaker, told the chief executive officers (CEOs) that committee was disappointed by the councils’ failure to honour the invitation, which he said is in the best interest of the country.

He added that National Assembly’s call supersedes all other activities “because we are the peoples’ representatives and our role is to play the oversight functions of all the institutions that are under the committee so that the Gambian people can get the best out of the taxes they are paying to the government.”

He said section 110 of the 1997 Constitution can be applied against these three (3) councils, adding “this is serious contempt of the National Assembly.”

“I spoke to the CEO of Brikama Area Council and he said he was going to a meeting and he would delegate someone to come; and for more than 11 hours that person didn’t turn up and a similar thing applies to the BCC and KMC,” he stated.

Hon. Abdoulie Ceesay, a lawmaker for Old Yundum cited section 110 of the constitution which states: “Any act or omission of the committee in the performance of its function or which obstruct or impede any office of the National Assembly and discharge of his/her duties or affront the dignity of the National Assembly shall be a contempt of the National Assembly.”

He said the respect for the law should be guaranteed by every citizen, especially for those at the public offices. He argued the law gives power to the select committee at the National Assembly to request all public institutions to appear and if they failed to come, then section 110 will take its toll.

Majanko Samusa, another committee member has stated that there is no office in The Gambia that is more powerful than the office of the National Assembly, adding that National Assembly is the only body that can impeach the president without going for an election.

 Jaja Cham, the CEO of Kanifing Municipal Council, Modou Janga, CEO of BAC and  Dawuda Jones, from BCC appealled to the committee not to use their power against them because their failure to appear before the select committee was not intentional.

They thus apologised to the committee.