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Counsel’s submission should not result in giving evidence, says Tribunal chairman

Aug 10, 2012, 10:27 AM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The chairman of the Industrial Tribunal in Kanifing, Magistrate Jobarteh, on 7 August 2012, stated that the submission of the defence counsel should not result in giving evidence.

She made this statement during a ruling she passed in favour of the plaintiff, Baboucarr Baldeh, against his former employer.

Baldeh sued Takaful Gambia Limited to the Industrial Tribunal, claiming D500,000 for unlawful termination, D250,000 for cost and damages, as well as interest at the rate of 25 per cent.

In her ruling, the chairman of the tribunal stated that the defence counsel made an application before the court on 10 July 2012, seeking a dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim.

She revealed that the defendant’s counsel’s argument was based on the grounds that from Exhibit A, the plaintiff was originally employed as collecting officer and was subject to three months of probationary period.

She told the tribunal that the defendant’s counsel submitted that on the second month of the plaintiff probationary period, he was offered a different position as a clerk in the financial department of the defendant.

The defendant’s counsel submitted that, according to the appointment letter, the staff book was incorporated by reference clause 03.03, Magistrate Jobarteh said, adding that the handbook tendered was admitted.

However, she indicated that the plaintiff in his reply said he had never seen the said book.

According to her, the plaintiff also said the book was mentioned in his letter of appointment but was never made available to him.

After going through the submissions, Chairman Jobarteh revealed that the tribunal had carefully read through the submission.

She asserted that the submission of counsel, no matter how brilliant, should not result in giving evidence.

She noted that the tribunal was aware that due regard was not given to the rules of evidence by virtue of R9 (3) ITR.

However, chairman Jobarteh also added that the rules of evidence should not result in an unfair hearing of either party.

“Tendering of the handbooks was wrong,” she said, saying it was not from the proper custody and admitting that the same would be unfair to the plaintiff’s case.

She, among other reasons, dismissed the defendant’s submission and ruled in favour of the plaintiff.

Hearing continues.