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Former magistrate testifies in industrial tribunal

Aug 22, 2011, 12:22 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Sainabou Wadda-Ceesay, former magistrate at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, recently testified in favour of Prime Bank against Emmanuel Ina George, who has sued the bank to the Industrial Tribunal.

Lawyer Sainabou Wadda-Ceesay told the Industrial Tribunal that she lives at Brusubi, and knows the plaintiff and the bank, which is her employer.

She testified that she is the Head of the Legal Compliance Office, and adduced that by virtue of her position, she came to see some document or a letter dated 29 September 2010, addressed to the plaintiff from the defendant.

She added that she also saw a letter dated 6 October 2010, from the plaintiff addressed to the Human Resources Manager and another letter dated 16 October 2010, addressed to the plaintiff by the defendant.

At this juncture, the defence counsel, Lubna Farage, applied to tender the said letters and Lawyer Moses Richards, the plaintiff’s counsel, did not object to the tendering of the letters.

The said letters were admitted by the tribunal as exhibits.

Still continuing her testimony, the witness added that, at the instance of the plaintiff, the hearing was held on another date, and she was in attendance, adding that she carried on some functions.

She said she explained to the people present at the hearing the purpose of the meeting.

“I have the minutes of the hearing,” she told the tribunal.

The defence counsel applied to tender the minutes of the meeting, and Moses Richards did not object.

Mrs Wadda-Ceesay had informed the tribunal that the minutes of the meeting indicated the foreign currency dealings.

“A circular dated 14 May 2010, was circulated to them, stipulating procedures of foreign exchange transactions,” the witness testified.

The said circular was also tendered as an exhibit.

The witness told the tribunal that the head of accounts was one Mrs William, who was also the plaintiff’s superior, adding that MA Financial Services is a customer of the bank, and that she knows one Rene Anthony Blain.

She further revealed that there was a signature specific card and accounts opening for Mr Blain, who is no more a customer, adding that his account had been closed, following his request to do so in writing.

“MA Financial Services are listed in the register of the Central Bank for licence of foreign exchange bureaux,” Wadda-Ceesay told the tribunal.

At this juncture, the defence counsel applied to tender a letter from the Central Bank for license of foreign exchange bureaux.

Moses Richards rose to object that there was nothing on the letter which indicated that it was from the Central Bank.

But the defence counsel Farage challenged that, stating that the document was relevant and that the tribunal is a summary court, adding that the said document had weight.

The defence counsel went on to argue that the signature of the deputy governor and the bank’s stamp were on the letter.

As a result, the chairman of the tribunal accepted the said letter in evidence.

Another letter from Mr Blain was tendered for ID purposes, after Moses Richards objected that the said letter was a photocopy.

The case was at this stage adjourned till 9 September 2011, when Moses Richards is expected to question the witness to test the veracity of her evidence.