Jun 2, 2011, 12:22 PM
Ms Haddy Jobe, the Human Resources Officer at Gam-Petroleum Company, yesterday testified in the trial of ten security guards of the company at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.
The ten security guards were charged with giving false information to a public officer.
The accused persons, who all denied the charge, are Kebba Jallow, Mustapha Barrow, Bakary Drammeh, Jalikebba Jobarteh, Adma Dabore, Kemo Manneh, Bakary Kinteh, Karamo Manneh, Ebrima Jatta and Lamin Ceesay.
According to the particulars of offence, on 20 October 2010 in Banjul and diverse places, they jointly gave false information to the Office of the President that Gam-Petroleum is a Lebanese owned company and used that capacity to maltreat, misuse and wrongfully dismiss Gambian employees of Gam-Petroleum Company Ltd, which they knew was false.
Ms Jobe, who testified as the first prosecution witness, told the court that she is the human resources officer, and as human resources officer she prepares all their payroll and handles other administrative matters.
She said in terms of recruitment, people drop their applications at the Mandinary office, if there is any vacancy.
She added that as human resources officer, she is involved in the selection and recruitment of staff, and that before selection, they go through applicants’ qualification and later contact the people shortlisted for interview.
When asked by the prosecuting officer about their working relationship, she replied that they all work together be you a Gambian or Lebanese.
She said Gam-Petroleum is located at the Mandinary depot, and they deal with heavy and light fuel. She told the court that they supply different petrol stations and even the National Water and Electricity Company, NAWEC.
She added that Gam-Petroleum is a limited liability company operating in the country, and the majority of the staff are Gambian, with some Lebanese nationals working for the company as well.
“I work directly under the supervision of my boss, who is stationed at our Kairaba Avenue office, and if there was any case in Mandinary which I can handle within the depot of Mandinary, we sort it out. But if it cannot be solved, I refer it to the main office,” she added.
She said the first accused person, Kebba Jallow, is a security guard at their Banjul depot and the management received a report from the security supervisor that the first accused does not normally come to work whenever he is on duty.
“My boss asked me to go to Banjul depot to meet him, but the first accused person was not there on that fateful day. I called him, and he said he had a funeral,” the witness told the court.
“I spoke to their supervisor, who in turn told me that the first accused is not obeying his orders, and he always sleeps when he comes to work,” the witness further told the court.
Ms Jobe added that when she asked the accused person, he told her that he could not go into the long grasses because he is a diabetes patient. She said this was investigated, and the management found out that it was not true, and the management decided to terminate his services.
The witness further revealed that, after terminating his services, the first accused was called to the main office. She said prior to the termination of his services, the accused person took a loan of D10,000 and when paying him, the management deducted the loan from his salary and pay him the rest, which the accused person was not happy with.
The company gave them incentives after their probation period of six months, and the company also assisted them in case of any bereavement, by providing transport for the staff to attend.
She added that because of the location of the company, the management provides the staff with transport from Westfield to Lamin and to Mandinary itself.
The case was subsequently adjourned till 11 April 2011.