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Gambia Teachers’ Union case continues

Apr 10, 2015, 9:58 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Essa Sowe, deputy general secretary of the Gambia Teachers’ Union, GTU, on 1 April 2015 continued his testimony under cross-examination by Karamo Sanneh, who sued the GTU for wrongful termination of his service.

Magistrate Colley of the Kanifing Industrial Tribunal presided over the case, assisted by panelists Sosseh Colley and Mrs Davies.

Karamon Sanneh put it to Mr Sowe that the service rules were never provided to him.

Mr Sowe told the tribunal that this was not true, and that he has documentation.

He said that when the plaintiff, Mr Sanneh, was paid his April and May salary, he was issued a copy of the service rules and Mr Sanneh wrote to his office that lawyer Moses Richards instructed him not to receive a copy of the service rules or to do so through his chambers.

Mr Sanneh then put it to Mr Sowe that, upon his reinstatement following the intervention of Moses Richards, he received two months’ salary, but a copy of the service rules was not included.

However, Mr Sowe maintained that the GTU had provided a copy of the service rules based on Mr Sanneh’s request.

Mr Sanneh, however, told Mr Sowe that he requested for a copy of the service rules on four occasions, but it was not provided by the defendant.

Mr Sowe said that was not correct, adding that they did not have any knowledge about a request made by Mr Sanneh in November, and of a petition he sent to the media and the PAC/PEC of the National Assembly, and that it was never copied to the defendant.

Mr Sanneh asked Mr Sowe about the day he allegedly made an apology, but Sowe said he could not remember, and that there was no witness, adding that there was no record to show that Mr Sanneh made an apology.

Mr Sanneh again put it to Mr Sowe that it was not true that he went to the defendant’s office to apologise, but Mr Sowe said this is true.

Mr Sanneh put it to Mr Sowe that he, Sowe, told the tribunal that a member of staff went to his office and apologized on behalf of Mr Sanneh.

Mr Sanneh then asked him to name the person, and Mr Sowe said it was one Tida Jawara.

Mr Sanneh again asked Mr Sowe whether he could remember the date, and he said he could not.

Asked whether he recorded Tida Jawara, Sowe said he did not, adding that he relied on his oath.

Mr Sanneh challenged Mr Sowe stating that he did not speak the truth, but Sowe said he spoke the truth.

It was again put to him that all what the defendant wrote in the suspension letter was not true, but Mr Sowe said it was true.

Mr Sanneh put it to Mr Sowe that on 4 January 2011, he was promoted based on his competence, hard work and dedication to his duties, and Sowe agreed.

Mr Sowe further said that, according to the records, the GTU had no cause against Mr Sanneh in 2010; giving the need to restructure the security unit.

He added that Mr Sanneh was given the portfolio of senior security guard, though the man in charge of the unit was appointed after Mr Sanneh.

“The appraisal indicated that Mr Sanneh was given the portfolio by default and at that material moment, the other two guards were not fully established to be given the responsibilities,” Mr Sowe told the tribunal.

Mr Sanneh then asked Mr Sowe whether the promotion was done verbally or in writing, and he said it was in writing.

At this juncture, Mr Sanneh applied to tender the said promotion letter, which was not objected to by the defendant’s counsel, Kebba Sanyang.

His application was granted and the tribunal admitted the document.

The case was adjourned to 23 April 2015.